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

When the time comes for you to get a new iPhone, it's likely that you'll want to move as much of the data from your old iPhone over to your new device as you can. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, from transferring data using iCloud do a more hardwired connection through iTunes.

Products used in this guide

How to use Automatic Setup with your iPhone

  1. Select your language on your new iPhone or iPad with your new and current devices in close proximity.
  2. Tap Continue on your iPhone or iPad on the popup that appears asking you to set up your new iPhone or iPad with your Apple ID.

    Choose language, tap Continue

  3. Use your current iPhone or iPad to scan the image that appears on your new iPhone or iPad.
  4. Enter your current iPhone or iPad's passcode on your new iPhone or iPad.
  5. Set up Touch ID on your new iPhone or iPad.

    Scan the image, enter passcode, setup Touch ID

  6. Choose whether or not to restore your new iPhone or iPad from your most recent compatible backup, if that option presents itself.
  7. Choose to restore your new device from an iCloud or iTunes backup, set up as a new iPhone or iPad, or transfer data from an Android device.

    Choose if you want to restore device

  8. Agree to the terms and conditions.
  9. Tap Continue under Express Settings to use the settings for Siri, Find My iPhone, Location, and usage analytics that were transferred over from your current iPhone and iPad.

    Agree, tap Continue

  10. Complete the setup process for your new iPhone or iPad as you normally would.

How to transfer your data to your new iPhone using iCloud

  1. Open Settings on your old iPhone.
  2. Tap the Apple ID banner.
  3. Tap iCloud.

    Open Settings, tap Apple ID banner, tap iCloud

  4. Tap iCloud Backup.
  5. Tap Back Up Now.

    Tap iCloud Backup, tap Backup Up Now

  6. Turn your old iPhone off once the backup is finished.
  7. Remove the SIM card from your old iPhone or if you're going to move it to your new one.

Wait for the backup to complete before proceeding.

You can now set aside your old iPhone. Make sure that your new iPhone is off when you start these next steps.

  1. Insert your old SIM card into your new iPhone if you want to move it between devices.
  2. Turn on your new iPhone.
  3. Slide up or press the Home button depending on which device you're setting up.
  4. Follow the directions to choose your language and set up your Wi-Fi network.
  5. Tap Restore from iCloud backup.
  6. Sign in to your iCloud account (This is your Apple ID).
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Tap Agree.
  9. Tap Agree again.
  10. Choose the backup you just made.

How to transfer your data to your new iPhone using iTunes

  1. Make sure you're running the most recent version of iTunes.
  2. Plug your old iPhone into your Mac or Windows PC.
  3. Launch iTunes.
  4. Click on the iPhone icon in the menu bar when it appears.
  5. Click on Encrypt Backup; you'll be asked to add a password if this is your first time encrypting a backup.

    Click on the iPhone icon, click Encrypt checkbox

  6. Click on Back Up Now.

    Click Back Up Now

  7. Skip Backup Apps, if asked. (They'll likely re-download anyway.)
  8. Unplug your old iPhone when done.
  9. Turn off your old iPhone.
  10. Take your SIM card out of your old iPhone. (If you don't have a new or separate SIM card for your new phone.)

Wait for the backup to complete before proceeding.

  1. Put your SIM card into your new iPhone. (If it didn't come with a new or different SIM card.)
  2. Turn on your new iPhone.
  3. Plug your new iPhone into your Mac or Windows PC.
  4. Slide to set up on your iPhone.
  5. Follow the directions to choose your language and set up your Wi-Fi network.
  6. Select Restore from iTunes backup.
  7. On iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC, select Restore from this backup.
  8. Choose your recent backup from the list.

    Click Restore from this backup, choose backup

  9. Click Continue.
  10. Enter your password if your backup was encrypted and it asks.

    Click continue, enter password

Keep your iPhone plugged into iTunes until the transfer is complete, and on Wi-Fi until all re-downloads are complete. Depending on how much data you have to re-download, including music and apps, it might take a while.

Get your new iPhone

Of course, to transfer data to your new iPhone, you're going to need a new iPhone first.

Go for color

iPhone XR

A colorful, more affordable iPhone with Face ID.

While it's materials aren't as premium as those on the iPhone XS – aluminum instead of stainless steel, LCD instead of OLED – it features Face ID, as well as Apple's new A12 Bionic system-on-a-chip, delivering similar performance to its more expensive counterpart.

The 6.1-inch iPhone XR is the current-generation iPhone most people should get. Unless you want the OLED screen, stainless steel body, and dual rear cameras of the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, you'll want to pick up the more colorful (and affordable) iPhone XR.

Top of the line

iPhone XS

Apple's top-of-the-line iPhone.

The iPhone XS is an iteration of 2017's iPhone X. It sports a stainless steel frame and an OLED display. Like the iPhone XR, it has Face ID, and is powered by the A12 Bionic system-on-a-chip.

If you want the absolute best iPhone Apple has to offer, it's the iPhone XS. In addition to better materials and a better display, the iPhone XS also features two rear cameras to the iPhone XR's one.

Additional Equipment

If you want to transfer your data using iTunes and have a Mac with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports, you should go ahead and pick up a USB-C-to-Lightning cable.

Apple Lighting-to-USB-C cable ($20 at Amazon)

Apple includes a Lightning-to-USB-A cable with your iPhone, but you'll want this if you have a Mac with USB-C/Thunderbolt 3.

Anker Powerline II Lighting-to-USB-C cable ($16 at Amazon)

A great alternative to Apple's official cable, Anker's Powerline II now comes in a USB-C-to-Lightning option.

Anker Powerline+ II Lighting cable ($20 at Amazon)

If you're looking for a more durable alternative to Apple's included Lightning cable and you don't have a USB-C Mac.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

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