How to install iOS 11 – and what to do if it bricks your phone

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How to install iOS 11 – and what to do if it bricks your phone
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We explain how to minimise the chances of something going wrong, and what to do if it does.

Following last week’s announcement of the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, the new version of Apple's mobile operating system has just gone live (as of 19 September). 

It's a big update, with iOS 11 adding a slew of major new features for everyone, including a new focus on iPad that Apple clearly hopes will elevate the tablet into a bigger league of productivity.

The majority of iOS updates go by without a hitch but when they don’t, they tend to go spectacularly wrong. So it’s important to minimise the chances of that happening by properly preparing your device.

Here we’ll explain how to get your iPhone or iPad ready and install iOS 11 – and what to do if you’re one of the unlucky ones, and the new OS ‘bricks’ (or breaks) your device.

Which devices will run on iOS 11? 

First you need to establish if your iPhone, iPad or iPod will, in fact, receive the new OS. Here’s a list of those that will.

Getting your device ready

There are a number of things you need to do to get your phone ready for iOS 11, the most important being backing up the device. This not only means you can restore the most up-to-date version, if iOS 11 fails or causes problems, you can revert back to iOS 10 without losing your valuable photos, messages and more.

It may be also worth downloading the firmware for previous releases, just in case. The full list of files for each compatible iPhone and iPad is listed below. 

To backup your phone, go to Settings, [your name], iCloud and iCloud backup. You can also backup your device using iTunes. If you choose the latter, it's worth making sure iTunes is also up-to-date and you can get the latest software here. We recommend you backup certain apps, namely WhatsApp, as it may delete chats. This can be done in Settings, Chats and Chat Backup.

How to install iOS 11

When the update is available for your phone, you will be prompted to install it automatically. iOS 11 may roll out to different regions at different times so it may not be available for an hour, or even a day, after the software is released. 

Alternatively, you can go to Settings, General and Software Update. This will make your phone search for the latest software and, if applicable, you will be prompted to download. 

The software itself is expected to take up around 2.3GB of storage space and you'll need to make sure you have enough room to complete the installation if you install it over the air (OTA), otherwise, it will fail and could, potentially, brick your phone. To clear space, go to Settings, General and Storage to check how much storage is being used and delete unwanted files or apps to make room. 

How to revert back to iOS 10

If the iOS 11 update fails, or you simply want to return to a previous version of the software, you can install the firmware via iTunes using this link. Please be aware that any updates you do to your phone are done so at your own risk and Apple will not accept responsibility for failures.

Next: What to do if iOS 11 bricks your device

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