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I have a iPhone 4, which is IOS 4.3.3. Now i need to upgrade it to the latest OS version, WITHOUT deleting any data. I have not tried to update my phone contacts in the last few years fearing it would delete the data. Can someone help me out?

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Okay, let me walk you through it step-by-step. The first thing we'll need to do is sync. Then we will backup, and then put the new OS on.

Syncing

  1. Take your iPhone and plug it into your computer (using the charging cable that came with it)(it should have a USB, and iPhone connector)
  2. If iTunes does not automatically pop-up on your computer screen within 1 minute of pluging in, click the icon for iTunes on your computer.
  3. In iTunes, your iPhone should pop-up after a few minutes. Make sure that you are syncing all that you will want when the whole process is over. Go to the different tabs on top to make sure that you are syncing apps, notes, calendars, etc... Once you know that you are syncing all that you want, you must look for the sync button (it should be located at the bottom-right of iTunes within your device "Summary" page). Click it.
  4. To be extra careful, once the sync is over, you should click sync again (this will ensure that you have successfully synced your iPhone).

Backing Up

  1. Now you will want to Backup your iPhone to make sure that you won't lose any of your note, calendars, and so on. To do this, click the "Summary" tab in iTunes which will display a picture of an iPhone. After this, scroll down to the "Backups" section of this page, and finally, click "Back Up Now".
  2. Once this is done, you should probably do it again to ensure that your information has been successfully backed up. Just follow the same steps above.
  3. Finally, move on to the step shown below.

Upgrading iOS

  1. Now, in the same "Summary" page, scroll down to the "Version" section of the page. In here (IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL STEPS ABOVE), click "Check For Update". In the window that appears, click "Download and Update".
  2. Confirm all of the following prompts that appear (Terms and Conditions, and so on...), and let it do its thing.
  3. Have a cup of Hot Chocolate and wait for the download to finish. Once this has occurred, confirm any other prompts that appear (if they do).
  4. Watch a little TV while you wait for the OS to update into your iPhone.
  5. Once it is done doing this, it will restore the information into your phone and do a sync automatically in order to put in your apps and everything.
  6. Once you get any indication that it was finished (MAKE SURE THAT IT IS FINISHED)(IT USUALLY TAKES ABOUT A DAY FOR THE WHOLE PROCESS TO FINISH), unplug your phone and enjoy.
  7. Take a break! Go to bed, have a cup of tea, whatever! You now feel wiped out, and wish you never had asked...Don't worry about it, you now have the latest iOS.
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Upgrades aren't supposed to delete data, but you can't really test if your data is corrupt, so you need to perform and test your backup if you fear losing data.

You might want to test your backup on a new device (borrow one from a friend) before your upgrade yours to see how your exact data does on the current "latest" OS.

That way you can wait or correct things (sync elsewhere, back up to paper, fix the corruption, etc…) before you upgrade.

Again, you could just upgrade and cross your fingers, but it's more about your data than the upgrade causing millions of people to lose data. Only the people with problems in their specific device or settings/data have issues when upgrading and it's hard to know if you are going to experience pain until attempting the task.

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protected by bmike Aug 1 '16 at 10:32

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