How to efficiently update many devices to iOS 8 using Apple Configurator

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[UPDATE: MAKE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH DISK SPACE ON THE DEVICE!! Configurator doesn't handle low disk space gracefully...the device will be forced into recovery and you will need to erase the device.]

Apple is releasing iOS 8 tomorrow, and you know what that means. Gigabytes of data streaming through your WAN connection, making real work next to impossible to get done.

But it doesn't need to be that way. You can use Apple Configurator to download once, and upgrade many devices quickly, safely and efficiently. Be the superhero of the day by getting your colleagues iPhones and iPads updated in the least amount of time possible.

Note: FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. You don't want to be the guy who asks, "Why didn't you have a backup?"

Step 1: Find a Mac. Any Mac will do. Connect it to the biggest USB hub as you can find.

Step 2: Download Apple Configurator from the Mac App Store.

Step 3: Launch Configurator.

Step 4: Make sure the "Prepare" tab is selected.

Step 5: Set up the options EXACTLY as they are here. Pay special attention to make sure "Supervision" is off and "Erase before installing" is UNCHECKED.

Step 6: Make sure you aren't installing any apps and aren't setting anything in setup, in their respective tabs.

Step 7: Double-check the settings. Make sure you have no iOS devices connected via USB.

Step 8: Click the "Prepare" button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 9: Connect the first iOS device. Configurator will download iOS 8 and install it.

Step 10: Connect the second iOS device. It is safe to do this while the first is downloading. It won't download the same file twice, but it will download the unique version for that model when needed.

Step 11: After download and install, disconnect the device.

Step 12: When you have upgraded all the devices you want, click the "Stop" button.

Good luck tomorrow, and let us know how it goes. Who among you will upgrade the most devices?

(Pro Tip: The cached firmware takes up a HUGE amount of space. To clear them out, look in the path /Users/USERNAME/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator/Data/Library/Caches/com.apple.configurator/Firmware.)

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