How to swap from an old iPhone to a new one

20 September 2016

Need some help swapping from your old iPhone to a shiny, new one? Fortunately, the process of moving your data from one iPhone to another is pretty simple. 

The fastest way to swap devices is to backup your old iPhone to iTunes to a PC or Mac.

First, make sure iTunes is up to date. You can do this by running the "Check for Updates" feature. On Windows, you'll find this under the Help drop down. On Mac, this will be under the iTunes heading in the menu bar. When you're up to date, you'll want to follow these instructions:

  1. Open iTunes and connect your old iPhone to your computer.
  2. If a message asks for your device passcode or to "Trust This Computer", follow the onscreen steps.
  3. Select your iPhone when it appears in iTunes.
  4. If you want to save Health and Activity data, you'll need to encrypt your backup. You can do this by ticking the "Encrypt iPhone backup" box. Make sure your you pick a password you can remember, because there's no way to access your backup without it. If you don't want to save your Heath and Activity data, you don't need to tick this box.
  5. Press the "Back Up Now" button. This process will take a couple of minutes.
  6. When this process is finished, unplug your old iPhone, and turn on your new iPhone. Follow the onscreen setup steps until your reach the "Apps & Data" screen. Select "Restore from iTunes Backup".
  7. Connect your iPhone to the computer you used to back up your old iPhone.
  8. A screen saying "Welcome to your new iPhone" will appear. Select your most recent backup under the "restore from this backup" dropdown, and then press "Continue".
  9. If restoring from an encrypted backup, enter your password when asked.
  10. Wait for the restore process to finish. This may take as long as 15 minutes.

iTunes backups don't include the following information: 

  • Content you've bought through iTunes, 
  • Music or videos synced through iTunes, 
  • Photos already in the cloud, 
  • Fingerprints, 
  • Apple Pay information. 

You'll also need to redownload your apps, but your new iPhone will have place holders for everything you had installed on your old device.

When you've finished setting up your new iPhone, you'll probably want to erase your old device. If you're planning on selling it on, you'll also need to disable iCloud and Find My Phone.

  1. Open the Settings app on your old iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to iCloud and tap it.
  3. Scroll down until you see "Find My Phone" and select it.
  4. Slide to the "Find My Phone" toggle to off. You will need to enter the password associated with your Apple ID to switch Find My Phone off.
  5. When Find My Phone is off, step back into the iCloud menu, scroll down to the very bottom, and press "Sign Out".

If you don't follow these steps, whoever uses your old iPhone next will need to put in your Apple ID password to activate it.

  1. After this, you can erase your old iPhone.
  2. Open the Settings app on your old iPhone.
  3. Tap on General.
  4. Scroll down to Reset and tap it.
  5. Select "Erase All Content and Settings".
  6. If asked, enter your passcode.

And then you're done!

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