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Apple iPhone: Transfer content from one iPhone to another using iCloud

The iCloud has been a controversial way to backup your iPhone data, but this has been a means to efficiently transfer content from an old iPhone to a new one in minutes.

Use iCloud to transfer all your stuff

Use the steps in this section to back up your previous device in iCloud and to transfer the backup to your new device.

Make an iCloud backup

  1. Connect your previous device to the Internet with Wi-Fi.

  2. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup.

  3. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.

  4. Tap Back Up Now.

  5. Stay connected to Wi-Fi until the process finishes.

Transfer your SIM card or contact your carrier

If your new device needs a SIM card, here’s what you need to do:

  • If your carrier gave you a new SIM card, put it in your new device.

  • If your new device uses the same kind of SIM card as your previous device, transfer the SIM card to your new device.

  • If your new device needs a different kind of SIM card than what you have, or if you aren’t sure, contact your carrier.

Then use the steps below to transfer your iCloud backup to your new device.

Transfer your iCloud backup to your new device

  1. Turn on your new device. A “Hello” screen should appear. If you’ve already set up your new device, you need to erase it before you can use these steps.*

  2. Follow the steps until you see the Wi-Fi screen.

  3. Tap a Wi-Fi network to join. Follow the steps until you see the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from iCloud Backup.

  4. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password.

  5. When asked, choose a backup. Make sure it’s the correct one by checking the date and size of each. If asked to update to a newer version of iOS, learn what to do.

  6. If you purchased iTunes or App Store content using multiple Apple IDs, you’ll be asked to sign in to each. If you can’t remember the passwords, you can skip this step by tapping “Don’t have an Apple ID or forgot it.”

  7. Stay connected and wait for the restore process to finish, then complete the rest of the onscreen setup steps. If possible, keep your device connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into power after setup. This allows content like your photos, music, and apps stored in iCloud to automatically download back to your device.

    * To erase your device, tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This will erase any data that’s currently on your device. After you erase it, your device restarts and the “Hello” screen appears.

Finish up

Learn how to restore your Apple Watch from a backup and pair it with your new iPhone. Or if you normally use iTunes to sync content to your iOS device, connect your device to your computer and use iTunes to sync the additional content.


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