At home we have a 16GB iPhone 5 with five years and a battery change behind it. Its performance had dropped considerably in recent months, especially due to the lack of storage space. Yesterday I decided to give it a second chance by installing iOS from scratch and so today we will see how to do a clean installation of iOS . It is a tedious process for which I recommend you to have patience, a good internet connection and some time to spend on it.
When and why to do a fresh installation of iOS
Years in Windows territory got me used to formatting my laptops every few years. It was a gadget that I enjoyed but that I ended up getting tired of. Luckily, iOS devices don’t need to perform this ceremony on a regular basis because, in general, the operating system defends itself quite well with time and updates.
A clean iOS installation is the last resort for potential software problems
However, like any piece of software, errors can accumulate and be carried over time. Slow operation, ghost photos that continue to take up space, WiFi connection failures, battery that lasts a sigh, apps that close unexpectedly and other bugs. Some are due to issues that Apple fixes with an update; others persist and need to be fixed with an installation from scratch.
If you’ve tried everything and your device still doesn’t work as you expected, a clean iOS installation may be the solution. Note that is not a wild card that will solve all problems, but it will fix some of the most annoying ones.
Prepare for a clean iOS installation
Following my experience installing iOS 10 cleanly on iPhone 5 , these are the steps I took (they are similar to the ones we detailed when upgrading to iOS 11):
- First things first: Back up to your Mac or PC from iTunes. If something goes wrong, it’s the fastest way to recover your data.
- Then back up to iCloud. You’ll need it to recover WhatsApp conversations and health data from your Apple Watch.
- About this, you’ll lose any iMessage conversations you have, since iCloud backup has not yet been activated. If your device is not compatible with iOS 11, you will lose your Health data.
- It’s usually a good idea to make screenshots of your Home, to know where and what apps you had installed.
- If you have an app that’s critical to you, make sure it’s still available. If you make a clean installation and it has disappeared from the App Store, you will not be able to recover it even from the “Bought” menu.
- Export and save all your photos to your Mac or PC and delete them, also from the Streaming folder.
- Clear the bandwidth of your WiFi connection, you’ll need it.
An installation from scratch will leave your device looking like it just came out of the box
How to do a clean iOS installation
The easiest way to do a clean installation of iOS is via iTunes on your Mac or PC. It’s also the fastest way. You’ll need to follow these steps:
- Connect your device via the Lightning cable and open iTunes.
- In your device summary, click Restore iPhone or iPad.
- iTunes will start the download if you do not have the latest version of the supported operating system on your computer, this may take a while depending on your WiFi connection.
- Once the download is complete, follow the steps and accept the iOS license terms and conditions.
- The device will start with the restoration, deleting ALL the contents of the computer.
- At the end of the process, you will be asked for different configurations: enter a security code, set up Touch ID, connect to a WiFi network, etc.
- IMPORTANT: When asked if you want to use a backup, choose “Set as new iPhone or iPad”.
Los números no mienten, un test hecho durante años demuestra que Apple no relentiza los iPhone antiguos.
Disable Find My iPhone in Settings , Apple ID , iCloud , Find My iPhone You will be prompted for your Apple ID password.
By choosing the latter, we will have our device as fresh out of the box . No apps installed and no possible bugs that have been dragged into backups. By entering our Apple ID and iCloud credentials, we’ll retrieve all contacts, notes, movie tickets, airplane tickets, and health data. Safari tabs should also be in iCloud with the name of your iPhone or iPad before restoration.
But we will have to configure ringtones, wallpapers, install third party apps as well as your credentials. Not to mention the photos and music we want to have on the device. With these steps, you should have a device with less or none of those annoying errors . In the case of the iPhone 5 that I mentioned at the beginning, it is much faster than before and we have recovered some storage space.