This guide will show users how to install iOS 7.1 on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iOS 7.1 is a free update for any device running iOS 7 or patched versions of iOS 7.
We will show users how to prepare for the iOS 7.1 update and how to install the iOS 7.1 update on supported Apple products. It is a good idea to perform the iOS 7.1 update when at home to avoid ending up with an unusable iPhone if something goes wrong. This is a very slim chance for major issues when performing the iOS 7.1 upgrade, but it is a good idea to avoid doing it at work or while mobile.
The iOS 7.1 release arrived Monday March 10th at 1PM eastern as an over the air update that users can download to the iPhone or iPad directly and as a download that users can apply in iTunes.
Prepare for the iOS 7.1 Update
The iOS 7.1 update is available to install right now, but before you hit download you should take a few steps to make sure things go smoothly. We have a list of 7 things to do before you install iOS 7.1, which is recommended reading.
The biggest steps are to backup the iPhone or iPad and to check with IT if you are using a work issued iPhone or iPad to make sure that there are no issues with custom and work specific software and apps.
How Long Does the iOS 7.1 Update Take
There is no single answer to how long the iOS 7.1 update takes to install, but in our experience the update installs and completes in about 15 to 20 minutes. On one of the test iPhones in at Gotta Be Mobile the update is still going after 40 minutes, but this appears to be an outlier. We suggest users plan on at least 30 minutes to download and install iOS 7.1, but it could take longer so unless you have time to spare it is best to wait until you can dedicate the right amount of time.
How to Install iOS 7.1
There is no need to plug in to the computer to upgrade to iOS 7.1 update, though it is an option if the iPhone or iPad does not see any updates available.
The most important thing to remember before starting to install iOS 7.1 is that during the actual installation process you can not use the iPhone or iPad in any way. This means you will not be able to surf the web, use email, make a phone call or send a message. You can perform these activities while downloading the update, but when the phone reboots to install iOS 7.1 you will not be able to use the phone for a period of 10 to 15 minutes.
1. Open the Settings App. On the home screen of the iPhone you should see a Settings icon which will allow you to open the main settings page.
Next tap on General and then on Software Update. On this screen the iPhone or iPad will search for an update. It may take a minute or two to find that there is an iOS 7.1 update available.
2. Tap on Download and Install. Once found tap on the Download and Install button at the bottom of the screen. this will start the update. On our devices the size of the iOS 7.1 update ranged from 265MB to 1.4GB. You will need to download this update over a WiFi network and will need at least 50% power to download and install iOS 7.1.
3. After tapping Download and Install wait while the iOS 7.1 update downloads. This can take 15 to 30 minutes depending on your connection speed, demand on Apple’s servers and other factors. During this time you can continue to use the iPhone or iPad, but be prepared for a pop up letting you know that iOS 7.1 is ready to install.
4. Wait for the Install to complete. When the iPhone or iPad reboots to install iOS 7.1 you will see a small Apple icon on the screen and a progress bar under it. This may complete twice before the device is ready to use. When the iPhone or iPad reboots to the lock screen the iOS 7.1 update is complete and the device is ready to use.
How to Install iOS 7.1 in iTunes
If you cannot update to iOS 7.1 through the settings and an over the air update you will need to plug into iTunes. This will install the same iOS 7.1 file, so either way will get you the new iOS 7.1 features and fixes. If you run into trouble, plug the iPhone into a computer and open iTunes.
If needed allow the iPhone or iPad to complete a backup and sync. When this is done, click on the iPhone icon in the upper right. On this screen you should see an option to Check for Update. Click that.
iTunes should find the iOS 7.1 update and prompt the user to download and install iOS 7.1 for the iPhone or iPad. This process will take about 15 to 30 minutes on average, though it could take a bit longer. Plan to leave the iPhone or iPad connected until the update is complete.
If you run into any iOS 7.1 update problems leave a comment below.