How to Seamlessly Update to iOS 8.1

iOS 8.1 is in full force today as Apple has released the update for all devices capable of running iOS 8.

With this new update comes the launch of Apple Pay, the company’s own digital payment platform for iPhone and iPad. We’re also seeing a resurgence of iOS’ Camera Roll, as well as some Continuity features working with OS X Yosemite.

If you plan to update to iOS 8.1, you may encounter issues that typically occur with every iOS update, as 100% of all iOS users are unlikely to have a smooth process updating their iPhone or iPad. This is usually the case with most software, but there are ways to update to iOS 8.1 and minimize the chance of problems arising.

We always post solutions to the problems that arise for users updating to the latest versions of iOS, but the ultimate goal is for these problems not to be in the first place. Fortunately, there is a way to update the iOS on your device in a way that will minimize the occurrence of problems. You can’t completely prevent update problems from occurring, but at least that’s the best way to update your iPhone or iPad, it will minimize problems.

Back Up Your iPhone or iPad

First of all: Back up your iPhone or iPad before updating. While iOS 8.1 probably won’t fully connect your device, all updates change the stability of the software in some way and sometimes it just doesn’t work for the best, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and have a way. git undo the update.

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We have a handy guide on how to back up your iPhone or iPad using iTunes, but essentially you will connect your device to your computer and follow these steps:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the iTunes window, you’ll see a button that says either or depending on what you have.
  2. Click this button to open another window that provides information about your device.
  3. There is a section below the main information. Select on the left to make a full backup of your iOS device.
  4. Optionally, you can choose to protect the backed up personal data from others accessing it.
  5. Then click to start the backup process. You may get a popup talking about apps on your iOS device that are not currently in your iTunes Library. Click to sync these apps with your iTunes Library, this way you can have all your apps fully backed up.
  6. iTunes will start importing any apps into your iTunes Library, if any, and then start backing up your iOS device. When you’re done, simply click the blue button in the upper right corner and you’re ready!
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Updating to iOS 8.1 via iTunes

After backing up your iPhone or iPad using iTunes, you are now ready to update to iOS 8.1 risk-free.

There are two ways to update iOS software. You can update over the air by opening the app and going to or update via iTunes. The best way to update iOS with minimal hassle is to do it through iTunes because over-the-air is less reliable with a wireless connection to download and install the update and your computer will take care of all the temporary files. The ones that were created for the update rather than having your iDevice have to deal with all that.

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To get started, plug your iPhone or iPad into your computer and launch iTunes, then follow these quick steps:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the iTunes window, you will see a button that says or, depending on what you have.
  2. Click this button to open another window that provides information about your device.
  3. Click and follow the on-screen instructions.

The update process only takes about ten minutes, but downloading the update will take longer depending on how fast your internet connection is. Once done, your device will reboot and finally open to the lock screen where you can start using it again.

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If you encounter any issues during the installation process such as random freezing, perform a hard reset by pressing and holding the power button and home button simultaneously for a few seconds until the device reboots. From there, the update may continue to install automatically, or you may need to restart the process.

This is where your backup comes in handy if you run into a lot of problems after the update has been successfully installed, and you can restore that backup to iTunes to get your software back to when it was working properly.

Other than that, that’s all and if you follow these steps, I hope you won’t run into any problems, but all you can really do is cross your fingers and hope for the best.

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