iOS 9 icon

Tomorrow, after months of arduous testing, the final version of iOS 9 goes live to the public. Major iOS releases are always a big deal, and as such, it’s best to plan your upgrade strategy beforehand.

If you’re jailbroken, that adds yet another level of complexity to your decision making come go-live day. In this post, I’ll show you how to properly prepare for iOS 9 regardless of whether or not you’re jailbroken.

Decide if you want to keep your jailbreak

If you’re jailbroken, now is the time to decide if wish to keep your jailbreak. If you decide to update to iOS 9, you will lose your jailbreak. Since there’s currently no jailbreak available for iOS 9, and no clear indication as to when there will be an iOS 9 jailbreak, you’re going to have to make such a decision with care.

If you want to keep your jailbreak then it’s pretty much business as usual. You won’t need to do anything come go-live time.

If you decide to update to iOS 9, you’ll need to perform a complete restore of your device. Jailbroken devices are not eligible for OTA updates via Settings → General →  Software Update.

Fresh restore versus OTA?

If you’re not currently jailbroken, you’ll have the option of updating using the OTA upgrade via Settings → General →  Software Update. While that’s certainly a valid option, I always like to perform fresh and clean restores for major iOS updates. For incremental updates like iOS 9.1, I’m totally fine with using the OTA update.

It’s not wrong to OTA update to a major version of iOS, or else Apple would never allow users to do so. But there’s something in my mind that makes me prefer to do a fresh and clean restore for major releases. It’s like starting with a clean slate, which is really nice for such a gargantuan software release like iOS 9. The choice is up to you, but I personally prefer fresh updates over OTA updates for major iOS versions.

Backup your device

Be sure to perform a backup via iTunes or via iCloud. Backups allow you to save all of your apps and data that isn’t stored in iCloud. If you decide to do a restore, the backup will allow you to safely remove your apps and data.

After the restore is complete, you’ll be asked during the initial iOS 9 setup process if you’d like to set up as a new device, or restore from backup. Choose restore from backup, and find your iCloud backup. If you backed up to iTunes instead, you can use the option for iTunes backup restores.

Even if you’re doing an OTA update, an update in which none of your data or apps should be lost, it’s good to perform a backup beforehand just to be safe. That way, in case something goes wonky during the OTA update process, you can simply perform a full restore and thereafter recover your data and apps.

If you’re already running the iOS 9 GM…

The iOS 9 public release that drops tomorrow will be the same iOS update that dropped last week. That’s right, barring any last minute changes, the GM seed of the iOS beta released to both the public and developers is the same version of iOS that will be released tomorrow.

What does this mean? That means that if you’re currently running the GM version of iOS 9, you’re already running the latest version of iOS 9. That said, you won’t receive any notifications for an update, because you already have the update.

In the future, when Apple releases iOS 9.0.1 or iOS 9.1, you’ll be able to update via Settings → General →  Software Update. Think of it as if you’re merging from the parallel running developer lane into the public lane.

Download a copy of iOS 8.4.1

If for some reason you end up despising iOS 9, or encounter any other weird circumstances that makes you want to go back to iOS 8, you should be able to downgrade back to iOS 8.4.1 for a period of time. Apple usually keeps its signing window for older firmware open for about a week, so it’s important that you downgrade as soon as possible if you decide that you wish to do so.

You can download iOS 8.4.1 from our downloads page, and you can downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8.4.1 by connecting to iTunes, holding the Option key, and clicking Restore. We’ll likely post a tutorial showing you how to downgrade just in case you want more help in doing so.

And that folks, are five steps that you should consider before go-live time tomorrow. Are there any other tips that you have to add to this list? If so, feel free to drop some knowledge down below in our comments section.

  • No iOS 9 for me 2day. Love my JB, will wait for my 6s plus and we’ll see later in with my new iPhone how iOS 9 will be (tried the Beta, at the last 8.4 possibility went back for a JB)

  • Alan Osborne

    It’s always a tough decision whether or not to keep my JB or not when big iOS updates like this drop. iOS 9 has a lot of good features with it, and seems pretty solid. But to me, nothing beats a good, solid, JB-iOS.

  • Juan Genao

    So I have Beta 9.1 running on my iPhone now, I supposed the new phone will arrive with 9.0.

    I’ve backed up on my computers using itunes. Will I be able just to restore from itunes to my new phone immediate or will I have to get on the Beta version on the new phone then do the restore?

    • You generally can’t restore from backup in reverse (newer iOS → older iOS). Well, you can with a little bit of trickery, but yeah… It’s been a while since I’ve done that so I’m not going to recommend it. Best best it to go 1:1.

