You’ll want to know how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone if you’ve just purchased a new iPhone, or are thinking about doing so soon.
While the process is relatively straightforward — as you’d expect given iPhones are some of the most popular and best phones around — it can be a little daunting. After all, your whole life is probably on your existing iPhone.
Before you start, you'll want to back up your iPhone to iCloud, as your new iPhone will use that back up to set itself up. If you're low on storage, don't worry: iPhones have a feature called Prepare to Transfer, which is a way for you to “borrow” some cloud storage space for the process to back your phone up ahead of a transfer.
We’ll show you how to do it all in our guide on how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone.
How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone: Prepare to Transfer
With iOS 15, Apple introduced a feature that makes transferring data from iPhone to iPhone even easier. It's called Prepare for New iPhone, and it gives free temporary storage space in iCloud for 21 days to make the process as painless as possible.
As long as you transfer your data to your new iPhone within 21 days of triggering the process, this gets around having to pay for extra storage. If that's not long enough, there's an option to request an extra 21 days. Here's how to use this feature.
1. First, go to Settings and tap General. Then scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
2. The Prepare for New iPhone feature will be available at the top of the screen. Tap Get Started.
3. After reading through the information, tap Continue.
Tap Turn on Backup to Transfer if asked, then select Move All App Data with iCloud and tap Done. Apps and data will start to upload to iCloud. You can check on the backup progress on the main Settings screen.
Once that's completed, or if you've backed up to iCloud in the usual way, you can move onto transferring data from iPhone to iPhone below.
How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using iCloud
4. If you're now looking to move your data from one iPhone to another, you'll have a huge bank of stuff to transfer.
When you fire up your new iPhone (or one that has been erased and reset), input your language and region and, on the Quick Start page, tap Set Up Manually. Choose a Wi-Fi network, tap Next and wait a few minutes while the iPhone is activated.
3. Set up Touch ID/ Face ID and create a passcode for your iPhone. Then tap Restore from iCloud Backup when you get to the Apps & Data screen.
4. Sign in with your iCloud Apple ID and select the most recent iCloud backup. Now you just need to wait while the data is transferred to the new iPhone.
How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using Quick Start
There's an even easier way to transfer data if you're setting up a new iPhone: Quick Start. It will tie up both your old and new devices for a short while, but it's probably the simplest method to get data to your new iPhone.
1. First, turn on the new iPhone and place the old iPhone next to it.
2. When the “Set Up New iPhone” prompt appears, tap Unlock to Continue. The Apple ID on your old phone will be used for the set-up process. Tap Continue if you're happy for this to happen.
3. An animation will appear on the new iPhone's screen. Hold the animation up to the camera on your old iPhone. Once you see a message stating “Finish on New [Device]”, you should then enter your passcode (the one you use for your old device) on your new iPhone and follow the set-up instructions.
4. When you reach the Transfer Your Data screen, tap Transfer Directly from iPhone and confirm the settings and data you want to transfer.
How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using a Windows PC
You can use your Windows PC to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone. Just make sure that your PC has either a Type-C or regular USB port available, depending on the kind of Lightning cable you're using.
1. Download and install iTunes from the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab).
2. Connect your iPhone to your PC.
3. Launch iTunes and click Summary on the left-hand side. Under Backups select This Computer then click Back Up Now.
4. When you launch your new iPhone, tap Set Up Manually on the Quick Start page. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the Apps & Data screen and tap Restore from Mac or PC.
5. Continue to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone using a Mac
1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a cable.
2. Open the Finder app and select your iPhone from the sidebar to the left, then click Back up all of the data on your iPhone to your Mac and choose Back up now.
3. When you launch a new iPhone, tap Set Up Manually on the Quick Start page. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the Apps & Data screen and tap Restore from Mac or PC.
4. Continue to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Now you've discovered how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone, you'd might like to see some other guides for your Apple tech. You should definitely learn how to update your iPhone so you're running the latest iOS. If you're also due an Apple tablet upgrade soon, we have a similar guide on how to transfer data from iPad to iPad. If your iPhone is running a little sluggish, make sure you read our guide on how to clear RAM on iPhone, as this may help speed things up again. If you've transferred a lot of old photos, learn how to delete duplicate photos on iPhone. Check out how to enable dark mode on iPhone to avoid eye strain as well.
We also have a tutorial to show you how to clear the cache on Mac, if your Apple computer has slowed down. Want to ditch passwords for good? Learn how to set up Passkeys on iPhone, iPad and Mac. If your contacts book is looking a little full, have a spring clean by using our guide on how to delete multiple contacts on iPhone.