If you’re one of the many who have just gotten Apple’s new iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or Pro Max, congratulations! You’re going to want to try out your snazzy new phone as soon as you open that box. But first, you need to get all of the apps and data from your old iPhone onto your new one.
It’s actually very easy — in fact, if your current phone has iOS 12.4 or later, it’s easier than ever. (If your phone has a version of iOS earlier than that, don’t worry; just follow the instructions in the article we ran last March.)
The difference between now and then is that the process of moving your data used to involve restoring it from an iCloud or iTunes backup. Now, you don’t have to bother with that backup (although backing up your stuff is always a good idea). You can move your apps, data, and ID over to the new phone directly with what Apple calls iPhone migration.
- Start up your new phone. You’ll be asked a couple of initial questions (such as what language you want to use) and then you’ll be invited to transfer data from another phone, if you want.
- Put your old phone near your new one. Make sure both phones are plugged in (you don’t want them running out of power in the middle of the data move).
- When the connection is made, your new iPhone screen will display a pattern and your old phone will open its camera and display a blank circle in the middle of the screen. You’ll be asked to hold your new iPhone up to the camera of your old one so that the pattern is centered in the circle.
- You’ll then be invited to move your attention to your new phone to finish the setup.
- Enter your Apple ID when asked; you may also be asked whether you want to setup Face ID or Touch ID.
- There will be several screens to go through before the transfer begins, including the usual terms and conditions, whether you want to share your location and your analytics, and whether you want to set up FaceTime, iMessage, and Siri.
- Once you’ve made all your choices, the transfer will begin. The phone I was moving from in this test hadn’t been used much, so it only took about six minutes; a well-used iPhone with lots of apps and data on it will probably take much longer.
- Sign in to your new iPhone again and you’re done!
One advantage of Apple’s updated migration feature is that you can also use a cable to transfer the data. If you’ve got especially slow Wi-Fi, a wired connection may make the transfer faster, although ironically, during my test, it increased the download time from a little under six minutes (using the wireless method) to nine minutes and 40 seconds. However, if you’re having any trouble with the wireless transfer, this could be a good alternative.
For a wired connection, you’ll need a Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter and a Lightning to USB cable.
- As with the wireless method, start up your new phone and go through the initial questions until you get the invite to transfer data from another phone.
- As before, put your old phone near your new one 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. Join the two cables together using the adapter. Power the adaptor through its Lightning port.
- After that, follow the same directions as above, including using the camera to find the pattern, and answering all the setup questions.
- You’ll know that the phones are using the wired setup because once the transfer starts, there will be a small “cable” between the two phone icons on the screen.
Whichever method you choose, enjoy your new iPhone.