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How to Upgrade to iOS 7.1

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How to Upgrade to iOS 7.1
iTunes iPad Update

Image © Apple, Inc.

Are you ready to upgrade to iOS 7.1? Don't worry, the process for upgrading the operating system on your iPad is rather easy. The iOS 7 update had some great features like iTunes Radio, AirDrop and a brand new user interface, but it also had its share of issues, including the new interface causing some people to feel nauseated.  The 7.1 update fixes many of these issues, including the parallax feature that caused some users to feel sick.

The iOS 7.1 update requires around 2.5 GB of storage space, so if your iPad is almost full, you may need to clear up some space. You can check your available space in Settings -> General -> Usage. Find out more about checking usage and clearing up storage space.

There are two ways to upgrade to iOS 7.1: You can use your Wi-Fi connection, or you can connect your iPad to your PC and update through iTunes. We'll go over each method.

To upgrade using Wi-Fi:

Note: If your iPad's battery is under 50%, you will want to plug it into your charger while performing the update.

  1. Go into the iPad's Settings.
  2. Locate and tap "General" from the menu on the left.
  3. The second option from the top is "Software Update". Tap this to move into the update settings.
  4. Tap "Download and Install". This will start the upgrade, which will take several minutes and will reboot your iPad during the process. If the Download and Install button is grayed out, trying clearing up some space. The space required by the update is mostly temporary, so you should gain most of it back after iOS 7.1 is installed.
  5. Once the update is installed, you may have to run through the initial steps of setting up your iPad again. This is to account for new features and settings.

To upgrade using iTunes:

First, connect your iPad to your PC or Mac using the cable provided when you purchased your device. This will allow iTunes to communicate with your iPad.

You will also need the latest version of iTunes. Don't worry, you will be prompted to download the latest version when you launch iTunes. Once it installs, you may be asked to setup iCloud by logging into your iTunes account. If you have a Mac, you may be prompted on whether or not you want to enable the Find my Mac feature.

Now you are ready to begin the process:

  1. If you upgraded iTunes earlier, go ahead and launch it. (For many, it will launch automatically when you plug in your iPad.)
  2. Once iTunes is launched, it should automatically detect that a new version of the operating system exists and prompt you to upgrade to it. Choose Cancel. Before updating, you will want to manually sync your iPad to make sure everything is up to date.
  3. After canceling the dialog box, iTunes should automatically sync with your iPad.
  4. If iTunes doesn't automatically sync, you can manually do it by selecting your iPad within iTunes, clicking on the File menu and choosing Sync iPad from the list.
  5. After your iPad has been synced to iTunes, select your iPad within iTunes. You can find it on the left side menu under Devices.
  6. From the iPad screen, click on the Update button.
  7. After verifying that you want to update your iPad, the process will begin. It takes a few minutes to update the operating system during which time your iPad may reboot a few times.
  8. After updating, you may be asked a few questions when your device finally boots back up. This is to account for new settings and features.

After iOS 7.1 is installed:

If you have waited until now to jump to the iOS 7.x, you might want to check out iTunes Radio, one of the most anticipated features of iOS 7.  You can explore iTunes Radio by going into the Music app and selecting the Radio tab.  And even if you are upgrading from 7.0, you can find out how to get more use out of the new features by checking out our iOS 7 tips and tricks.

Having problems with iTunes recognizing your iPad? Follow these troubleshooting steps.

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