Apple iPhone 7 Operating System and Software Guide: How to check for updates, install iOS updates, update carrier settings, update PRL, factory reset, restore iOS via recovery mode

This post demonstrates different device management procedures that will help keep your #Apple iPhone 7 (#iPhone7) software more stable and efficient. The new iOS flagship smartphone comes with the latest iOS version, the iOS 10. This iOS operating system is packed with various software enhancements as well as new features and functions that promise every iPhone owner with the best possible iPhone experience.

Apple iPhone 7 system guide

Just recently, Apple has rolled another iOS software patch in the form of iOS 10.2. It contains software enhancements as well as bug fixes to existing issues affecting the iPhone 7 software and overall functionalities. Should you need further assistance on how to get the latest software updates, update carrier settings, PRL, or perform a system reset on your new iPhone, this content might be able to help you out. Keep reading to learn how to keep your iPhone system sturdy with proper software management.

To give you an idea of what this guide is all about, here is a list of topics covered in this content along with quick links:


  • Check and Install Software Update
  • Update iPhone 7 via iTunes

  • Update iPhone 7 wirelessly (OTA)

  • Update PRL on iPhone 7

  • Update carrier settings on iPhone 7

  • Factory Reset or Master reset an iPhone 7

  • Factory Reset or Erase your lost iPhone 7 via Find My iPhone

  • Restore iPhone 7 Operating System using Recovery Mode

But before you jump in to any of these device management topics, you might as well consider navigating to our iPhone 7 Troubleshooting Page to view more tutorials and troubleshooting guides especially  if you have issues with your device. Try to find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you, then contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to Check and Install Software Update on your iPhone 7

Software updates generally integrate new features and enhancements to certain features and functions of your iPhone. And so, keeping your iPhone iOS up-to-date is highly recommended so as to get all the benefits of the latest iOS. There are different ways for you to update operating system on your iPhone including using iTunes, Wi-Fi or over your carrier’s wireless network (OTA).

Important Note: Before you begin downloading and installing an iOS update for your device, make sure your battery is fully charged. Also, if you are not using iTunes, make sure you are getting a strong and stable cellular network or Wi-Fi signal to avoid any interruption during the process.

Follow these steps to check for software updates available for your iPhone 7:

  • Tap Settings from the Home screen to begin.
  • Scroll to and tap General from the Settings menu options.
  • Tap Software Update to continue.
  • If an update is available, just follow the onscreen instructions to proceed with software update download and installation.

The latest iOS version available is iOS 10.2. It introduces new features including the TV app, Emoji, Photos, Messages, Music, News, and Mail. It is also packed with enhancements to your iPhone’s accessibility feature along with fixes to any existing software bugs and glitches. Read on if you want to get the latest update for your iPhone and need further assistance in the process.

You can update your iPhone software through iTunes or via Over-the-Air (OTA). The first requires a computer with iTunes installed, while the latter requires a reliable wireless Internet access.

Follow these steps to update your iPhone software to the latest iOS version via iTunes:

Check for software update available for your device. Refer to the above steps, if necessary.

    • If necessary, install the latest version of iTunes on your computer.
    • Connect your iPhone to the computer.
    • Open iTunes.
    • Select your iPhone from the list of devices in iTunes.
    • Click Summary.


  • Click Check for Update.


  • Click Download and Update to continue.
  • If prompted, enter your passcode.

In case you don’t know or forget your passcode, then you would need to pick a way to erase your device, which deletes all of your data and settings. Unless you made a backup before you forgot our passcode, there is no way for you to save your device’s data. You may opt to erase your iPhone 7 using iTunes, iCloud, or Recovery Mode.

Follow these steps to update your iPhone software to the latest iOS version via wireless network:

Aside from manual iOS update via iTunes, your iPhone 7 software can also be updated to the latest version available wirelessly. But before you start doing so, don’t forget to create a backup of your device using iCloud or iTunes. Follow these steps whenever you’re ready:

  • Check for available software update for your iPhone as demonstrated above this page.
  • If a message says that an update is available, tap Install Now.

Alternative Method:

    • Plug your iPhone 7 into a power source and connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi access.
    • Tap Settings.
    • Tap General.


  • Tap Software Update.


  • Proceed by tapping on Download and Install.
  • If prompted with a message that asks to temporarily remove apps because iOS needs more space for the update, tap Continue or Cancel. Your iPhone system will then reinstall app that are removed later.
  • Tap Install to update now. Otherwise, tap Later and select Install Tonight or Remind Me Later. If you tap Install Tonight, be sure to plug your iPhone into a power source so your device can update automatically overnight without any power interruptions.
  • If prompted, enter your passcode.

How to Update Preferred Roaming List (PRL) on your iPhone 7

PRL or Preferred Roaming List pertains to a database in a wireless CDMA device like the Apple iPhone 7 smartphone. It contains information used during the system selection and acquisition process. It works by indicating which bands, sub-bands and service provider identifiers will be scanned and in what priority sequence. Most importantly, PRL allows your device to roam or obtain services outside of the home area. Updating your iPhone’s PRL in regular basis is recommended so as to eliminate any corrupt PRLs that cause your device to have no service.

