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I'm trying to upgrade to iOS 9 from iOS 7 on a 5C but the upgrade process is frozen at "Slide to upgrade".

Reboot just restarts one view or two before "slide to upgrade" screen.

My iCloud backup is out of date due to storage issues (it wouldn't fit in the free allotment) and I can't create one ("device has not been configured") using iTunes so I can't do a restore without losing my data.

  • You never synced your phone with iTunes before? – nohillside Sep 17 '15 at 18:38
  • The iCloud backup is out of date (exceeded storage limit). There is no existing backup to computer. – slidetoupgrade Sep 17 '15 at 18:52
  • I've updated my answer to link to Apple's official aknowledgement of the problem and what to do to fix it. – bmike Sep 21 '15 at 22:47
  • @slidetoupgrade So what have you done with it? – Paul Brewczynski Sep 22 '15 at 19:38
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Apparently this is a known problem when updating from iOS 7 devices straight to iOS 9.

Apple has posted a workaround, which should help you out:

If the Slide to Upgrade screen won't go away after you update to iOS 9.

I'm not posting the text verbatim, in case Apple improves their answer.

Note that you will need a computer to connect the device to, to make a local backup.

Edit 2015-09-23

Apple have released iOS 9.0.1 which according to this report

address issues users have experienced with the Setup Assistant app getting stuck on “Slide to Upgrade.”

I am guessing it will still be necessary to connect to a computer any iOS devices that are stuck at "Slide to upgrade".

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If you havent saved your pictures,you can actually save them. When you're on the screen that says,update completed(before the choose wifi screen), you can connect it to your computer and it will recognise the iphone,you can click the ''trust this computer'' as if you iphone was on main screen. There, when your computer see's your phone,you can look up the files and copy them to the computer, Then do the restore since the pictures are now saved in the computer.

  • That's great, pictures are one of the most important pieces of data to a user. However, there are a number of other pieces of data that would be pretty painful to lose. – slidetoupgrade Sep 17 '15 at 22:54
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You may need to connect the device to iTunes and update/restore it from there. See iTunes help and search for restore or follow this link - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205239.

The above article covers your specific "slide to upgrade" issue.


The good news is that you should be able to connect your phone to iTunes and make a back up even in the state that it's in. There are only three steps in the article above, so definitely try that first.

If you can't get iTunes to trust your device, then you might call AppleCare to see if there's any other option. Since Apple acknowledges that this issue will be fixed in the future version of iOS, they can best advise you how long to wait or if they can help you back up your device.

AppleCare has training in and can certainly guide you in searching for potential backups.

  • contacts and calendar data stored / synced online
  • iCloud backups
  • computer backups or syncs
  • data that's stored in iCloud and that will re-apply to the device once you wipe it and render it operational

Here are the wipe instructions if you're ready to concede backup is not practical and want to get back to using the phone should everything else above fail you.

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Download and restore your device to iOS 8.4.1 through iTunes (you may have to put your device in DFU mode). Then try to update to iOS 9 again.

You can download iOS 8.4.1 here: https://ipsw.me/8.4.1

This will only work for a short time as the signing window for 8.4.1 will close soon enough.

  • I don't have a backup and can't create one ("device has not been configured") – slidetoupgrade Sep 17 '15 at 18:34
  • @slidetoupgrade Sadly, your window to make a backup is likely past. I'll add an answer, but you may be out of luck. – bmike Sep 17 '15 at 18:49

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