iOS 17: Step-by-Step Guide to Installing the Newest iPhone Operating System

About iOS 17: The Newest Version of the iPhone’s Operating System


Apple will soon make the newest version of the iPhone’s operating system — iOS 17 — available to everyone with a compatible iPhone. The next update to iOS will be released on Monday, Sept. 18.

The update process for iOS 17 is mostly handled within your iPhone settings, but there are a few things you should know and do before installing the latest version of iOS. Read a step-by-step guide to putting the new iOS 17 on your iPhone.

For more on the upcoming iPhone OS, read our iOS 17 review and check out some of the coolest iOS 17 features.

Before Starting to Install iOS 17, Find Out if Your iPhone is Compatible

Not every iPhone will receive the new iOS 17 update. You’ll need an iPhone model that is at least as new as the iPhone XR or XS, which were released in 2018.

Along with the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max, the iPhone 11, iPhone SE (second generation and up), iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 will all support iOS 17. The new iPhone 15 — currently available for preorder and in stores on Sept. 22 — will come with iOS 17 preinstalled.

Next, Before Installing iOS 17, Back Up Your iPhone

Diving into all the new features of iOS 17 can be exciting, but you’ll want to take a few basic precautions before updating to the new operating system. To ensure that all of your personal and phone data stays secure, you should back up your iPhone before you update. That will also give you the option to revert to iOS 16 if you find that iOS 17 isn’t right for you.

With default settings enabled, your iPhone will back up your data regularly during sleep hours, if it’s connected to power and Wi-Fi. However, if the automatic backup feature is disabled, you can go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup and then hit Back Up Now to manually back up your device.

You can also back up your iPhone using Finder on a Mac computer. Connect your iPhone to your computer, open Finder, select your device and then create a backup. Apple also recommends archiving your backup, so that it’s not overwritten by other backups.

After Backing Up Your iPhone, Do These Three Things Before Installing iOS 17

To make the download and installation process go as smoothly as possible, it helps to take a few steps to prepare:

  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to power. You won’t be able to download iOS 17 if you’re under 50% battery, so it’s safest to plug in your phone while you update. Even if you’re plugged in, the battery needs to be over 20% to install iOS 17.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi. You won’t be able to download iOS 17 using your mobile data, so connect to a stable Wi-Fi network before starting the installation.
  • Clear up enough storage space. The iOS 17 file size will be several gigabytes, and if you’re running out of storage, you’ll need to clear some room before you can download and install iOS 17. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to delete large files and apps.

Check out these easy tricks for optimizing your iPhone storage to create more free space.

How to Download and Install iOS 17 When It’s Available

Once you’ve completed all of the preparations, you’ll be ready to download and install iOS 17. When the official release of iOS 17 becomes available, open your iPhone and go to Settings > General > Software Update. Wait a few seconds (or minutes) for the update to appear and then hit Install Now for iOS 17 (or Install Tonight if you want to install iOS 17 later).

If you see the download and install option for iOS 16.6 instead, hit the Upgrade to iOS 17 button at the bottom of the page and then hit Download and Install for iOS 17. Enter your passcode to begin the process of updating.

After you’ve begun the update process you should see a loading bar, along with an estimate of how long the download process will take. Once the download is complete, restart your iPhone and wait for iOS 17 to install. When your iPhone boots up, follow any prompts and you should then see iOS 17 downloaded on your device.

When Will the iOS 17 Update Be Available for iPhone Users?

At its “Wonderlust” event on Sept. 12, Apple said that iOS 17 will be available for all compatible iPhones on Monday, Sept. 18.

Apple typically releases its major updates to iOS at 10 a.m. PT, which means that most iPhone users in the US will get access to iOS 17 in late morning or early afternoon on Monday. Here’s when we expect iPhone users to see iOS 17:

  • iPhone users in Hawaii: 7 a.m.
  • iPhone users in Alaska: 9 a.m.
  • iPhone users on PT: 10 a.m.
  • iPhone users on MT: 11 a.m.
  • iPhone users on CT: 12 p.m.
  • iPhone users on ET: 1 p.m.
  • iPhone users on BST: 6 p.m.
  • iPhone users on AEST: 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

For more on the new OS, here’s a look at all the best new features in iOS 17, as well as some of the secret features of iOS 17 you might not know about yet.


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