How to install iOS 10 the safe and easy way

iOS 10 has released, and hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users will be eager to download and install the new mobile operating system. Here's how to make sure the upgrade goes smoothly.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

I know it's hard to resist the temptation to start smashing that "Check for Upgrade" button in iOS as soon as Apple releases an update, but carrying out a few simple checks in advance of downloading the upgrade can make all the difference.

1: Check that you're actually going to get an upgrade. Only the following devices are supported, so if you have something older, it's time for a new iPhone or iPad:

  • iPad 4th gen
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPod touch 6th
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6/6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s/6s Plus

2: Back up your data. Don't take chances with those precious photos or important notes! Details on how to carry out a backup can be found here (if you want to back up your Health data, you will need to carry out an encrypted backup).

3: While it's likely that your device automatically updates apps in the background, it's not a bad idea to check just to make sure. Find the App Store app, tap on it, and click on Update (bottom-right of the screen). Once in there, you can kick off the update process.

4: You're going to need some of your passwords (such as your iCloud password), so make sure you know them in advance, or you might end up in a world of hurt.

5: Plug in -- it's better to carry out the upgrade while plugged in, just in case you run out of juice!

6: Over the air (OTA) is the quickest and least-hassle way to download a new iOS update (Settings > General > Software Update), especially if you have good Wi-Fi and a speedy internet connection. However, if that fails, you may need to hook up to your PC or Mac that runs iTunes and carry out the upgrade from there.

7: Consider holding out for a few days, if you rely on your device, just in case there are any show-stopping bugs. It's likely that there will be a couple of iOS 10 updates over the coming weeks.

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