Apple has announced that iOS 7 will be available tomorrow, September 18th. Before installing the update, it is recommended that you have a backup of your data. This how-to is going to walk you through backing up your iOS 6 device and transitioning it over to iOS 7:

First things first, let’s discuss the two different methods of backing up your iOS Device. You have two different options: Backing up to iCloud, or Backing up to iTunes.

1. Backing up to iCloud. If you have iCloud set up, iCloud will automatically back up your data whenever your device is charging, locked and connected to Wi-Fi. To check to see if you have iCloud set up to backup, first make sure you are connected to a Wi-fi network by opening up Settings. Then tap on Wi-fi. Then scroll down until you see iCloud, and tap on iCloud.

iOS 6 Settings with iCloud being the fifth item down.

Then scroll all the way down to the bottom and press on Storage & Backup.

iCloud Storage and Backup

Then you want to tap on the Off switch to turn iCloud Backup on.

iCloud Backup

Now you have your iOS device set to backup to iCloud. For the most part, doing an iCloud backup is hassle free. On occasions, there might be some difficulties performing an iCloud backup. Reasons that it can be difficult include: having an inactive email address as your iCloud account, using someone else’s Apple ID for your iCloud account, or your iCloud is full and no longer has room to back up. The links will take you to articles that will walk you through how to resolve those issues that you might experience.

2. Plugging the Device into Your Computer. You can backup your iOS device by plugging it into iTunes on your computer. Just like with an iCloud backup, you want to be connected to Wi-Fi. You can do this on a Mac or a PC. The Mac already comes with iTunes. The PC does not come with iTunes, and you are able to download iTunes off of Apple’s website. Before connecting your iOS device to iTunes, you are first going to want to make sure that you have your computer authorized for your account and that you are logged into your iTunes account. To do this you are going to click on Store from the top of the drop down menu. Then click on Authorize this Computer and sign in with your Apple ID. Then again click on Store and then click on Sign In.

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Once you have done that, you can plug your device into iTunes using a USB cable.

On a Mac, iPhoto starts to open up because it detects the iOS device as a camera. You are able to easily import the pictures from your iOS device to your Mac by pressing the Import Photos button in Blue in the upper right hand corner.

importing pics

On a PC, an AutoPlay window will appear, because it detects the iOS device as a camera. Press Import Pictures and Videos to import the pictures. Sometimes the AutoPlay window will appear, and other times it won’t. This is all dependent upon your settings on your PC. To enable this setting you would change your settings under Scanners and Cameras.

AutoPlay

After you deal with your pictures, you can go back to iTunes. These instructions will be the same on both a Mac and a PC, except that the buttons might be located under a different drop down menu on the PC. In iTunes click on your iOS device. The iOS device can be found in one of two places. It is either going to be located in the upper right hand corner, which is new with iTunes 11, or it will be on the left hand side in the Sidebar as it was in previous versions of iTunes.

iOS device

Before backing up your device, I recommend transferring any of the purchases you made on your iOS device from the iTunes Store, App Store or iBooks Store. To do that, you have two options. The first option is up at the top from the drop down menu: you would click on File, Devices then Transfer Purchases. The second option is you can do a right click/secondary click on the device listed in the Sidebar and then choose Transfer Purchases.

Transfer Purchases from

After it is done transferring the purchases, you are now ready to back up. You have three different methods: The easiest one to find is directly in the center of the screen that says Back Up Now; the second method is to click on File from the drop down menu, then Devices, and then Back Up; the third method is to do a right click/secondary click and click Back Up.

Back up

Up at the top in the center of the progress bar, you are able monitor the status of your device while it is backing up.