Here’s how to update PRL as well as data profile on your iPhone 7:

  • Go to the Home screen to get started.
  • Tap Phone to launch the Phone app dialler.
  • Dial ##873283# on the keypad.
  • Tap the Call button.
  • When prompted with the Starting Service Update pop-up, tap OK to proceed.
  • Allow your iPhone to search for profile updates available and then install them on your device.
  • If prompted with Service update Complete, tap OK to proceed.

You now have successfully updated the PRL on your iPhone 7.

In case you will encounter some issues or errors while attempting to update iOS on your iPhone 7, be sure to check on the following:

  • verify and ensure your device has enough storage space available
  • check for any server downtime or outages
  • make sure the update has completed successfully
  • ensure no network/connectivity issues affecting update download process

How to Update Carrier Settings on your iPhone 7

Carrier settings updates are packed with software enhancements from your carrier/service provider. It’s a way for your carrier provider to update carrier network and related settings to improve cellular network connectivity and performance as well as add support for features like VoLTE or Wi-Fi Calling on your device.

When a carrier setting update is available, you will be prompted to install it. If it is a mandatory update, you will only see an OK button instead of Update button. This denotes that the update was downloaded and installed on your device.

If you want, you can manually check for and install a carrier settings update using these steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Scroll to and tap General.
  • Tap About.
  • You will see an option to update your carrier settings if an update is available.
  • To view the recent version of carrier settings on your iPhone, go to Settings-> General-> About, and then look next to Carrier.

Important Note:

  • You will need to download the carrier settings for your new carrier if you insert a new SIM card into your iPhone.

For more details of what is included in the latest carrier settings update for your iOS device, contact your carrier.

Factory Reset or Master reset an iPhone 7

A master reset or factory reset erases all media files, data and settings on your iPhone thus, creating a backup of your device information beforehand is highly recommended. Demonstrated below are standard procedures in performing a factory reset on the iPhone 7 handset:

    • To get started, tap Settings from the Home screen.
    • Scroll to and tap General from the Settings menu options.
    • Next, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Reset.


  • Select the option to Erase All Content and Settings.


  • Tap Erase iPhone to proceed.
  • To confirm action, tap Erase iPhone again.
  • If prompted, enter your Apple ID password and then tap Erase.

Wait for your iPhone to complete the reset and after that your device should be good as new and ready to use.

Factory Reset or Erase your Lost iPhone 7 via Find My iPhone

Performing a factory reset or hard reset is usually recommended as last resort in fixing device issues caused by major software bugs or glitches. The process will erase your device, which means all your personal contents including media files and data as well as all your settings will also be removed. If you have enabled the Find My iPhone feature on your iPhone, you can perform a factory reset remotely. This is especially important and helpful whenever you’ve lost your iPhone or have it stolen. Here’s how you do it on your iPhone 7:

    • On a computer, open a web browser and then navigate to
    • On the iCloud main page, enter your Apple ID and Password, and then click the Sign In button.
    • Next, click on the Find iPhone icon.
    • IF prompted, enter your Apple ID password, and then tap Sign In to continue.


  • Click on All Devices.


  • You will then see a list of all devices that are synced with your iCloud account. Locate your iPhone from the list and then click on it.
  • A pop-up screen will show you the last known location of your iPhone 7. Click Erase iPhone to proceed with the reset.
  • Click Erase from the pop-up message.

Note: If your iPhone is powered off or offline, the factory reset will start the next time the iPhone connects to the Internet.

  • Next, enter your Apple ID password, and then click Next.
  • Enter a phone number to appear on the iPhone and click Next.
  • Enter a message you want to appear on the iPhone, and then click Done.
  • Click OK from the pop-up message to complete the process. Your iPhone is now reset.

Performing a factory reset is recommended if you forget your restrictions passcode. This denotes that you need to erase your device and then set it up as new to remove the restrictions passcode.

Restore iPhone 7 Operating System using Recovery Mode

Recovery mode is the best alternative way to perform system restore or master reset on your iPhone 7, if you have never synced it with iTunes or set up Find My iPhone in iCloud. Restoring your iPhone using recovery mode will erase the device and its passcode. Here’s how it’s done on the iOS 10 platform:

  • Connect your iPhone to a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed.
  • On your computer, open iTunes.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer.
  • While your iPhone is connected, force it to restart. To force restart your iPhone 7, just press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons simultaneously. Do not release both buttons when you see the Apple logo.
  • When you see the recovery mode screen, release both buttons.
  • If prompted with the option to Restore or Update, select Restore.
  • Wait for iTunes to download software for your iPhone. If the process takes more than 15 minutes, your iPhone will exit recovery mode and in that case, you will have to repeat steps 3 – 6.
  • Wait for the process to finish.


  • Restoring your iPhone using a backup won’t remove the Restrictions passcode or parental controls that are used to block or set limits to specific apps and features on your iPhone or other iOS devices.

Once the system restore is complete, you may then proceed with setting up your iPhone 7 and getting it all set for use.

If you encounter errors while attempting to restore your iPhone operating system, be sure to take note of the error message or code as they are important clues to let you know what went wrong and how to get it fixed. However, if by any means you are unable to force restart or use recovery mode due to damaged buttons or hardware components, contact your device carrier or Apple support for other options and recommendations.

Engage with us

If you have other issues with your Apple iPhone 7, we are always willing to help. Contact us through our iPhone issues questionnaire and provide us with all necessary information about your problem so we can find a solution to your issue.

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