Whether you're brand new to the Apple ecosystem or upgrading for the tenth time, setting up a new iPhone is an exhilarating experience, not unlike waking up on Christmas morning. From the moment you see that first "Hello" to the final step, here's everything you need to know about setting up your new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Note: This guide is for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. iPhone and iPad devices with Touch ID have a separate process.

Understanding your options

You can set up your new iPhone XS in one of three ways, start fresh, restore from another iPhone, or import content from a non-Apple phone. Here's what each of those options mean in more detail.

  • Set up as new - means starting everything — every setting — from scratch. This is for people who've never used a smartphone or online services before or who want their iPhone to feel truly brand new.
  • Restore from a previous iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch backup - You can do this online with iCloud or over USB with iTunes. This is for people who've had a previous iOS device and are moving to a new one.
  • Import from Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone - Apple has an app in Google Play to make Android easier, but online services let you move a lot of data over from any old device. This is for people switching to iPhone or iPad.

How to begin setting up your new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR

The moment you turn on your new iPhone for the first time, you'll be greeted with "Hello" in a variety of languages. It's the same whether you're starting from scratch, restoring from another iPhone, or switching from Android.

  1. Touch slide to set up and slide your finger across the screen to get started.
  2. Select your language.
  3. Select your country or region.

    Slide to set up, then select a language, then select a country or region

  4. Select a wi-fi network. If you are not in a wi-fi network range, you can set this up later. Select Cellular instead.
    • At this point, you can choose to use Automatic Setup to set up your new iPhone with the same passcode and settings as another iPhone. If you choose to set up your new iPhone manually, continue with the following steps.
  5. Tap Continue after reading about Apple's Data & Privacy information.
  6. Tap Enable Location Services. If you don't want to enable location services at this time, select Skip Location Services. You can enable certain location services manually, like Maps.
  7. Set up Face ID. If you need help, here's how to set up Face ID on your new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR.

    Setting up Face ID on iPhone

  8. Create a Passcode. You can set up a standard six-digit passcode, or create a four-digit passcode or custom passcode by tapping Passcode Options.

You'll next be asked if you want to restore from a backup, set up as a new iPhone, or move data from Android.

How to restore or transfer your data from another phone

If you're not going to start fresh with a brand new data-clean device, you're going to want to transfer your data from your old iPhone to your new one, or transfer data from your old Android device to your new iPhone. Here's how.

How to restore from an iCloud or iTunes Backup

It's time to decide how you want to transfer your old iPhone's data (if you're starting from scratch, find out how to set up your iPhone as new). You have two choices when restoring your apps and data from another iPhone; iCloud or iTunes.

Which one you choose depends on whether you backup your old iPhone in iCloud or by plugging it into your computer and backing it up via iTunes.

The key here is to make sure your old iPhone has been backed up first.

After you've backed up your old iPhone, select whether you want to restore your new iPhone from iCloud or iTunes.

How to transfer data from your old iPhone to your new iPhone

How to move data from an Android device

If you're switching from an Android-based operating system, first let me welcome you to the Apple family.

Apple has a special app just for people switching from Android called Move to iOS and it's available in the Google Play store. Before moving your data to your new iPhone, download Move to iOS on your Android phone.

How to switch from Android to iPhone

How to set up your iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR as new

If this is your first iPhone and you don't want to move over your Android data, or if this is your tenth iPhone and you just want to start over fresh, you can set up your iPhone as new.

  1. Tap Set Up as New iPhone.
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password. If you don't have one, you can create a new one. Tap Don't have an Apple ID? and follow the steps.
  3. Read and agree to Apple's terms and conditions.
  4. Tap Agree again to confirm.
  5. Set up Apple Pay.
  6. Set up iCloud Keychain.

    Agree to the terms and conditions, set up Apple Pay, then set up iCloud Keychain

  7. Set up Siri and "Hey, Siri."

    Set up Hey, Siri

  8. Tap Send Diagnostic information to Apple when apps crash or other issues arise or tap Don't Send if you don't want to send.
  9. Turn on Display Zoom for extra visual accessibility.
  10. Tap Get Started.

    Send or don't send diagnostics to Apple,  zoom or don't zoom your display, then get started!

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to set up your brand new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR? Put them in the comments and I'll help you out.

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