Force an iCloud backup manually before installing iOS 7 on your iPhone

Keep apps, photos and settings on your 5S/5C

The impending public release of iOS 7 will be a seamless process for millions of iPhone owners. As long as Apple servers can keep up, you will be able to upgrade to the new operating system without much trouble. There are, however, two options for the way you want to do it. Do you prefer to upgrade right on top of what you have of do you prefer to delete everything and go for a clean install?

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From previous experiences changing devices an upgrading iOS one of the things you really want to save are your settings. iCloud allows you to upload a copy of your phone, keep it on the cloud and restore it to a device when you need it. The most obvious occasion will be when you get hold of your new iPhone 5S/5C and want to have all the apps, accounts and settings from your old phone. Setting up from scratch things like email accounts, usernames and passwords on third-party apps like YouTube or Instapaper can be really tedious. And lets not think about preferences within the apps themselves such as the style you have carefully chosen for Twitterrific or those saved games!

Fortunately, the current iOS 6 allows you to back up without the need to plug to a PC. If you originally enabled iCloud on your phone you probably have this running on its own already. The backup is done automatically as long as your iPhone screen is locked, the device is plugged and has access to a Wi-Fi network. To force a backup manually simply go to the Settings menu and navigate iCloud. Tap on Storage & Backup with the green icon and scroll down until you reach the Backup option. Again, if the option Back Up Now is not enabled, check your Wi-Fi network is available.

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Note that this iCloud backup method is not going to save multimedia content such as music or shows from sources other than iTunes. If that's not your case you will be able to download again for free if you had purchased them through iTunes or have an iTunes Match subscription.

Upgraded already and missing something? Learn how to recover deleted apps directly from your iPhone