How to Transfer Data to Your New iPhone From Your Old One

The easy way to switch Apple phones

An older man smiling at his phone

Giuseppe Manfra/Getty Images

Along with setting up your new iPhone, you may have some information on your previous hardware to move over. That data isn't just photos and contacts, either, although those are important. If you've used iOS devices for a while, you also have calendars, health data, payment methods and cards for Apple Pay, and smarthome settings you won't want to set up again. Here are several easy methods to transfer data to your new iPhone from your old one.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 10.3 and higher.

How to Transfer Data to New iPhone With iTunes

If you have a Mac or Windows computer with iTunes installed, you can make a backup of your old iPhone's data to transfer to the new phone.

These instruction apply to iTunes 10 and later.

  1. Connect your old phone to your computer and open iTunes.

  2. Select the device icon in the upper-left corner of the window.

    iTunes with an iPhone device icon highlighted
  3. Select Back Up Now to save a backup of your phone to the computer.

    iPhone summary page in iTunes with the Back Up Now and Sync buttons highlighted

    Alternatively, you can select Sync to both create a backup and update your phone with any changes you've made to your music library, TV shows, or other items iTunes manages.

  4. Once iTunes completes the operation, disconnect your old phone.

  5. Connect your new phone to the computer.

  6. What you do next depends on whether you've set up the new device or not. If you haven't, begin the process. When the startup asks if you'd like to set up your iPhone as a new device, select Restore from iTunes backup.

    iPhone setup with the Restore from iTunes Backup option highlighted
  7. If you've already done the initial setup of your new phone, select the device icon in iTunes, then select Restore iPhone.

    iTunes on a Mac with the Restore iPhone button highlighted

    iTunes will delete your new iPhone during this process. You'll lose anything you've added since you first set it up.

  8. On the confirmation screen that appears, select Restore.

    iPhone restore confirmation screen in iTunes with the Restore button highlighted
  9. iTunes will delete your new phone's current contents and replace them with the backup from your old device.

How to Use iCloud to Transfer Data to New iPhone

The iPhone also lets you back up your data to iCloud, Apple's cloud storage platform. Once you've backed up your old phone, you can restore your new one with that data without connecting either of them to a computer.

  1. On your old phone, open Settings.

  2. Tap your name at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap iCloud.

    Settings > account > iCloud on an iPhone
  4. Tap iCloud Backup.

  5. If the switch next to iCloud Backup isn't on, tap it to turn it on. It should turn green.

  6. Tap Back Up Now.

    iCloud Settings on an iPhone with the iCloud Backup item and Back Up Now button highlighted
  7. Your iPhone will save a backup to iCloud.

  8. When you set up your new phone, tap Restore from iCloud Backup to move your old iPhone's data to your new one.

How to Transfer From iPhone to iPhone

The third method to set up a new iPhone with an old one's data, which Apple calls Quick Start, is only available when first activating the new device. While the iTunes procedure basically lets you move data around whenever you want, this process has a smaller window of use.

If you miss it, you can restore your new iPhone and go through initial setup again, but one of the other methods might be easier at that point. Here's how to transfer data between iPhones wirelessly.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 12.4 and later.

  1. Plug both phones into power supplies.

  2. Turn on your new device to start the setup process. Place the old device near it.

  3. Your new phone will show the Apple ID on the old phone and ask if it's the one you want to use on the new one. Tap Continue to confirm.

    Set Up New iPhone screen with the Continue button highlighted
    Apple
  4. An animation will appear on your new phone. Center it in the viewfinder of your old device's camera to continue.

    You can also tap Authenticate Manually if the camera isn't available.

  5. On your new phone, enter your current passcode.

  6. Set up Touch ID or Face ID (depending on which model of iPhone you have), or tap Set Up Later.

    Face ID is available on iPhone X and newer.

  7. The next screen will ask how you'd like to transfer data to your new phone. Tap Transfer from iPhone.

    iPhone setup screen with Transfer from iPhone option highlighted
    Apple 
  8. Your data will transfer from the old iPhone to the new one.

If you're going from an Android device to an iPhone, you can still move your data. You'll use the Move to iOS app to keep your information intact.