Apple on Monday announced iOS 17 at WWDC, its yearly developer conference. The latest mobile software update will bring several new features to the iPhone, including live stickers in Messages, an improved autocorrect that finally lets you curse in peace and an easier way to share you contact information.
And as long as you pay for the Apple Developer Program ($99 a year), you can download iOS 17 on your iPhone right now if you wanted to, but before you even think about doing that, there are a few things to know. Here’s everything you should do before installing iOS 17 on your device.
If want to learn more, check out everything announced at WWDC 2023, as well as what you need to know about Reality Pro, Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset, and all the new features that are available on iOS 17.
First, is your device even compatible with iOS 17?
As long as you own an iPhone XS or later, you should be able to download the iOS 17 developer beta. Below is a full list of every iPhone compatible with Apple’s new software update. And if your current phone isn’t on the list, here are some more recent iPhone models to consider purchasing.
The iPhone 15 series, which is expected to be Apple’s next phone release, should be announced later this year and come with iOS 17 already installed.
Next, make sure your iPhone is up to date
Before you update to iOS 17, make sure you’re updated to the latest iOS 16 version so that you don’t encounter any issues if you decide to revert. Also, it’s just good to always be updated to the newest mobile software version in case there are major bugs or other issues in older iOS versions.
To update your iPhone to the latest version iOS 16, go to Settings > General > Software Update and check for any available updates.
Now, back up your iPhone before updating to iOS 17
This is important: The iOS 17 developer beta is experimental software intended for developers, which means it will have many bugs and issues that could potentially cripple your iPhone. Your phone may unexpectedly restart or get really hot — with developer betas, you never know what to expect, so it’s best to prepare beforehand so that if you face major issues you can return to iOS 16.
The best way to do that is to back up your iPhone while it’s still running iOS 16. The reason is that if you update to iOS 17 but then decide to go back to iOS 16, you have an up-to-date backup to revert to, so that you keep your most recent photos, text messages, app data and more.
Now, there are two ways too back up your iPhone: via iCloud and your computer.
Back up your iPhone with iCloud
Your iPhone should automatically back up by default once a day, as long as your device is connected to both a power source and Wi-Fi and locked.
To check if this feature is enabled, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud Backup and make sure that Back Up This iPhone is enabled. Also, if you have a compatible 5G iPhone, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models, you can enable Back Up Over Cellular to have your iPhone back up over your cellular network when you’re not connected to W-Fi.
You can also just manually back up your iPhone with iCloud. In the same iCloud Backup page, simply tap Back Up Now. Underneath that, you’ll see the last time a successful backup was created. Under All Device Backups, you can check out more information about your backups, including backup size, and customize what is backed up.
Back up your iPhone with Mac or Windows
If you don’t have storage on your iPhone or iCloud, you always have the option to back up your device via your computer.
On Mac, connect your iPhone to your computer via lightning cable, open Finder and select your iPhone. Next, check the circle next to Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac and then hit Back Up Now.
The process with Windows is pretty similarly. Again, connect your iPhone to your computer via cable, but this time open the iTunes app and click the iPhone button on the top-left of the window. In the Summary page, click Back Up Now to back up your iPhone to your Windows PC.