Even though Apple arguably makes some of the most reliable and quality devices available, you’ll likely need hardware or software support for your iPhone, iPad, Mac or other Apple device at some point.

While solving your issue on your own or without a trip to an Apple Store is often possible, sometimes in-person help is  the best fit. Let’s take a look at how to get the most out of your Apple Store Genius Bar visit.

First, to save time and energy, it’s useful to check whether it’s worth making a trip to the Genius Bar or if getting support another way might be best.

How to decide if a Genius Bar trip is necessary

Power cycling (powering off, powering on) any of your Apple devices can often resolve various issues, so be sure to try that before making a Genius Bar appointment or moving on to more involved troubleshooting.

Another helpful thing you can quickly check is that it’s a device problem and not a service (Wi-Fi, cellular, particular app, website, etc.) problem. See if multiple devices are experiencing the same issue or if it’s a particular device that’s not operating normally.

Lastly, think about whether it seems to be a software or hardware problem. In many cases software issues can be quickly resolved with a software update or Apple support via chat, Twiter, or a phone call. Also searching the web for your symptoms/issue can provide helpful insight.

To get in touch with Apple support you can call 800-APL-CARE, Tweet at @applesupport or visit the support page.

How to make a Genius Bar reservation

If you’ve decided it’s best get support in-person at the Apple Store, it’s best to make a reservation whenever possible. Apple Stores accept walk-ins for the Genius Bar, but wait times can vary widely depending on where you live, the time of day/week that you’re visiting.

The two fastest ways to make a Genius Bar reservation are through its support page or with the Apple Support app. When using the app your registered devices will automatically show up. Tap on the one you’re having trouble and follow the prompts to make an appointment.

Image showing the Apple Support app on the App Store

On the support page, keep following the prompts until you see the tiled choices for how you would like to get support and choose “Bring in for Repair.”

One thing to keep in mind, Apple filters the available support options based on the issues you select. If you know you want to make a Genius Bar reservation, but aren’t seeing the option, choosing a hardware problem will usually make the “Bring in for Repair” option show up.

Image showing Apple support options on getsupport.apple.com

You can also try and call to make a reservation, but this can be a bit tricky and take more time than using the above options.

What to do before your Genius Bar reservation

Here are a few things to do or make sure you have before visiting an Apple Store:

  • Make sure you have a reservation for each device you need support with
  • Complete a recent backup of your iPhone, iPad, or Mac
  • Make sure you know your Apple ID and password (or multiple Apple IDs if applicable, reset your password if necessary)
  • If you have a MacBook of some variety it can often be useful to bring it along as another way to save information or restore a device if you may be receiving a replacement
  • For iPhones in particular, it can be helpful to know how much you owe your carrier if using a finance installment plan

A couple last tips include making sure you arrive on time or better yet a bit early and double checking your device’s warranty status. They’ll quickly be able to pull up your warranty status when you arrive, but it’s nice to know before hand to eliminate any surprises.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide.

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