How to clone your old iPhone to a new iPhone

Zach Zach (248)
15 minutes

Whether you've shattered your screen, broken your home button, or decided to upgrade to a fancy new iOS device, chances are you'll want your new iPhone to work like your old one.

I have my iPhone set up exactly how I want it. Therefore, when I broke that iPhone's home button and received a replacement iPhone, I wanted to make sure that everything was copied over precisely.

This short guide will show you how to clone your old iPhone onto your new one.

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Lightning USB cableLightning USB cable ×1

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Find your old iPhone in iTunes

While you can also create an iCloud backup of your device, I've found that backing up to iTunes is best since it's faster, more secure, and you're not bound by the "free" iCloud storage size limitations.

Plug your old phone into your computer, open iTunes, and click the small "Device" button.

Create an iTunes backup of your old iPhone

You will now see the settings pane for your iPhone. Check the "Encrypt iPhone Backup" option. This option will prompt you to create a password to unlock the backup. Additionally, if you're transferring Health and Wellness data from your iPhone, you must encrypt the backup in order for this data to transfer over.

Finally, click "Back Up Now".

Transfer your SIM card

Safely eject your old iPhone from iTunes and power it down. Using a thin paperclip, remove the SIM card tray on the side of your old iPhone and insert the SIM card into into your new iPhone.

Restore your old iPhone backup onto your new iPhone

Connect your new iPhone to your computer and turn it on. You should see a white "Hello" screen. If you do not see this screen, it means your device has already been set up and you first need to wipe it by navigating to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Once you see the "Hello" screen, open iTunes and click Restore iPhone. Select the backup you just created, and click Continue.

The restore should take about 5 minutes; afterwards, your iPhone will automatically restart. Finally, safely eject your new iPhone from iTunes.

You're almost done! Now that everything has been transferred over, I recommend securely erasing your old device so that it can be resold or sent back to your carrier (if this is a replacement or upgrade device). I wrote a separate guide on securely erasing your old iPhone.

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