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How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone

Digital lifestyle
How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone
Digital lifestyle

Whether you’ve bought a new iPhone and need to move everything across, or you just need to quickly share a file, this guide explains all.

How to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone


Upgrading to a new iPhone is exciting, but transferring all your important data can seem daunting. Don’t worry, Apple makes it easy to move everything from your old iPhone to your new one. This guide covers the different methods for how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone.


Using Quick Start to transfer is recommended for most users as it’s fast, wireless, and encrypted end-to-end. But be aware you’ll need a decent internet connection and iCloud storage. 


How to backup an iPhone

Before upgrading to your new iPhone, you’ll want to backup your current device. That way you can easily restore all your data on the new iPhone. You have a few backup options:


iCloud backup

This automatically backs up your iPhone data to iCloud whenever the device is charging, locked and connected to Wi-Fi. To check if iCloud Backup is enabled and working:

  • Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup
  • Toggle iCloud Backup on
  • Tap Back Up Now to manually start a fresh backup


You can also choose what app data gets backed up to iCloud by going to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud and tapping on each app (messages, health data, etc).

Be aware that you may need to upgrade your iCloud storage plan if you don’t have enough free space for the full backup. 


A great hack for freeing up some space is deleting all your screenshots from your photos. To do this:

  • Open the Photos app
  • Scroll down below the albums to the list of Media Types
  • Tap Screenshots
  • Tap Select then Select all
  • Tap the delete icon

If you’re still short of storage and want to upgrade your iCloud capacity, an Apple Gift Card is a great way to securely handle the payment without using a credit card. 


In the UK, the iCloud storage plans and prices you can choose from are:

  • 50GB: £0.99/month
  • 200GB: £2.99/month
  • 2TB: £8.99/month
  • 6TB: £26.99/month
  • 12TB: £54.99/month

With a gift card, you can top up enough funds to cover a full year of iCloud storage, helping you budget effectively. 


Mac backup

This is how to create a backup of your iPhone on a Mac running macOS 10.15 or later:

  • Connect the iPhone to your Mac with a compatible cable
  • In the Finder sidebar on your Mac, select your iPhone
  • At the top of the Finder window, click General
  • Click “Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac”
  • To encrypt your backup data and protect it with a password, select “Encrypt local backup”
  • Click Back Up Now

If your machine is running an earlier version of macOS, you can use iTunes to back up your iPhone.


PC backup

To back up your iPhone using a Windows PC, follow these steps:

  • Connect the iPhone and your computer with a compatible cable*
  • In the iTunes app on your PC, click the iPhone button near the top left of the iTunes window
  • Click Summary
  • Click Back Up Now (below Backups)
  • To encrypt your backups, select “Encrypt local backup,” type a password, then click Set Password


To see the backups stored on your computer, go to Edit > Preferences, then click ‘Devices’. Encrypted backups have a lock icon next to them. 


*You can also connect your iPhone to your computer wirelessly if you set up.


Transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone with Quick Start

Apple’s Quick Start tool makes it super easy to transfer pretty much everything from your old iPhone directly to your fresh new iPhone, including:

  • Apps and app data
  • Accounts and passwords
  • Settings and preferences
  • iMessages and text history
  • Web and reading lists
  • Health and fitness data
  • Photos and videos


Quick Start will make both devices inactive for several minutes, so make sure you’re not expecting any important calls before you begin.

To use Quick Start, follow these steps:

  • Make sure your older device is connected to Wi-Fi
  • Make sure Bluetooth is on
  • Turn on your new device and place it near your older device
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to get started
  • If the prompt to set up your new device disappears, restart both devices
  • Connect your new device to Wi-Fi or your mobile network
  • You may be asked to activate your mobile service
  • Set up Face ID or Touch ID
  • Choose how you want to transfer your data


If you transfer from iCloud, your new phone will download apps and data in the background. That means you can start using it straight away. 


If you transfer data directly from your older device, you’ll have to wait for the transfer to complete on both devices before you can use them.


Keep your devices near each other and plugged into a power source until the data transfer process finishes. This can take up to an hour; the speed depends on the amount of data and your internet connection. 


Transfer data to a new iPhone from a computer backup 

If you’ve backed up your data on a Mac or PC, you should avoid setting up your new iPhone before following the steps below. 


If you’ve already set up the new device, reset it before continuing: Tap Settings > General > Transfer or Reset [Device] > Erase All Content and Settings. 


Computer transfer steps

  • ​​Turn on your new device — you should see a “Hello” screen
  • Follow the steps until you see the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from Mac or PC
  • Connect your new device to the computer that you used to back up your older device
  • Open an Apple Devices, iTunes or Finder window on your computer and select your device — if asked to trust your device, select Trust
  • Select Restore Backup
  • Choose your preferred backup (usually the most recent one)
  • If you’re restoring from an encrypted backup, enter your password when asked


Wait for the transfer to finish, then complete the remaining setup steps on your new iPhone. There may be a few extra steps, which you can find here.


Transfer files between iPhones with AirDrop

Sometimes you just need to quickly transfer a few photos, videos, or other files between two iPhones. The simplest way is with AirDrop. 


Get ready

Make sure that the iPhone you’re sending to is nearby and within Bluetooth range. Make sure both devices have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.


Check whether the iPhone you’re sending to has AirDrop set to receive from Everyone or Contacts Only. Add your number to Contacts, or change the setting to Everyone. 


Send a file

Follow these steps: 

  • Open the item on your iPhone
  • Tap the Share button or another button that displays the app’s sharing options
  • Tap the AirDrop icon, then tap the device you want to share with


On certain iPhones running iOS 17 or later, you can trigger an Airdrop by opening the file and then moving the devices close together.  


Transfer a Wi-Fi password from iPhone to iPhone

Typing in long Wi-Fi passwords manually is super fiddly. But when one iPhone is already connected to the network, it’s easy to wirelessly share the password with another iPhone so they can instantly connect. 


Get ready

  • Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on both devices
  • If either device has an active Personal Hotspot, turn it off
  • Make sure the email address you’re using for your Apple ID is saved in the other person’s Contacts
  • Make sure you have their email address saved in your Contacts


Share Wi-Fi access

  • Make the device that’s already connected to the Wi-Fi network unlocked
  • Select the Wi-Fi network in Settings > Wi-Fi on the device you want to connect
  • Move the phones close together
  • On the connected device, tap Share Password, then tap Done


Making the most of your new iPhone

If you’re on a pay-as-you-go deal, being able to easily top up your phone credit is important. You never know when you might need to make an important call, reply to an urgent message, or send an email on the go. At Mobiletopup.co.uk, you can buy instant digital top-ups for UK mobile networks like Three, O2, EE, and Tesco Mobile. This is a great way to help friends and family stay connected too. 


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Written by

Joel Stein

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