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How to switch iPhones

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Goal: transfer all the data from the old iPhone to the new one.
Resources: one old iPhone and one new iPhone.
Solution: back up your old iPhone and restore it to the new one.

That’s it? Is it that simple? Unfortunately not. You are sure to be faced with a number of questions before you even begin:

  • Every backup method has its pros and cons. iCloud and iTunes, for example, will back up different types of data. Which iPhone backup method should I choose?
  • I already have some photos and contacts on my new iPhone, but restoring from iCloud or iTunes backup means they will be erased. I don’t want that, what should I do?
  • I don’t want to cram my new iPhone with all the data from my old iPhone. I want to transfer selected types of data. But iTunes and iCloud can’t do that. What should I do?
  • How to transfer music? Restoring from iCloud or iTunes backup doesn’t do that.
  • How to transfer apps? Again, iCloud and iTunes are of little help.

We strive to provide answers to all these questions in the article below.

  1. How to transfer data to the new iphone
  2. ⭐How to transfer certain types of data to the new iphone
  3. What about my music?
  4. What about my apps?
  5. Not all my photos were transferred to my new iPhone. What to do?

How to transfer data to the new iphone

In a nutshell, the procedure is done in 2 steps: back up your old iPhone, then restore a new iPhone from the backup you made. You can use iCloud, iTunes or third-party apps (like CopyTrans Shelbee) to accomplish that.

Please note: iCloud and iTunes are both suitable methods to switch iPhones, but only if you have a brand new device. They don’t have a selective restore feature: so, all the data on the iPhone will be replaced with that from the backup. If you already have some data on your new iPhone and you would rather not lose it – our advice is to to use CopyTrans Shelbee instead.

Before switching your iPhones:

  • Prepare your Apple ID and password. You will be prompted to enter your credentials.
  • Unpair your Apple Watch: once you unpair your Apple watch, it will be backed up automatically with all your health data.

Step 1. Back up your old iPhone

Make sure you back up your iPhone on the day of the transfer so that you do not lose any recent changes.
There is more than one way to back up your iPhone. We described all of them in detail in our article, “How to back up your iPhone: 6 ways”. Here are the ways:

  • Back up with iTunes (on a Windows PC, in Mac OS Mojave or earlier): How to back up with iTunes
    Pros: it is free; iTunes doesn’t store your data on a remote server;
    Cons: iTunes restore will overwrite all iPhone data; can’t restore apps.
  • Back up with iCloud: How to back up with iCloud

    Pros: Doesn’t require PC or cable; automatically encrypts your backup, ensuring data safety.
    Cons: Requires a Wi-Fi connection; your data will be stored on the Apple servers; restoring from iCloud overwrites all iPhone data; iCloud backup doesn’t include the data that are synced to iCloud; you only have 5 Gb of free storage. If you need more, you have to pay.

  • Back up with CopyTrans Shelbee (for Windows users only): How to back up with CopyTrans Shelbee

    Pros: doesn’t store your data on a remote server; automatically encrypts your backup and lets you validate the password; you can select data types to restore; can restore apps that are no longer on the AppStore (provided that you backed them up when they still were); one of the lowest prices on the market (here’s the store).
    Cons: paid software with a trial mode (backing up is possible in trial mode if you uncheck the “save the apps” box – we only allow that in full mode).

Please remember: while you are backing up to iCloud, don’t interrupt the transfer or switch off Wi-Fi connection until the backup is complete. If you are backing with iTunes or CopyTrans Shelbee — don’t touch your cable or disconnect the device until the backup finishes.

For MacOS Catalina users: don’t panic if you can’t find iTunes on your Mac. In this OS, you will need to use the Finder app instead of iTunes.
The Finder app icon looks like this:
how finder app looks like
To back up your iPhone with the help of this little guy, do the following:

  1. Connect your device to Mac.
  2. Click on the Finder App.
  3. where to find finder app

  4. Select your device on the left side of the Finder App.
  5. Click on “General”.
  6. Select where you want the backup to be placed: on your Mac or in iCloud. To protect your data with a password, tick the checkbox next to “Encrypt local backup”.
  7. Click on “Back up now”
  8. how to backup with Finder

Step 2. Restore your new iPhone from the backup

How to restore an iPhone If it’s not set up yet

Once you are fully backed up, turn off your old device. If you have a SIM card that you want to use with the new phone, remove it from the old phone and put it into the new one.

Switch on your new iPhone and follow the instructions. You can read more about how to set up a new iPhone from the Apple support article.

You’ll be asked whether you want to set up your iPhone as a new device or restore it from a backup. If you choose the latter option, select either “restore from iCloud” or “restore from Mac or PC” and follow the instructions to get the data onto your new iPhone.

