This story is part of iPhone 2022 focal pointCNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

The latest from Apple iPhone software update, iOS 16is here and you can download it as long as you have a compatible iPhone.

The latest mobile software update includes several new core featureslike ability to undo sending and edit text messagesa custom lock screenan smart cropping photo feature and the battery percentage returns to the status bar.

Read on for a step-by-step guide to the process.

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Before you begin, is your iPhone compatible?

Unfortunately, not every iPhone will get the iOS 16 update. You need at least an iPhone 8 that was released in 2017 to run iOS 16. This also includes iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone SE (second generation and newer) and the new one iPhone 14which will be released this Friday and is available for pre-order now.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max at the Apple event

iPhone 14 will come pre-installed with iOS 16.

James Martin/CNET

Then backup your iPhone

Getting new software can be exciting, but there are precautions you should take before updating. You may not be happy with some of the features that iOS 16 offers (although you can fix some of the more annoying ones), so you should be able to roll back to iOS 15 for whatever reason—and that requires backing up your iPhone before updating.

By default, your iPhone should back itself up whenever it’s connected to power and Wi-Fi during your normal sleeping hours. However, if this backup feature is disabled, you can go to Settings > Your name > iCloud > iCloud backup and then hit Backup now to back up your device.

iPhone backup page

You can (and should) also back up your iPhone to your Mac.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

You can also back up your iPhone through the Finder on your Mac. Just connect your device to your computer, open Finder, select your device, and then create a backup. Apple also recommends backing up your backup so it doesn’t get overwritten by other backups.

Also, don’t forget to do these three things

You want the download and installation process to go as smoothly as possible, and the best way to do that is to do the following:

  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to power. You won’t be able to download iOS 16 if your battery is below 50%, so it’s best to just turn on your phone while updating.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi. Also, you won’t be able to download iOS 16 with cellular data, so connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  • Free up enough storage space. The file size of iOS 16 is around 5 GB, and if you’re running out of storage space, you’ll need to clear up a bit before you can download and install iOS 16. Go to Settings > General > iPhone storage to delete large files and applications.

Here’s a guide on how to get more iPhone storage.

How to download and install iOS 16

Now that you have all this set up, open your iPhone and go to Settings > General > Software update, wait a few seconds (or minutes) for the update to appear and then hits Download and install for iOS 16.

If you see the option to download and install for iOS 15.7 instead, tap it Upgrade to iOS 16 button at the bottom of the page and then press Download and install for iOS 16. Enter your password to start the update process.

iOS 16 software update


Tara Brown and Nelson Aguilar/CNET

You should then see a loading bar along with a rough estimate of how long the download process will take. Once the download is complete, restart your device and wait for iOS 16 to install. When your iPhone starts up, follow the prompts and then you should see iOS 16 downloaded to your device.

For more on the new operating system, here’s a look at everything the best new features that are available in iOS 16as well as some of the great hidden features you might not know about.

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