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

Apple just released iOS 16.1 for iPhone.

The latest software update for the iPhone, which was released on Monday, brings bug fixes, minor improvements and new features such as Live Activities for sports and other real-time events, and iCloud Shared Photo Library to more easily share photos and videos with friends and family. It even offers a few clean power charging options to reduce your carbon footprint.

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iOS 16.1 also brings a long-awaited overhaul of the new battery percentage indicator, that many users disliked on iOS 16.

Read on for a step-by-step guide on the process of setting up iOS 16.1 on your Compatible iPhones. You can also check out some of the best existing features on iOS 16 and some hidden features we were surprised to find. And if you recently bought a new iPhone, here is the best iPhone 14 cases to date.


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Before we start, is your iPhone even compatible?

Unfortunately, not all iPhones will receive the iOS 16.1 update. You need at least an iPhone 8, released in 2017, to run iOS 16. This also includes iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone SE (second generation and above), and the new iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 will come preinstalled with iOS 16.

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Then backup your iPhone

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Getting your hands on new software can be exciting, but there are some precautions you should take before updating. You may not be satisfied with some of the features offered by iOS 16.1 (although you can fix some of the more annoying), so you must be able to downgrade to iOS 16 for some reason – and that requires you to back up your iPhone before updating.

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

Moreover, you can back up your iPhone via Finder on your Mac. Simply connect your device to your computer, open Finder, choose your device, then create a backup. Apple also recommends archiving your backup, so it won’t be overwritten by other backups.

Make sure you also 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 16.1 if you’re under 50% battery, so it’s best to just plug in your phone while the update is in progress.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi. You also won’t be able to download iOS 16.1 with cellular data, so connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  • Free up enough storage space. If you’re running out of storage space, you’ll need to free some up before you can download and install iOS 16.1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to delete large files and applications.

Here is a guide on how to get more iPhone storage.

How to download and install iOS 16.1

Now once you have everything set, open your iPhone and go to Settings > General > Software update, wait a few seconds (or minutes) for the update to appear, then hit Download and install for iOS 16.1.

iOS 16.1 download page

You can also use the Finder on your Mac to download iOS 16.1 on your iPhone.

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 16.1 to install. When your iPhone boots up, follow the instructions and you should then see iOS 16.1 downloaded to your device.

To learn more about the new operating system, here is an overview of all the best new features available on iOS 16as well as some of cool hidden features you might not know about.