You can also leave restoring from a local backup (made with iTunes or CopyTrans Shelbee) for later. Just select “Don’t transfer Apps and Data” upon startup and then restore your iPhone following guides described in the next section.

How to restore an iPhone if it’s already set up

If you bought your iPhone some time ago and it has already been in use, of course there is no need to set up your iPhone again. There are several methods you can use to restore your iPhone. We described all of these methods in our article How to restore iPhone: 6 different ways. Just click on the link you are interested in: they contain detailed guides for each restore method and theis pros and cons.

  • Restore iPhone from iTunes
    Pros: It’s free;
    Cons: Overwrites all iPhone data; Requires an iPhone, a PC and a cable; Can’t restore apps.
  • Restore from iCloud
    Pros: Doesn’t require PC or cable;
    Cons: ▪️ Requires an iPhone, a PC and a cable; Not free, but has a trial mode; one of the lowest prices on the marketOverwrites all iPhone data; Requires a Wi-Fi connection; Can’t restore apps and data that are already stored in iCloud.

  • Restore without iTunes (CopyTrans Shelbee)
    Pros: Doesn’t require Internet connection; You can select the data type to restore; Can restore apps, even if they are no longer on the AppStore
    Cons: Requires an iPhone, a PC and a cable; Not free, but has a trial mode; one of the lowest prices on the market.

How to ransfer data without backup: Quick start

Starting from iOS 11, you will be offered a new option upon initial iPhone startup: Quick start. It is very similar to iCloud restore, only it saves you time and effort. All you need is to place the older and newer iPhones next to each other, ensuring they have a stable Wi-Fi connection.

Here is how to use this magic feature:

  1. Switch on your newer iPhone. If it is already set up, reset it.
  2. Upon startup, choose your language and region.
  3. Place the two iPhones close to each other.
  4. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and tap on Continue.
  5. Wait for an animation to appear on your new iPhone, then hold your current iPhone over the new iPhone.
  6. Center the animation in the viewfinder. Wait for a message that says Finish on New iPhone.
  7. If you can’t use your current iPhone camera, tap Authenticate Manually, then follow the steps that appear.
  8. Wait for a message that says Finish on the new iPhone.
  9. When prompted, enter your current iPhone passcode for the new iPhone.
  10. Follow the instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID on your new iPhone.
  11. Next, select Transfer from iPhone to begin the transfer process.

Note: both of your devices should run iOS 11 or later.

How to transfer certain types of data to the new iPhone

Imagine a situation: you bought an iPhone and have been using it for a while. You have taken some cool photos and got some important messages. Now it is time to transfer data from your old phone. Restoring with iCloud or iTunes will completely overwrite the data, which means goodbye to the new photos and messages.

To avoid this, use CopyTrans Shelbee: it has a custom restore feature. You can select the types of data to transfer to your new iPhone.

With CopyTrans Shelbee, you can choose which type of data you want to restore. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download CopyTrans Shelbee from the following page:Download CopyTrans Shelbee
  2. Click on “Custom Restore”.
  3. restore selected data copytrans shelbee custom restore

  4. Click on the pencil icon to select the backup with the data you need.
  5. select backup to restore to custom restore

  6. Once you have chosen the backup, click on “Next”.
  7. click next

  8. Wait until the loading process finishes.
  9. loading in progress

  10. Select the data type (or types) for restore. For example you can choose to restore contacts only. Just select “Contacts”, then click on “Next”. You will also be offered to restore calendars, notes, WhatsApp etc., in the same way.
  11. select data to restore

  12. Press “Next”. Please note that the data you selected will be overwritten. This way, if you restore contacts, the old contact set will be replaced with that from the backup.
  13. confirmation screen

  14. Next you will be asked to choose the directory to back up your device: we save it in case something goes wrong during Custom restore. Select the destination and click on “Start”.
    saving device backup
  15. Wait until the restore process finishes.
    custom restore in progress
  16. That’s it! Your device will now restart.
    cts restore in progress 2

What about my music?

You will not be able to transfer music using any of the above methods.
But you can easily accomplish that with our programs, CopyTrans and CopyTrans Manager.
Here is how to transfer your music between devices:

How to transfer music from one device to another

What about my apps?

You will not be able to transfer your applications using iCloud or iTunes. If you need to migrate them, CopyTrans Shelbee will come to rescue.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to transfer your apps:

How to transfer iPhone apps to another iPhone

What about my photos?

The methods above will help you transfer the photos that are part of the Camera Roll. However, if you have iCloud Photos enabled on your device, the originals of your images may be stored in Cloud. In such case, you will need to get them from iCloud directly:

I can’t find my photos in the backup

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By Vlada

Vlada is a tech support specialist who believes that the world is beautiful as long as it has dogs, Tarantino movies and mom's pancakes.