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How to get iOS 13

Step-by-step instructions to download iOS 13

How to get iOS 13 beta from Apple

Update: iOS 13 is here, and it's fairly painless to download and install and totally free. Our full guide to doing so is below.

The next update for Apple phones, iOS 13, is finally live - and the nearly-launched iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 aren't the only ones that will benefit from the big operating system upgrade. Here's how to get iOS 13 on your iPhone, as well as a brief on what you need to do to prepare.

Not all iPhones will be able to download the upgrade - sadly, anything older than the iPhone 6S or later, iPad Air 2 or later, the new iPad mini 4 and iPhone SE can't upgrade. And your newer iPads won't get it either...because they're set to get iPadOS on September 24.

But if your iPhone is compatible, scroll below for a step-by-step list to update your device to iOS 13.

0. If you've downloaded the iOS 13.1 beta, it's slightly possible you'll lose data when upgrading to iOS 13

Here's a funny issue: users who'd downloaded the latest iOS 13 beta - version iOS 13.1 beta - have had issues restore iCloud backups on a new iPhone 11 series phone, which doesn't have iOS 13.1 yet – just iOS 13. Obviously, the versions are mismatched, and if you try upgrading, Apple will warn you with stern text about potentially losing data in the process.

While TechRadar ran through the same process and didn't seem to lose texts or emails, it's possible that some won't make the transition from 13.1 beta to full 13 right away. 

You can revert to your last iOS 13 beta backup before you'd upgraded to iOS 13.1, which might have been a week or more ago, though that might require backing up through iTunes. 

Otherwise, it's possible you might be able to upgrade when the versions catch up - when iOS 13.1 fully releases, we mean - which will reportedly be earlier than expected on September 24, per AppleInsider.

1. Before getting iOS 13, backup your iPhone

If you want to download iOS 13, we recommend you back up your iPhone first – just in case. That way, you can restore your phone’s settings, apps, and data to normal (that is, on a stable version of iOS) should something go wrong. 

So before downloading to iOS 13, head over to our supreme guide on how to back up your iPhone.

2. Download from your Settings page

Now that we're out of beta territory, it's very easy to download to iOS 13. Unfortunately, you'll need to be connected to WiFi to upgrade.

Head to Settings > General > Software Update. Hit the button to update to iOS 13, and you'll start the process. 

It's a bit extensive, and depending on your connection, could take minutes or hours - and it might be longer as everyone's trying to upgrade to the new OS version. The phone will need to download the update first, then prepare your device. Stay strong. 

If you have Automatic Updates turned on, the update should auto-install anyway according to Apple protocol - i.e., overnight if your device is plugged in.

  • Here's our list of the best iPhones out there to load up with iOS 13