iOS 12 brings many new features to both iPhone and iPad, but before we show you how you can upgrade, we recommend backing up your iPhone or iPad in case anything goes wrong. 

To find out the latest news and see what's new, check out 11 of the best new features in iOS 12.

iOS 12 supported devices

Before your hopes are dashed, these are the devices that support iOS 12:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first and second gen)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad (2017)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod Touch 6th gen

The following devices are not supported on iOS 12: Original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, original iPod touch, iPod touch 2nd-gen, iPod touch 3rd-gen, iPod touch 4th-gen, iPod touch 5th-gen, original iPad. iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPad 4.

Back up first!

The Public Beta of iOS 12 is now available, and it's completely free to try.

It's unwise to do this on your main iPhone, as beta software is - by definition - unfinished and may contain bugs. Early reports suggest it is stable and usable, however.

WARNING: Before you do anything, make a full backup of your device. This is very important, since without a backup you cannot go back to iOS 11 with all your apps and stuff intact. A full backup means using iTunes and entering a password so that all your login details will be preserved.

Update apps

Before you install iOS 12, there are a couple of housekeeping jobs to do. First, make sure all your apps are updated. Like iOS 11, iOS 12 supports only 64-bit apps.

Also, be sure to sign out of banking apps, or check with your bank if you need to do anything before upgrading. 

This is because some apps, particularly financial ones, use a 'digital key' that's locked to the hardware and software, and won't work if you upgrade iOS.

To update apps, open the App Store and tap 'Updates' at the bottom right. By default, updates install automatically, but you can tap 'UPDATE' on any pending updates before upgrading to iOS 12.

Free up storage

Now check if you have enough free storage space as the update has to temporarily store the download.

You can check how much space is available by tapping Settings > General > Usage. The list of apps will tell you which ones are using up your phone or tablet’s storage. Typically, it will be the Photos app, which is full of your snaps and videos.

You should copy these to your PC and then delete those you don’t need on your device to free up space.

Videos use up the most space, but beware that these aren’t backed up to your iCloud Photo Stream as only photos are included. To back up videos, you need to use iCloud Photo Library, which sounds similar, but syncs all your photos and videos across all your devices. (Hint: it's under iCloud settings on your phone).

Finally, make sure your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is fully backed up to iCloud or your computer via iTunes before performing the update. It's unlikely anything will go wrong, but if it does, you could lose any data that's changed since your last backup such as new contacts, documents, photos, videos and more. 

Enrol device

To install the beta you will need to enroll your iPhone or iPad. To do that, go to beta.apple.com and enter your Apple ID.

The way you enrol your device is by installing a 'profile' on it from the same website, so go to the same site on your device using the Safari web browser, but browse to this exact page beta.apple.com/profile

A pop-up will ask if you want to install the profile, so accept it, and tap Install when prompted.

If you were on the Public Beta for a previous version of iOS, you'll need to go to Settings > General > Profile and remove the profile already installed before you can install the new profile for iOS 12.

When the iOS 12 profile is installed, go to Settings > General > Software update and you should see that iOS 12 is ready to download.

Final iOS 12

When the final version of iOS 12 is released in September 2018, there are two ways to update your iPhone or iPad: over the air (via Wi-Fi) or through iTunes.

The easiest way is over the air. Open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update.

If iOS 12 is available, you'll see the option to download it. If not, just be patient and wait a while before checking again. 

When iOS 12 is first released, Apple sends pop-up messages to tell users it's ready to download.

Via iTunes

If you don't want to update via Wi-Fi, the other option is to use iTunes. 

You'll need to connect your device to a computer running iTunes. You should update iTunes to the latest version (currently 12.6.2) before connecting your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

To do this, launch iTunes and from the Help menu, click Check for Updates.

Once you have the latest iTunes, connect your device, unlock it and tap 'Trust' when asked if you want to trust this computer.

In iTunes, you should display a message saying a software update is available.

If you don't see this, simply click on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch icon, then click the Check for Update button.

You'll be prompted to download and install the update - make sure you don't disconnect your device before the upgrade process is finished.