How do you move all your data to your new iPhone?

If you’ve just upgraded or are planning to upgrade to Apple’s new iPhone 13, congratulations! As soon as you open that box, you’ll want to try out your stylish new phone. But first, you need to transfer all the apps and data from your old iPhone to the new one.

It’s actually pretty easy – in fact, if you haven’t upgraded in a while, you’ll find it easier than ever. The process of moving your data used to require it to be restored from an iCloud or iTunes backup. You don’t have to bother with that backup anymore (though it’s always a good idea to back up your stuff). You can move your apps, data, and identity directly to the new phone with what Apple calls iPhone migration. (However, you can still restore from iCloud if you want.)

Here’s how.

Backup your phone first

No matter how you decide to migrate your data, it’s a good idea to have an up-to-date backup of all your data saved in iCloud, your laptop or any other local/cloud storage. Backing up your phone in iCloud Backup is probably easiest. If it’s been a while and you want to make sure backup is turned on in your phone’s iCloud settings:

  • Tap “Settings” > [your name] top button > “iCloud” > “iCloud Backup”.
  • If “iCloud Backup” is off, turn it on. If it’s already on and you’re getting ready to wipe your old iPhone, you might want to tap “Back Up Now” just in case.

Moreover Back up your iPhone to a computer: either to your Mac using your Finder (if your Mac is running a macOS version earlier than 10.15, you’ll use iTunes) or to a Windows PC (again using iTunes).

Before we get started, there are a few more things you should do:

  • If your old phone was paired with an Apple Watch, unpair it. (Your data will be migrated to the new phone.)
  • Transfer your SIM to your new phone.

Ok, now that your backup and everything else is ready, let’s move your data.

Direct wireless connection

  • This phone to phone transfer is called Fast Startup for obvious reasons. Start your new phone. You will have the option to enter your Apple ID; otherwise, you will be asked a few initial questions (like what language do you want to use) and then invited to transfer data from another phone if you wish.
  • Put your old phone next to your new phone. Make sure both phones are plugged in (you don’t want to run out of batteries in the middle of data movement).
  • Once connected, your new iPhone screen will show an animation and your old phone will turn on its camera and show a blank circle in the middle of the screen. You will be prompted to point your new iPhone to your old iPhone’s camera so that the animation is centered in the circle.
  • You will then be invited to turn your attention to your new phone to complete the setup.
  • Enter your password and Apple ID when prompted; You may also be asked if you want to set up Face ID or Touch ID.
  • There will be a few screens you need to go through before the transfer starts, including the usual terms and conditions, whether you want to share your location and analytics, and whether you want to set up FaceTime, iMessage, and Siri.
  • You will also have the option to migrate your data from your previous phone or iCloud backup. If you have backed up to your computer, you can find it under “Other Options”.
  • After you have made all your selections, the transfer will begin.
  • Sign back in on your new iPhone and you’re done!
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From a direct wired connection between phones

One advantage of Apple’s updated passthrough feature is that you can also use a cable to transfer data. If you’re having any issues with wireless transmission, this can be a good alternative.

For a wired connection Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter and one lightning to usb cable. And a piece of advice: make sure both phones are fully charged before you start.

  • As with the wireless method, start your new phone and go through the initial questions until you receive an invitation to transfer data from another phone.
  • As before, put your old phone next to your new phone and make sure both phones are plugged in.
  • Connect the Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter to your old phone. Connect the Lightning to USB cable to your new phone. Connect the two cables together using the adapter.
  • After that, follow the same instructions as above, including using the camera to find the model and answering all setup questions.
  • You will know the phones are using the wired setup because when the transfer starts there will be a small “wire” between the two phone icons on the screen.

You can restore a phone's data if you have it backed up on your computer.

You can restore a phone’s data if you have it backed up on your computer.

Direct wired connection to Mac

If you backed up your iPhone to a Mac, you can download your data from there to the new phone.

  • Connect your phone to your computer using the charging cable.
  • Run Finder and select your phone from the left column.
  • You may be asked whether you trust the phone first on the computer and then on the phone itself.
  • Next, you will be asked whether you want to set up your phone as a new device or restore from a previous backup. Choose the second one.

Whichever method you choose, enjoy your new iPhone!

Update September 15, 2021 at 10:20 pm ET: This article was originally published on September 20, 2019 and has been updated to account for differences in operating system.

Moyens Staff
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