We’ve had a lot of requests from clients, friends, and family asking us for advice on software problems they’re seeing with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 7. There are many ways for a problem to surface with the complex hardware and software in an iOS device. We’re glad that Apple gave us a great way to get rid of our software problems with the advent of iCloud. Most people will be able to fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore and avoid the Genius Bar entirely. The following steps are for people who don’t like the Genius Bar or don’t have a local Apple Store. It is always better to have an expert help you with your device… but here’s a good alternative.
How to Properly Back Up an iOS Device
Before we try to fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore, let’s start by backing everything up properly. Here are the things you’ll need for this process:
- A computer with iTunes installed.
- Your charger cable.
- Your iOS device.
Plug your device into the computer and open iTunes. Find your device in the sidebar on the left. If you don’t have a sidebar, look for the View menu in the top toolbar and click “show sidebar.” Right click your device and choose “Back Up.” Alternatively, you can select the device in iTunes and look for the “Back Up Now” button in the main window; it’s under the summary tab. The picture above shows this quite nicely. Don’t move on to the fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore section just yet. We have a few more steps to complete before you wipe your device.
You’ll also want to back up all of your pictures (and videos) if you don’t have them automatically backing up to Facebook or Dropbox. I highly recommend Dropbox; it’s the best thing ever… but it’s a paid subscription if you want more than 2GB of storage. Find out more information about it here. If you’re on a Mac, just import your pictures and videos into iPhoto. If you’re on a PC, you can select the Photos tab in iTunes and save them to a folder. Make sure the “Include Videos” checkbox is checked. See the picture below for a visual:
The next backup we need to create is the iCloud backup so we can fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore. On your iOS device, navigate to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup. If it’s not already on, toggle the iCloud Backup switch to on (green). Then tap the “Back Up Now” button at the bottom. For future reference, your device will automatically back up to iCloud whenever it’s plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi.
That should give you two good backups of your data. You can certainly skip the iTunes backup if you’re brave, but the iCloud backup is crucial for this process. We can’t fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore without having an iCloud backup for the restore process.
Fix iOS Software Problems via iCloud Restore
Plug your device into the computer and open iTunes (if you haven’t already). Select your device and click the “Restore iPhone” button. This will download and install a clean copy of iOS; it will also wipe the device so make sure you have a good backup! Leave the device plugged in until it’s finished. It will take a while to download the latest software then it will actually start the restore process. You’ll notice that iTunes grays out the buttons in the main window while the software is downloading. When it’s finished, unplug it from the computer and do the rest of the steps on the device itself. In order to fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore, we cannot set up the phone with iTunes.
Do not follow the instructions on the computer. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
We need to make sure we use the iCloud backup for the restore process; it’s the cleanest and most stable way to restore an iOS device. If you try to restore from the backup on the computer, it could potentially produce the same problems you saw previously. We want to fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore because it eliminates all other variables.
Ignore the prompts on the computer and follow the steps on the device’s screen to restore from iCloud. You need to connect to a Wi-Fi network during the initial setup so it can do the iCloud restore. Once you see the “Set Up iPhone” screen, tap the “Restore from iCloud Backup” button and sign into your iCloud account. Then select the correct backup for your device — you may see more than one — use the time stamps to help you find the most recent one. After that, just follow the normal setup steps, and it should fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore just as we promised.
Assuming everything went according to plan, whatever trouble you had before this process should disappear. If you’re still seeing issues, it could be a bug in the OS that Apple will squash in a future update, a problem with your settings, or even a hardware issues in the device itself. At that point, you’ll need to seek out the help of an expert to figure out the issue. You can always call us or come see us if you live in the Denver area. We’d love to help you. Share this article with your friends so you can help them fix iOS software problems via iCloud restore.