  • Matt

    I can surely say my iPhone 5 stays on iOS 8 until further notice. I just love my jailbreak that I’m probably not going to update until an iOS 9 untether drops. Guess I’ll get to enjoy iOS 9 on my future-iPhone 6S haha

    • Kenrick Fernandes

      isn’t ios 8 on the iphone 5 slow. I tried it and immediately downgraded. Also i have heard alot of complaints in terms of lagginess(animations, slowness,battery draining) of the ios 8 on iphone 5 bad. I tried it myself and i agree. However you seem to be having a fine experience of ios 8

      • Matt

        Well battery wise it is horrible but other than that it runs pretty good. Decent experience overall I would say, plus, when you’re jailbroken you can basically control all sorts of things so no problems here. The only thing that bothers me is low RAM but that’s more of a hardware issue really.

  • rockdude094

    Hmm not sure about the performance on the 5s… anyone tested it out on it ? Its pretty fast and snappy on iOS 8 and jailbroken, but I want to see iOS 9 features- First world problems -.-

    • Stephaughn Alston

      I did a clean install of iOS 9.1 and it runs great.

      • Ank24

        how did you perform clean install of iOS 9.1?… please help me with that!

      • Stephaughn Alston

        Do you have a developer account?

      • Ank24

        No.using public beta

      • Stephaughn Alston

        I’m using my developer account so I can just download the file. From what I seen on the public beta website it looks like you can only download to the device when you install the profile.

  • JulianZH

    jb pretty useless to me. updating it asap 😀

  • Christian

    If i want WatchOS 2 I have to updgrade to iOS 9?

    • Yep.

      • Christian

        Oh God! My Jailbreak will be sacrificed for the first Time WatchOS 2 is a Must Have!

      • omakad

        Yup. Same here.

      • Roto

        Hi Jeff, I’m on the 9.1 beta. Do you think when 9GM comes out releases, it will wiggle into the 9.1 I’m currently running? (I’m guessing 9.1 is barely changed from 9.0 from what I’ve noticed so far). Or will I be unable to merge from the (slightly off skew) parallel lane? I’m going to receive my 6s next week so either way I’m guessing I’ll be having to do something. Hope I make sense, kinda lost even myself a little lol Oh and by the way, is it just me or does typing text totally freeze for several moments after typing
        ( ←open bracket. I switch from English to Japanese a lot too and my iMessage sometimes totally freezes and doesn’t allow me to type any text, needing force reset (sometimes several times) before resuming as normal.

  • I hope they increase the 25,000 song limit. Right now I can’t sync my music and Apple Music because I have more than the max allowed. I gues this means I can do a clean install of iOS 9 either.

    • rockdude094

      25000 … 😐

    • James G

      There was talk about increasing this limit with iOS 9…I thought Eddy Cue tweeted about something similar?

    • besrate hogsa

      wow! that is a lot

  • Abdul

    Hi guys sorry but completely off topic. I just wanted your advice on the best wireless charger for my iphone 6. Ive seen a lot but i cannot decide. Would love some opinions. Thank you

    • Chinch07

      I bought a Ubest Qi recieving adapter on Amazon that is paper thin and slid it between my iPhone and the case I use. It fits in any case it’s so thin and gives the iPhone wireless charging. That was ~$15 USD. Then I bought a wireless Qi charger from GMYLE on Amazon for ~$15 USD. Was worth it because I also needed a wireless charger for my Nexus 6.

      • Abdul

        Ok thnx bud

  • Hades666


    • Roto

      Yes the latest update for AppleWatch (WatchOS2) currently requires iOS9 from the connected iPhone it’s synced with.

  • Tylor Jackson

    I can’t think I need going to update ios 9 gm or stayed ios 8.4.1 :/ because I want to rejailbreak my ipad mini 3… But I don’t know when jailbreak release ios 8.4.1 or 9.0 or both.. :/

    • Siddharth Desai

      I highly doubt there will be a jailbreak from iOS 8.4.1

  • Vijay Kumar Gauba

    What’s app not working on IOS 9.1. Any suggestions?

    • Elias Chao

      Go back to 8.4.1 or 9.0.

    • Dany Quirion

      It is working

  • Vijay Kumar Gauba

    Jeff, please suggest how to go back to iOS 9 from iOS 9.1 with fully back up restoration.

    • besrate hogsa

      if you are doing this today
      you can restore from from ios 9.1 beta 1 to ios 8.4.1
      tomorrow is a different story
      today you can’t restore from ios 9.1 to ios 9.0

    • Blip dude

      Tomorrow, just plug device to iTunes and do a full clean restore.

  • Roto

    I’ve always felt JB is the true beta! I haven’t jailbroken for a while but I always admire some of the phenomenal development that goes on in the scene – oft times showing true pioneers in the smartphone space. Let’s hope the mainstream can continue to benefit from incorporated stuff laid down in tweaks etc and let’s not hope it takes as long as iOS 12 to realise it! lol one of the tweaks I’ve missed the most is swipe selection and, I forgot the name, bounce notifications? Those were truly fantastic. I’m praying the 6s will have the swipe selection-like feature (hopefully with highlighting text also possible). Bounce notification isn’t vital but it’s just so cool!

  • singhay559

    Nothing beats a jb iphone. Too much functionality to loose when you go stock ios.

