You were super excited about downloading the latest version of Apple iOS 8 – that is until, you realized that you had to delete a ton of data from your iPhone to make room for the update. It’s not that iOS 8 occupies a ton of storage on your iPhone or iPad (iTunes says the file is about 1.2GB), but rather that the download itself needs up to 5.7GB of free storage to be completed. (For me this was a welcomed challenge, since I’ve had about 4,500 photos on my phone and needed to purge it immediately.) But for others, there’s an easier way around the iOS 8 download without deleting any of your photos, music or data at all.
But before you start deleting everything you’ve ever saved, there’s a very easy solution: Sync your iPhone or iPad to the computer and download iOS 8 directly from there. This won’t suck up any space on your device, and you can manually transfer the new software back to your device. Updating via your PC or Mac is more reliable way to upgrade, versus OTA (over-the-air), which is performed directly on the device.
If you’re taking this alternate route, be sure to select “check for update” when the prompt pops up on iTunes — not “restore iPhone.” The latter option will indeed wipe all content from your device.
For those who haven’t downloaded the software yet, we recommend backing up your data via iCloud before you start. If anything, the 5.7GB requirement to update to iOS 8 is a subtle nudge from Apple that you may need to splurge for the 64GB device next time. (Smooth move, Apple. smooth move indeed.)