How to update to Apple iOS 9 from the public beta

Apple released a public beta for iOS 9 several months ago, and those using it need to take steps to get rid of it before updating to the official version just released.


The version of Apple's mobile OS, iOS 9, has some new features like multitasking that iPad owners will find useful. With the update now available owners will want to get the new version installed. The standard OTA process is the best way to get the new OS --except for those running the iOS 9 Public Beta. This requires a specific process to remove the beta before installing the official release.

The presence of the beta OS prevents updating to the official iOS 9 release and according to Apple the beta software must be removed prior to installing the official update. The process is to remove the beta with a factory reset and then download and install the official iOS 9 version.

Apple recommends connecting the device to be updated to iTunes on a Mac or PC to execute the factory reset. It's important to have a recent backup if you plan on restoring all user information, settings, and content. Once the reset is complete and the OS is updated, the backup can be restored to bring the device back to the point prior to the data wipe.

Apple has detailed instructions on the proper procedure for going to an official iOS release from a beta version. The important step to make sure you follow exactly is the manual reset of the device while connected to iTunes. This is accomplished by simultaneously holding the power and home buttons. The tricky part is to keep holding both buttons until the device enters the recovery mode which appears after the Apple logo. Once in recovery mode choose Update which should download and install the latest generally released version of iOS.

Once the iPhone or iPad is running the new version of the OS the device can be restored from the backup to avoid losing user information and settings. If there is a problem with the restore, and Apple warns that may happen in this case, then the system will need to be manually rebuilt to the user's liking. This can be a good way to get rid of those unused apps taking up space on the phone or tablet.

To summarize how to properly update the iPhone or iPad:

  1. Backup the iPhone or iPad to be updated.
  2. Connect with a Lightning cable to iTunes on a computer.
  3. Force a hard reset by holding power and home buttons on device.
  4. Hold until the phone or tablet enters recovery mode.
  5. Choose Update to download and install iOS 9.
  6. Restore the backup or set up as a new device.

My three devices - iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 - are now updated to the official iOS 9 release. Since I was not running the public beta on the iPhone, the standard OTA update process was used and worked without issues. The two iPads were running the public beta and required the method outlined above. This worked and since I chose to not restore a backup I manually rebuilt them to get rid of unwanted apps.

Interestingly, while the iPhone shows it is now running iOS 9.0, the two iPads show version iOS 9.1.