  • besrate hogsa

    I will update to ios 9 and wait for a jailbreak
    I always do this and it works for me

  • Omar Ruiz

    will it drop at midnight or like at 9am or something?

    • Dany Quirion

      1 pm EST like always

  • James G

    Can’t wait to do a completely fresh start on iOS 9 with an iPhone 6s Plus. I’m not going to restore ANYTHING. Just sign into iCloud, download the apps as I want/need them that I’ve already bought, and download my iCloud Photo Library to the device.

    Tired of migrating Messages, and app data and all that other stuff.

    • Alberto Espinal

      How about the contacts James? I always wanted to do that but theres apps like Video Safe that has lots of videos shshsh 😉

      • James G

        those come back from iCloud.

  • Manuel Molina

    Not sure why people get all gitty about new iOS softwares and the new features in when they have a jailbroken phone that can add all the features from Cydia. Sometimes I wonder if people like to just royally f themselves up or want to something new to do with upgrading and than downgrading.

  • Sleetui

    I hope a video comparison of iOS 9 running on multiple iOS device’s get’s released. All tested performance-wise etc. Especially on an iPhone 5S ;D

  • Dany Quirion

    The ios 9 gm is horrible it drains my battery hopes it is fixed in public version

    • Martynet

      My GM works fine. No battery drain

  • I am on iOS 9.1, does anybody know a way I can downgrade (without losing my data) ? I know there’s a way because I remember I saw it somewhere, but can’t remember how or where I did see it.

    • Siddharth Desai

      There is no way to restore your data from iOS 9.1 to iOS 9.0

  • Andrew Hildebrand

    Honesty this is why I don’t jailbreak anymore, because I know that it won’t last forever because I always want to update my phone.

  • HamptonWalley

    I had ios 9.1 beta 1 installed, backed up everything, than I went back to ios 8.4.1. However I cannot restore my backup, because iTunes saying software is too old on my iphone for restore. What can I do now?

    • K3NSH1R0

      Did you not archive your backup before you upgraded to 9.1?
      If not I think you’re stuck unless someone knows a work around.

  • 9to5Slavery

    When will it be out?

    • Sailor_V90

      iOS 9 comes out today (09/16/15) at 10am PDT.

  • Sailor_V90

    For conformation, if I back my iPad up via my iMac or iCloud and then do a fresh install of iOS 9, then restore my iPad from said backup, my games and everything else will continue where I left off? Because I do not want to do a fresh install and lose all my game info that cannot be saved via cloud or backup.

    • K3NSH1R0

      Yup it will be like you never did anything, I can vouch for that as I did a clean install them back up when I upgraded to the GM

  • faisal

    what could really be helpful here.. if someone could point out to me if its possible to partially restore from my backup. wouldnt really need the whole backup, messages and the notes is all i need, everything else i would just download again. but definitely updating to ios9.

    • Gary LE

      Same questiin here. Can i pick the apps i want on the fresh ios 9 so i can continue were i left off?

      Lets say i want to continue a game where i left off so can I just download that app?

  • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

    Just talked to Apple Australia. My 6s will be delivered on 25th September. WoW!

  • In my contry the cost of apple watch sport edtion is 750$

  • Xee

    Is Live Photo part of iOS 9 or only for iPhone 6s/6s Plus?

    • Troy

      Only 6S and 6S Plus

  • Randy Wagner

    Are you suggesting using erase all content and settings or using reset all settings before installing ios9?

    • Matt

      If you are jailbrokren – no. That’ll throw you into a boot loop. Better do a fresh DFU restore.

      • Randy Wagner

        Why would I do that?

  • Shrey Gupta

    Had installed public beta certificate from Apple’s site but never installed any beta version on my iPad. Now I have a beta update sitting in my iPad’s settings.

    Will I be able to see the iOS 9 tonight? I have already removed the beta certificate but the update is still there.

    What options do I have?

  • Is there a decent solution to backing up JB info yet? Such as tweaks, sources etc for a one click install once the JB drops

  • Mike

    I think people with jailbroken iphone’s should be able to perform an OTA update without itunes ie. By using “Cydia impactor” tweak from Cydia to unjailbreak their device first and then perform OTA update.

  • DZSlasher

    Trying to decide whether to lose my jailbreak so that I can 10% cash back on discover card? Tough decision.

  • iPhoneWINS

    lol @ “deciding wether to keep your jailbreak..”… i cannot use a damn IOS device without a jailbreak

  • 🙂

  • ^_^

  • 3_3

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  • Guy

    When the release time frame for the East Coast

  • pzp1997

    Technically the Gold Master and the public version of iOS 9.0 are not the same. The GM’s build number is 13A340 and the public version of iOS 9 has a build number of 13A344 (except for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which have build numbers 13A343 and 13A342 respectively). That being said, all of the versions are probably practically identical.

  • Hitch

    You could have told us to encrypt the backup on itunes….I lost all my Health app data