How do I transfer data from my old iPhone to my new iPhone?

7 min read

When buying a new iPhone, you may have a question, "How do I transfer everything from my old phone to my new phone?"

Basically, you can use one of many methods, such as backup from iCloud, Quick Start, using Mac, or AirDrop. Below, we'll describe in detail the ways to move files from one iPhone to another.

Reasons to transfer data to new iPhone

The main reason why you might want to transfer information from one iPhone to another is to keep all your files and settings on the new device. In other words, to make using your new iPhone as convenient and familiar as your old one.

If all your data is stored in the cloud (for example, iCloud or Google Drive), you just need to turn on synchronization. This way, you can transfer documents, contacts, photos, videos, etc. However, this method is not suitable for apps and if all data is stored directly on the phone.

For any of these cases, we have an instruction. Just use one of the methods described below.

Transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using iCloud

This method is for cloud users. By default, your phone makes a daily backup, but if you're going to transfer data to a new iPhone, you'll need to manually back it up first. The path is as follows: Settings > iCloud > Backup > Back Up Now.

You may have to wait a bit if the volume of content is large. When the backup is finished, you can start restoring the information.

Here's how to transfer data from one iPhone to another using iCloud:

  1. Turn on your new iPhone and go through the setup procedure using the on-screen prompts
  2. When you reach the Setup iPhone or Apps & Data step, tap on Restore from iCloud Backup
  3. Sign in with the same Apple ID as the device you're transferring files from
  4. Agree to the terms and conditions
  5. Choose the most recent backup from the list that appears on the screen
  6. Wait for the backup to complete and restart your phone.

restore from icloud backup

Don't forget to clean up your old iPhone if you are not going to use it anymore. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Tap Erase all content and settings.

Tip: It's super stressful when you lose stuff on your iPhone — be it your contacts, messages, precious photos, videos, or those important chats. But don't worry, Disk Drill is here to save the day. Simply connect your iPhone to your Mac, open Disk Drill and let it search for lost data.

How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using Quick Start

Transferring data with Quick Start requires a short preparation. First, update both phones to the latest version of iOS. If the versions are different, the migration process may fail. By the way, if both phones are running iOS 12.4 or later, you'll be able to transfer absolutely all your data. 

Second, back up your old iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup > Back Up Now. Third, turn on Bluetooth to create the connection needed to transfer data.

Here is an instruction on how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using Quick Start:

  1. Put the phones close to each other
  2. Turn on your new phone and go through the setup steps until you see Quick Start
  3. Click Continue when the Set Up New iPhone window appears on your phone
  4. An animated image will appear on the new iPhone, and the window with a scanner will appear on the old iPhone. Use them to authorize yourself
  5. Enter the password from your old iPhone on the new one (the corresponding window will appear after authorization)
  6. Click on Transfer from iPhone on the new phone. The process will start.

quick start to transfer data from iphone to iphone

If you accidentally skipped the Quick Start step or if the data transfer is interrupted for unknown reasons, try repeating the procedure. To do this, you will have to erase the contents of the new iPhone: Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings. The phone will restart, and you will be able to try to transfer iPhone to iPhone again.

Free up space on your iPhone after transferring

Before transferring files, make sure you really need all of them. You may have the same or almost the same photos or videos on your phone. Or maybe you accidentally duplicated a document or folder. You don't want to clutter up the space on your new iPhone with unnecessary files, do you?

There is a way to detect all similar files, and it's the CleanMy®Phone app. It scans your phone and detects identical files that can be deleted without affecting the content. The app will show similar files in a convenient preview window, and you can check them before deciding whether to delete them.

Follow these steps to get rid of unwanted files on your iPhone:

  1. Open CleanMy®Phone on your iPhone
  2. Choose the category you want to delete photos from. CleanMy®Phone will find duplicates, screenshots, blurred photos, videos, and more
  3. Tap Delete to confirm your decision.

CleanMy®Phone also has a Mac app that digs much deeper into the folders on your Mac to find duplicate files, folders, pictures, and other items that may need to be deleted. You can let CleanMy®Phone scan your entire system or limit the scan to the photo or music folders on your Mac. 

When the scan is completed, you can either do the smart cleanup of your files or review duplicates and delete them manually.

How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using Mac

This method requires you to create a copy of your old iPhone on your Mac and then migrate it to your new iPhone.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to transfer iPhone to iPhone through Mac:

  1. Connect your old iPhone to your Mac with a cable
  2. Open the Finder in the lower left corner of the screen
  3. Choose your iPhone on the left side of the window that appears
  4. Click Back up all of the data on your iPhone to your Mac and then Back up now
    backup iphone mac
  5. Wait for the process to complete and disconnect your phone from your Mac
  6. Turn on your new iPhone and follow the steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen. Click on Restore from Mac or PC
    restore from mac iphone
  7. Connect your new iPhone to your Mac, open Finder, select Restore Backup, and wait for the process to complete.

How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without Wi-Fi

Previous data transfer options require either a network or a laptop connection. AirDrop allows you to transfer data autonomously.

Here's how to transfer data to new iPhone using AirDrop:

  1. Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  2. Press and hold on the wireless control box
  3. Click on AirDrop and Choose Contacts Only or Everyone

transfer data to new iphone using airdrop

  1. Choose the file (photo, contact, document) you want to share and tap AirDrop
  2. On your new iPhone, tap Accept to receive a file.

This method is convenient and fast, but it is only suitable for cases when you need to send a few files. 

Which method to choose when you transfer data to new iPhone?

So, there are the main methods to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone: backup from iCloud, Quick Start, using Mac, and AirDrop.

  1. iCloud Backup: Ideal for a wireless, full data transfer. 
  2. Quick Start: Quick and easy for transferring essential data directly between two iPhones in hand.
  3. Using Mac (iTunes/Finder): Best for a stable, wired transfer and creating a backup on your Mac.
  4. AirDrop: Great for sharing specific files like photos or contacts quickly between iPhones.

Each method has its own unique advantages for transferring data between iPhones, whether you're looking for a comprehensive move or just want to share specific items. To further streamline the migration process, the use of additional applications is key. For example, CloudMounter provides seamless access to your cloud storage directly from your Mac to make the preparation phase as smooth as possible; Disk Drill will be handy if you accidentally lose some data in the transferring process. On top of that, we recommend you try CleanMy®Phone for cleaning up duplicate files and freeing up storage space.

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Do you put a SIM card in the new iPhone before transferring data?

It doesn't matter. The SIM card doesn't store data from your iPhone, so you can put it in before or after you transfer data to new iPhone.

How long does it take to transfer data from one iPhone to another?

It depends on the amount of data you are going to transfer and the transfer method. It is generally advised to expect the process to take 45 minutes to an hour.

Does Quick Start transfer everything?

If both phones involved in the data transfer have iOS 12.4 or higher, you will be able to transfer all data, including Wi-Fi settings, Apple ID, Apple Pay, etc.

If your iOS version is older than 12.4, you won't be able to transfer all your data. You'll need to make a backup on your old phone and then restore it to your new one. 

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