Buy the new iPhone 14?  Here's how to transfer your data

Buy the new iPhone 14? Here’s how to transfer your data

Getting a new phone is exciting, but before you tear up your new iPhone 14 box and start playing with all new features of iOS 16, stop there. You don’t want to rush the setup process. Instead, take the time to make sure your the new iPhone 14 is configured as you like.


Apple offers several options to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone, depending on your situation. For example, you can set it up as brand new, but you’ll start from scratch with no settings, messages, photos, apps, or accounts transferred over. There’s also the option to move everything from your current phone to the iPhone 14 – even if you are an android user.

We will walk you through the four different methods to restore your phone from a recent backup of your current iPhone.

1. Restore a recent iCloud backup to your new iPhone

The easiest and fastest way to set up your new iPhone is to restore from a recent iCloud backup. As you go through the initial setup process, tap Restore from iCloud Backupsign in with your Apple ID, then choose the most recent backup of your old iPhone.

If the backup is more than a day or two old, I suggest you take a few extra minutes to create a new backup. To do this, open the Settings app on your old phone and search iCloud Backup (click the icon), then select Back up now.

Once that’s done, go back to your new iPhone and select the backup you just created as the one you want to use for the restore.

Your phone will then restore your settings and preferences, and you can start using it in about 15 minutes while it finishes downloading your installed apps.

Once everything is restored, you’ll need to sign back into any accounts you’ve added to your phone, as well as browse through your apps and make sure you’re still signed in.

Apple iPhone 14

You have several options for setting up your new iPhone.

James Martin/CNET

2. Use Apple’s direct transfer method

During the setup process, you’ll be asked if you want to directly transfer apps and information from your old iPhone to your new one. This feature first rolled out with iOS 12.4, so if it’s been a few years since you’ve upgraded phones, this will be the first time you’ve seen the option.

The tool is simple to use. Make sure you have both phones, preferably plugged in and charging to make sure they haven’t run out of battery, a Wi-Fi connection, and enough time for the process to complete – it may take longer of one hour.

The more information you have on your phone, like photos in your camera roll, the longer it will take. When the transfer begins, the phones will show you an estimated time. Every time I’ve used this tool, that estimate has been accurate within minutes. It’s worth taking the time if you don’t use Apple’s iCloud service to back up your phone.

3. Use a Mac or PC to transfer your data to an iPhone

The method I personally use with every new iPhone is to restore from an encrypted backup using a Mac or PC. Not only does this process transfer all your apps, settings, and preferences, but it also means you don’t have to sign in to the countless apps you have on your phone.

Before you can use this method, you need to create an encrypted backup of your current iPhone. I know this may sound intimidating or overly complicated, but it only means you have to check an extra box and enter a password.

On a Mac, you’ll use Finder to back up your old iPhone. We have described the steps when Apple killed iTunes. Just be sure to check the Encrypt backup box and enter a password that you will remember when prompted. Let your Mac get to work by creating a backup file. It will let you know when it’s done.

On a PC, you’ll need to use iTunes (it’s not totally dead) to create a backup. This process is explained here. Again, you will need to make sure that Encrypt backup box is checked and enter a password.

To restore your new phone, open Finder or iTunes and connect your phone to your computer. Click on Trust when prompted, then follow the prompts, selecting the backup you just created as what you want to use to restore the phone. You will need to enter the backup password before the process begins – so make sure you don’t forget it!

Once done, your new phone will be an exact copy of your old phone and you won’t have to spend time logging into random apps or accounts.

The Move to iOS app used on Android and iPhone

Apple has created an Android app called Move To iOS that makes it easy to move your messages, photos, videos and more from Android phone to iPhone.

Patrick Holland/CNET

4. Android user? This app is your answer

Apple doesn’t have many Android apps listed in the Google Play Store, but Move to iOS is one of them. This free application will connect your Android phone to a new iPhone and allow you to transfer the most important information from one phone to another.

Here is the whole process step by step along with some caveats, like that it won’t transfer locally stored music or PDF files.

No matter what process you went through to set up your new phone, you’re sure to be giddy with excitement as you explore what it can do.

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