iOS 13 is available. Get your iPhone ready before installing it
Take a few minutes to make sure your iOS 13 update goes smoothly.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
I recommend using major OS updates as a yearly reminder it's time to go through all of the apps you have installed on your iPhone or iPad and delete those random face swap apps or games you used for a few minutes, then forgot all about. It's also a good time to go through the Photos app and delete all those random screenshots, photos and videos you no longer need.
Removing unused apps will trim down the amount of storage you're using, and also speed up the backup process since there's less for iTunes or iCloud to backup.
Back up your iPhone or iPad
There are two methods for backing up your iOS device. You can use Apple's iCloud service, or use iTunes on a Mac or PC. Backing up through iCloud is arguably the easiest method. It's a good idea to back up your device right before you update, that way if something goes wrong you're not restoring to a backup created a few days ago, and all of your current information will be restored.
Using Apple's iCloud service to back up your iOS device is the easier method. Each iCloud account is given 5GB of free storage for things like backups, so why not use it? To force a backup of your iOS device using Apple's iCloud service, go to Settings > tap on your name > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back up now.
Make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi network and have a charger handy. You don't want to burn through your wireless data plan, and the backup process can chew through a lot of your battery in a short time.
Another way to back up your iOS device is to use iTunes. You'll need a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed and an Apple Lightning cable. Connect your iOS device to the computer and unlock it. Enter your PIN code if prompted to approve a connection between the computer and device.
In iTunes, click on the small thumbnail of your device next to the Music/Movies drop-down menu.
With the Summary option selected on the left, you should see a screen full of details about your device. On that screen is also a Backups section. Leave iCloud selected, but check the Encrypt iPhone backup box.
You'll be asked for a password that will be used to encrypt the backup. Whatever you do, do not lose or forget the password you enter -- without it, you can't restore your iOS device's backup should you need to.
With a password entered, click Back Up Now and let iTunes work. A few minutes later, you'll have an encrypted backup stored on your computer. An encrypted backup will prevent you from having to enter account passwords for apps like email or Facebook when restoring a device, as opposed to iCloud backups that can be hit or miss.