Restore vs update
If youd like to restore your devicethat is, do a fresh install of iOS 6 and then, optionally, restore your apps, settings, and other datayou can do so from iTunes. Click the Restore button instead of Check For Update in the Summary screen for your device. This makes iTunes download iOS 6, as described above, but instead of performing an in-place update, iTunes erases your entire device and installs the new OS with factory-default settings. At the end of the process, you can set it up as a new device, restore it from an iTunes backup, or restore it from an iCloud backup.
Restore your device using your computer: If you dont have much time to restore your device, its best to do it directly in iTunes, as its much faster to restore via USB than it is over the air via iCloud. So, if you keep your iOS device connected to iTunes after restoring, youll see a screen asking if you want to set it up as a new device or restore it from a local backup. (You cant restore from an iCloud backup within iTunes, unfortunately.)
If you want to restore from a backup, choose Restore From The Backup Of, and then use the pop-up menu to choose the desired backup. Click Continue, and iTunes restores that data and syncs with your device. If you truly want to start from scratch, instead choose Set Up As A New typeofdevice. Youll be asked to give your device a name and then choose whether to automatically sync songs and videos, photos, and/or apps to your device. Make your selections and click Done, and then iTunes performs its first sync. Once its complete, the setup process continueson your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touchjust as if youd performed an update without restoring.
Restore using your device: If you choose to restore wirelessly, your device will take a little longer to restore your apps and data from the server, but you dont have to sit tethered to a desk for the entire process.
Disconnect your device from iTunes after restoring, and youll perform the rest of the setup procedure on the device itself. It greets you with a welcome screen displaying the message Slide to set up in a variety of different languages. (If you need quick access to your devices IMEI or ICCID number without setting up the phoneuseful for developers and business customerstap the information button located directly above the slider.)
Slide the switch to the right, and the device asks you to pick your language and country, as well as choose whether to enable Location Services. This allows Apple apps (and third-party apps) to access your location via Wi-Fi networks and your GPS (Global Positioning System) location. (You can configure this in more detail from the Settings app at any point.)
Your device checks for any Wi-Fi networks in the area that it can connect to; choose a Wi-Fi network, or set up your device using 3G (if it has a 3G card) by tapping the Next button. From here, you have three choices: You can set it up as a new device, restore it from an iCloud backup, or restore it from an iTunes backup.
If you want to start from scratch after upgrading to iOS 6maybe youre giving this device to a family member, or youve received it as a giftyou need to set up your device from scratch. To do so, the first thing you need to decide is whether to supply an Apple ID (or create one, if you dont have one). You use your Apple ID to buy music, apps, and books from the iBookstore, and you can associate it with iCloud if you want to.
If you have an iTunes backup and disconnected your device from your computer after you restored it, select this option and reconnect to your computer. iTunes then takes you through steps similar to those outlined in Restore your device using your computer up above.
If you have an iCloud account and youve previously backed up your device to iCloud, Restore from iCloud lets you restore that data directly to your device without having to connect to a computer. Choose Restore From iCloud Backup, tap Next, and enter your iCloud Apple ID and password. Agree to the iCloud terms and conditions by tapping Agree (twice), and your device displays all compatible iCloud-hosted backups. Be sure to pick the correct backup here, as the list may include backups for other devices you own.
Choose the desired backup and tap Restore, and then waitthe process can take anywhere from a few minutes to many hours, depending on how many apps youd installed and how much data you had stored in those apps. (Restoring from an iTunes backup is much faster than restoring from iCloud, which is why many people back up to iTunes periodically even if they normally back up to iCloud.)
When the restore is finished, your device restarts, and you see a screen explaining that you have a few more steps to followbut its generally only one: Tap Continue and reenter your Apple ID password; you see a message that your iCloud settings are being updated, and then a screen with a Start Using device button. After that, your purchased apps and media restore over the Wi-Fi connection.
Set up your iOS device
Its astoundingly simple to set up your device on iOS 6: You just answer a few questions.
Depending on whether you updated your device to iOS 6 from iOS 5 or restored it from scratch, there are a few screens to page through. You may be asked if you want to enable Location Services: This allows apps (from both Apple and third-party developers) to access your location via Wi-Fi networks, cellular-data towers, and your GPS (Global Positioning System) location. (Note that even if you enable this option, youll be able to control access to your location for each of your apps.)
Following that, your device may check for any Wi-Fi networks in the area that your device can connect to; if there arent any, or if youre on an iPhone or a 3G-enabled iPad and would rather use your cellular service, just tap the Next button. Youll then be asked to associate an Apple ID.
Associate an Apple ID: If youve ever purchased something from the iTunes Store, youve signed up for an Apple IDits usually your primary email address. Your login information for Apples MobileMe or iCloud service should also work for signing in.
If you already have an Apple ID, tap the Sign In With An Apple ID button and enter your username (usually your email address) and password. Apple then spends a few moments linking your device to your Apple ID. If you dont have an Apple ID, its easy enough to create one by tapping the Create A Free Apple ID button. You then enter your birthday, name, and email address (or you can create a new iCloud email address), as well as a password, a security question (in case you forget your password), and whether youd like to receive email updates from Apple.
And if youd rather not set up an Apple ID, you can tap the Skip This Step button in the lower right corner. You can always add or create an ID from the Settings app later, but note that you wont be able to buy anything on the iTunes Store or set up iCloud until you do.
Set up iCloud: If youve chosen to set up or register an Apple ID, you can also enable iCloud on your device. iCloud is an umbrella term for Apples collection of sync services, which allow you to sync your photos, apps, contacts, calendars, and mail across multiple devices.
Choose to set up iCloud, and youll first be asked whether youd like to enable iCloud backups for your device. If you do so, you can have your device back up all essential settings to your iCloud account; if you ever need to restore, you can do so over Wi-Fi without needing a computer. (Of course, if youd rather back up to your computer, you can always elect to have iTunes back up your device.)
Additionally, youll be asked whether youd like to opt in to iClouds Find My iPhone service. This enables location monitoring for your device, allowing you to find it using your Apple ID and the Find My iPhone app should it go missing.
If you have a device that can use Siri, Apples new personal voice assistant, youll also be asked if you want to use it. You can toggle Siri on or off from this initial setup screen, but you can always change your preferences from the Settings app at a later date.
Once you finish the setup process, you see a screen asking if your device can automatically send diagnostic and usage information to Apple to help Apple improve its products and services. Choose Automatically Send or Dont Send, and then tap Next, and you see the aforementioned Start Using device screen. Congratulations! Youre ready to begin using iOS 6.