iOS 14 is here, and whether you’re using an old iPhone 6S or the latest iPhone 12 Pro, you’re going to want to get a piece of Apple’s latest operating system. Launched during Apple’s September 2020 event, it was followed shortly afterward by the release of a whole new range of iPhones. But even if the new iPhones have stolen its thunder somewhat, iOS 14 is still a huge deal for iPhone users, as it introduces a bunch of new features, including home screen widgets, cycling directions, and — the most shocking addition so far — an app drawer.
Make no mistake — iOS 14 is one of the biggest new software releases of 2020. But talk is cheap. How can you actually get your hands on it? Here’s how you can download iOS 14 onto your iPhone.
Only a certain number of iOS devices are capable of accessing iOS 14. Thankfully, Apple has continued its long tradition of supporting devices way past their usual use-by date, and this year, iOS 14 is available on an unprecedented number of iPhones. Make sure you have one of the following iPhones before you start the process of downloading and installing iOS 14.
- iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone SE (first-gen)
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2020)
If you’re rocking one of the new iPhone 12 range, it launched with iOS 14, so there’s no need to upgrade. However, you can still follow the final step to make sure your iPhone has the latest upgrades.
Back up before you get started
If you’ve got the right iPhone handy, then you’re good to start downloading iOS 14. As a stable release, it’s less of a risk than downloading a beta build. But still, make sure you’ve backed up your data, just in case the worst does happen.
Backing up using iCloud
Apple’s own iCloud is definitely the easiest way to back up your iPhone. Here’s how to do it:
- Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
- Head to your Settings app, select your name, and tap iCloud. If you’re on iOS 10.2 or earlier, then you’ll have to scroll down to tap iCloud.
- Scroll down and tap iCloud Backup > Back Up Now. If you’re on iOS 10.2 or earlier, just tap Backup.
You can check whether the backup is complete by heading back to Settings, hitting iCloud > iCloud Storage > Manage Storage, and tapping on your device on the list.
Backing up on a Mac running MacOS Catalina
While MacOS 10.15 Catalina may have put the kibosh on Apple’s iconic iTunes, you can still back up your iOS device on the new MacOS. Here’s how:
- Connect your iPhone or iPod Touch to your Mac, and make sure it’s up to date.
- Follow on-screen instructions to enter your device passcode, or choose Trust This Computer.
- Open your Finder app, and select your iPhone from the sidebar.
- Hit the General tab, then hit Back Up Now to manually back up.
Backing up on a Mac or PC with iTunes
If you’re blessed with an older Mac or Windows PC, then you can still use iTunes to back up your iPhone or iPod Touch. Here’s how to do so:
- Make sure your iTunes is up to date, and connect your device.
- Follow any on-screen instructions if you need to enter your device passcode, or choose Trust This Computer.
- Select your iPhone or iPod Touch in iTunes.
- Hit Back Up Now to save your data.
Downloading and installing iOS 14
Once you’re finished backing up your phone, you’re ready to start installing iOS 14. Thankfully, this is probably the easiest bit. Head to Settings > General > Software Update and let the system check whether an update is available. If it’s available, tap Download and Install, and wait for the file to download. If it’s not there, make sure you’re using a compatible iPhone, or just wait a little longer — the update isn’t released everywhere at the same time, so it may just not have reached your area yet.
Once the update has been downloaded and prepared, you’ll need to confirm you want to update, and once your phone has restarted once more, you’ll be using iOS 14.
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