Always have a backup before updating your operating system.

Getting ready for iOS 9? It's always a good idea to make sure you've backed up your iPhone and iPad first. While you likely won't see any data loss after an upgrade, software glitches can and do happen; additionally, when testing a beta, certain things may not work like they used to. As such, it's worth it to protect your data before you embark upon an update.

Thankfully, backing your device up to iCloud or iTunes is easy enough and can give you peace of mind in knowing that if something does go wrong, all your data is protected. An iCloud backup is the easiest way to make sure your data is protected, though we recommend an encrypted iTunes backup before upgrading your operating system—it's the only backup that also stores your account passwords and Health data.

How to make an encrypted backup of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iTunes

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer via USB.
  2. Open iTunes and click on the device icon in the tab bar.
  3. In the Summary section, scroll to Backups.

  4. Change the Automatically Back Up section to This computer, and click the box labeled Encrypt iPhone backups. You'll have to create a password to do so if you've never made an encrypted backup before.
  5. Under Manually Back Up and Restore, click Back Up Now.

How to make a backup of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iCloud

iCloud backups should automatically happen at least once a day: They trigger when your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is plugged in and on Wi-Fi. That said, here's how to make sure you have an up-to-the-minute backup solution.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Select iCloud.

  3. Tap Backup.
  4. Turn On iCloud backup under the Backup section if it isn't already — if it is, skip to step 5.
  5. Tap on Back Up Now.

  6. Wait for your backup to complete before updating.

That's all there is to it! You can now upgrade your devices without fear. Keep in mind: If you want to back up to iCloud, you must first have an iCloud account and be signed in to it. If you don't and aren't sure how to make one, here's how to go about doing it.

Ally Kazmucha contributed to an earlier version of this article.