In the early days, it was troublesome to transfer your data from an old iPhone to a new one. And to a certain extent, fear of data loss was also involved. But with the newer versions of iOS, the process is hassle-free.
With every iOS update, Apple pushes out significant improvements that make iPhone data migration a cakewalk. It also ensures that all your contacts, settings, messages, photos, apps, etc. are seamlessly carried over to your new device safely.
There are 3 ways to move your data from an old iPhone to the new one:
- How to use Quick Start to transfer data to new iPhone
- Transfer your data to new iPhone using iCloud
- How to use iTunes or Finder to transfer your data to new iPhone
Before you begin
- Understand the process: The first two methods explained in this guide involve the direct transfer of data from an old to new iPhone. With the other two methods, you have to make a backup of the current device and then restore it on the new iPhone.
- If you have an Apple Watch: Make sure you unpair it from the old iPhone. Unpairing will automatically back up your watch. This makes it easy to restore after you pair it with the new iPhone.
How to use Quick Start to transfer data to new iPhone
- Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your old iPhone that’s running iOS 11 or later.
- Power on your new iPhone and keep it near the old iPhone.
- You will see a card on the old iPhone that’ll say Set Up New iPhone. Tap Continue.
- You’ll see a moving animation on the new iPhone. Now, use the old iPhone and bring the animation inside the circle. It will start connecting.
- Next, when asked, enter the passcode of your old iPhone on the new iPhone. It’ll be the passcode for this new iPhone too.
- Now, follow the easy on-screen instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID.
- If/when asked, enter your Apple ID password on the new iPhone. If you have multiple devices, you may be asked to enter their passcodes also. Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Now, your new device will offer you the choice of restoring apps, settings, and data from your most recent iCloud backup. Or, update your current device’s backup (ensure the old device is connected to Wi-Fi for this) and then restore. Select a backup and then choose to transfer settings related to location, privacy, Siri, and Apple Pay.
Transfer your data directly to new iPhone wirelessly or using a cable
This is just another option utilizing the prior method. If your current iPhone and new iPhone are both using iOS 12 or later (which in most cases it will be), you can use iPhone migration. It lets you transfer directly from an old iPhone to a new one wirelessly or by connecting both devices together with cables and adapters. You cannot use either iPhone until the process completes.
Things needed for Wired Transfer:
Initial Steps for Wired Transfer:
- Connect the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter through its Lightning port to the 12W or higher power adapter.
- Next, connect the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter to your old iPhone.
- Finally, plug the Lightning cable to your new iPhone and its USB port to the Camera Adapter.
Steps for iPhone data migration (Both Wireless and Wired Transfer):
- For Wireless Transfer, keep both devices near to each other. For wired transfer, connect the devices using the steps outlined above.
- Now follow the Quick Start process above from step #3.
Transfer your data to new iPhone using iCloud
Let’s back up the old device first:
- Open Settings on your old iPhone.
- Tap your Apple ID banner at top → Tap iCloud → Tap iCloud Backup. Enable it if not already done.
- Tap Back Up Now and wait for the process to finish.
- Turn off the old iPhone when the backup is complete.
Now, let’s set up the new iPhone and restore from iCloud backup:
- Turn on your new iPhone and swipe up from the bottom of the screen or press the Home button. Choose the language and region, tap Set up Manually, and then connect to Wi-Fi.
- Tap Continue and set up Face ID or Touch ID.
- After these basic setups are complete, you’ll see a screen that says Apps & Data. Tap Restore from iCloud Backup.
- Sign in with the same Apple ID as you used on your old iPhone.
- Agree to a few basic instructions and finally choose the backup you recently made.
How to use iTunes or Finder to transfer data to new iPhone
Backup old iPhone to computer:
- Connect your old iPhone to a Mac or PC via a USB cable.
- Open Finder on Mac running macOS Catalina and click on your iPhone from the left sidebar. Open iTunes on macOS Mojave or earlier or Windows PC and click the iPhone logo.
- Click Trust and then enter the password on your old iPhone if asked.
- Check the box for Encrypt Local Backup. Create a passcode if asked.
- Click Back Up Now. Wait for the process to finish. Disconnect the old iPhone from the computer when done.
Now, let’s restore the backup to your new iPhone:
- Power on your new iPhone and connect it to the same computer.
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen or press the Home button and follow the instructions.
- When you’re on the screen that says Apps & Data, tap Restore from Mac or PC.
- Now, from Finder or iTunes, select your new iPhone. Choose Restore from this backup, and select the most recent backup (the one that you just made) from the drop-down list.
- Click Continue and enter the backup password that you’d created if asked. Finally, click Restore.
In my opinion, this is the best, fastest, and most reliable method to move data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone. Similar to the iCloud transfer method, this too has two processes: First is to backup your old iPhone to a computer. The second is to restore the backup to the new iPhone.
Keep the device connected to the computer until the restore process completes. Next, your iPhone will download all apps, music, etc. over Wi-Fi. It’ll take time, depending on your internet speed and the size of your library.
This is how you can transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone. You can also use these methods to set up your existing iPhone after a full restore. I hope this guide was helpful. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.
You may also like to read: