Beginner's guide: How to set up and start using your new iPhone

Iphone 13 Review Hero
Iphone 13 Review Hero (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Whether you just got a brand new iPhone 13 or an older version of Apple's popular phone, there are a few steps you have to take to get your iPhone set up. In this iPhone beginner's guide, we take you through the process starting with "Hello," and have user guides for some of Apple's built-in apps, like Messages, FaceTime, Mail, and more.

Plus, find out how to get apps, games, movies, music, and more right on your iPhone. This guide exists to make setting up your new iPhone as straightforward as possible, so you can make your iPhone the best iPhone it can be.

iPhone Beginner's Guide: How to set up your new iPhone

Iphone 13 Boxes Lineup

Iphone 13 Boxes Lineup (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Right out of the box, your brand new iPhone is ready for you to set up. You'll be greeted with a friendly "Hello." From there, you'll be able to set up your iPhone as brand new or transfer your data from another phone, even an Android phone. As long as you read each page in the setup process carefully, it's pretty hard to go wrong, though you can always go back a page if you tap the wrong option.

You'll get the opportunity to set up Face ID or Touch ID for some security and pair up your Apple Watch if you plan on keeping tabs on your daily exercise.

iPhone Beginner's Guide: Familiarize yourself with the basics

Iphone 13 Pro And Iphone 13 Pro Max

Iphone 13 Pro And Iphone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/ iMore)

Once your iPhone is set up, you're going to want to play around with all of its features. We've got some guides to help you with some of the most commonly used features on your new iPhone, from setting up mail, contacts, and calendars to learning about the iPhone camera, Apple Pay, Hey Siri, and more.

Our iOS 15 review is a good place to start if you want a detailed look at the latest features available for iPhone and it may provide some inspiration for ways to get more out of your shiny new device.

iPhone Beginner's Guide: The built-in Apple apps you're definitely going to want to use

FaceTime on mint mobile

How to make a FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad, or Mac (Image credit: iMore)

Apple has a handful of built-in apps that are integral to using your iPhone, like Apple's Messages instant messaging app, the video chat app FaceTime, Mail, Photos, Health, and more.

You're probably going to spend a lot of time in Safari for all of your web browsing needs. Notes and Reminders are terrific tools for keeping tabs on things you care about in whatever way makes sense to you.

iPhone Beginner's Guide: Apps, games, movies, and books are waiting for you

App Store

App Store (Image credit: iMore)

In addition to killer built-in apps, the iPhone also lets you download apps from the App Store. That opens you up to literally millions more apps to choose from, some free and some paid, to achieve basically anything you want to do with your iPhone.

As well as apps, there are optional services that can augment and improve your iPhone experience. You can stream unlimited music without ads in Apple Music, aggregate all of your TV and movies viewing with the TV app, play premium games on Apple Arcade, and then back up everything using iCloud.

iPhone Beginner's Guide: Best iPhone accessories

Airpods 3 With Case Right Earbud Lying In Front Of Case

Airpods 3 With Case Right Earbud Lying In Front Of Case (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Getting the most out of your iPhone includes more than just learning about how it works on the inside. It's also about the best way to protect and show off your style on the outside. If you're looking for an iPhone 13 case or iPhone 13 Pro screen protector for your device, we've got our picks for the best!

We're also here to recommend which HomeKit devices to get, the best AirPods, and top Apple Watches if you want to go deeper into the Apple ecosystem. Plus, there's a bunch of great iPhone chargers, MagSafe accessories, and more!

Up and running

There's a lot to uncover with your new iPhone. Half the fun is finding it on your own. The other half is getting help from someone that knows the tips, tricks, and hidden secrets of the iPhone. The above guidance should be enough to get you started, though you should check out our Help and How-to page for even more tips and tricks.

Updated December 2021: Updated for iPhone 13 models and iOS 15.

Adam Oram

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.