Status Bar

If you see the Black apple in the center of the LED status bar, that indicates that your iOS device is done backing up. However, I would recommend double checking and make sure that the backup was indeed a successful backup. To do so, press on the word iTunes in the upper left hand corner of the screen from the drop down menu. Then click on Preferences.

iTunes Preferences

Then click on Devices at the top. If your backup was successful, you will see the name of your device as well as the date and time the backup completed.

completed backup

Now that you have your iOS device successfully backed up you will now be ready to install iOS 7 on September 18th. We will have a full walkthrough of iOS 7 up alongside the software’s release.

There are two different methods for updating your device to iOS 7. With both of these options you do have to be on a Wi-Fi network.

1. Over The Air (OTA) Update. To do an OTA update, go into Settings and then General. Then you would press on Software Update.

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2. Plug the Device into iTunes. You can plug in your iOS device into the computer and do the update through iTunes. Above the Back Up button you used earlier to back up the iOS Device is the Check for Update button. And then it will do the update.

You do have to be patient while your iOS Device updates. Even the logo is different and redesigned while it reboots in iOS 7.

Once that white bar fills across two times, you are able to start using iOS 7.

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When you first turn on the iOS device with iOS 7, Apple welcomes you with a “Hello,” in a variety of different languages. Then slide from left to right to start setting up the device. It will then want you to connect to an available Wi-Fi network. Then iOS 7 asks you if you want to set up Location Services by either enabling them or disabling them. If you do not know what Location Services are you can tap the easy to find and see, blue About Location Services button, and it explains it simply.

Then it asks about how you are setting up the device: whether it’s a new device, restoring from iCloud Backup, or restoring from iTunes Backup.

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First let’s discuss how to Restore from an iCloud Backup. Then I will discuss the process as to how to set up the device as new.

For those of you who do want to Restore from an iCloud Backup, it works very similar to the process in iOS 5 and iOS 6. There are some new alerts that do pop up, which were not there previously. While doing an iCloud restore you do need to be on Wi-Fi in order for it to download your apps and media. You are always able to leave the Wi-Fi area and it will automatically stop restoring. New in iOS 7 is that it alerts you that you need to be on Wi-Fi in order to continue.

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Also, while doing the restore it now recommends that you keep your phone connected to a charger.

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Instead of doing a restore from iCloud backup, and you choose to Set Up as New, it then prompts you about setting up an Apple ID on the device. If you scroll down further, it explains the benefits and features of using an Apple ID.

It then asks you to agree to the Terms and Conditions. You can either read the Terms and Conditions by tapping on each heading and reading it, have it be sent to your email by tapping on the Send by Email button in blue up towards the top, or press the blue Agree button in the lower right hand corner.

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There are then prompts to set up iCloud by tapping on the Use iCloud button, or the Don’t Use iCloud button, with a brief description about what iCloud is below it. If you want to learn more about iCloud tap on the About iCloud button.

It then asks about if you want to back up the data to either your computer through iTunes or to your computer. Then it asks about setting up Find My iPhone. When you set up Find my iPhone, it also sets up a new feature: Activation Lock. Activation Lock is a feature that requires your Apple ID and Password to be inserted into iTunes to re-activate your iOS Device. The feature is designed to deter thefts.

New in iOS 7, the system asks you to create a four digit passcode right away. The system is now even smart and does detect if you are wanting to use a simple, easy to guess, commonly used passcode and it has you confirm whether or not you want to do it. The simple, easy to guess, commonly used passcode that I first used was 0000. Previously in iOS if you use a simple, easy to guess, commonly used passcode like 0000 it did allow you to proceed and create the passcode without questioning you. The passcode system in iOS 7 did like my birthday.

Then it asks you if you want to use Siri. If you tap the blue microphone it will tell you more about Siri.

The last question you have to answer is whether or not you want to help Apple improve its software by automatically sending diagnostics and usage reports.

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After choosing whether or not to help Apple with their software you are now ready to use the device.

photo 2Press the blue Get Started button and it takes you to the home page where you will have iOS 7.

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We will be publishing multiple how-to articles about new iOS 7 features over the course of the next several days, so stay tuned.