Should you carry over your current iPhone or iPad settings to iOS 12 or do a clean install?

Control Center iOS 11
Control Center iOS 11

When you install iOS 12, you can either keep all of the information and settings the same as you did before, or another option is starting over from scratch with a clean install; it all depends on what you're most comfortable with.

Why a clean install of iOS 12 is good

Have you ever had a tupperware container of food that you accidentally let sit in your lunchbox for one week too many, and so when you finally go to wash it out, you contemplate throwing the entire thing out and just starting from scratch with a new, less disgusting container?

Well think of your iPhone as the tupperware container, iOS 11 or later as the gunked-on food, and iOS 12 as the brand new, non-smelly container, and you're pretty much in the right mindset as to why some people think a clean install of iOS 12 is a great thing.

With a clean install, you have a chance to declutter your iPhone and get rid of heavy data, apps, and nonsense that might be stored on your iPhone or iPad that you don't need or ever use. You get an opportunity to reinstall apps sparingly and really make good use of your device's space.

It is worth keeping in mind that if you do opt for a clean install of iOS 12, you will need to take some time to set everything back up the way that you like it, so allow yourself a bit of time to get things in order.

Why a standard installation of iOS 12 is good

Simply put, if you love all the apps and settings that you already have on your iPhone or iPad, and if you feel like your iPhone or iPad doesn't need to be reset or bumped back to square one, stick to a standard installation.

When you have a standard install, you won't have to worry about reinstalling different apps and tweaking your settings back to normal; you just download the update and get on with your life.

Which one is better?

At the end of the day, everyone is different. If you have an iPhone or iPad with a ton of different pictures, files, apps, notes, and everything in between, then a clean installation might be a bit daunting and unnecessary.

However if you're someone who wants a fresh start and doesn't mind taking the time to put things back together, then a clean installation is the way to go.

What do you think?

Have you ever done a clean install with your iPhone or iPad? Do you prefer a standard install with one piece of tech over another? Are you excited to get iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad?

Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

10 Comments
  • I plan on doing it as a clean install. For the main reason to just clean up all the junk I have on my phone.
  • Do a standard install. If problems then reset and do a clean install. If none, you're up and saved lots of time and grief 😀
  • I agree with this!
  • I am going from a 7 to an X Max. (the "S' is superfluous due to the MAX, BABY!) Clean install time! With the interface changing so dramatically I think it's time to leave any bugs I've been carrying around with the 7. I hear tell Alex Lindsay does a clean install with every new iPhone. If I have a problem with it. I'll just blame him.
  • A clean install is less likely to cause you problems, but you will lose things like Wi-Fi passwords and possible other things you want to keep
  • Not necessarily, Danny. If you have your wifi passwords and such saved in your iCloud Keychain (and you probably do...) then you won't lose them. I was going to do my normal restore install, mostly to make sure all the apps I want are on the new phone, but now I'm debating.... Between iCloud keychain and Messages in the Cloud, I don't really need to do a restore for the new Max, do I?
  • Ah, good point I forgot that they go into Keychain. In that case, a clean install is probably ok
  • If buying a new device, I always set it up as new, then add the apps I want. If updating, just a regular update. Works for me.
  • I like to take advantage of the iCloud backups when getting a new device, I love the way it brings everything from the old phone. BUT, I go cleaning out apps I don't use before moving to the new device, so it doesn't take forever getting back all the apps
  • I updated. I've spent too much time honing my settings, notifications, and folders to restart all of that.