iOS 12, Apple's newest mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads, will be available to download starting September 17.
Make sure you've backed up your iPhone or iPad before you download and install the update, otherwise you risk losing your data.
Backing up your iPhone or iPad is a simple process that can be completed in either iTunes or your iPhone or iPad's Settings app.
Apple's newest mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads, iOS 12, is about to launch.
iOS 12 will be available on September 17. If history is any indication, the software update for iPhones and iPads should be ready to download at around 10 a.m. PT, or 1 p.m. ET.
Lots of people will download the update right away. But before you do that, it's important to do one final thing: Back up your iPhone or iPad so you don't lose your data.
All of the data on your phone, and in your apps, could be lost in the updating process. That means your text messages, photos, and other data within your apps could suddenly vanish. But it's super easy to protect all of your data, and there are two main ways of doing it.
On your Mac or Windows computer, open up iTunes, and click on your device icon in the top-left corner of the screen. Click on the "Summary" tab on the left side of the screen and you'll see a Backups heading with a big blue button that says "Back up now." (The button next to it will show you your other data backups, which are useful in case one of your backups is corrupted, for example.)
To back up your iPhone or iPad data to iCloud, go to your Settings app, tap on your name, and then tap "iCloud." Click "Backup," and then click the button that says "Backup now." That's it!
Regardless of whether you choose iTunes or iCloud to backup your device, each app will show you the time and date of your last backup so you'll know you've done it correctly. If you care, or have enough time, I'd also recommend backing up your device a second time, in case one of your backups gets corrupted. (It's not clear how a backup file can get corrupted, but this has happened to me in the past, so you'll thank yourself later for having a backup of your backup.)
And that's all there is to it. Once you've backed up your device, go ahead and start the download process for iOS 12. Major iOS updates like this one can take more than an hour, depending on your internet speeds. Make sure your iPhone or iPad is connected to power and a speedy WiFi signal to speed up the process. (For context, the past two major iOS updates took me about 45 minutes to an hour to download and install.)