How to Transfer Data From Your Old iPhone To iPhone 5 Using iCloud

iPhone 5

If you’ve just got your hands on the shiny new iPhone 5 and want to know how to transfer data from your old iPhone to the new iPhone, then follow the steps mentioned below to first take a backup of your old iPhone and  then restore the backup to your new iPhone 5 using iCloud.

In this guide, we will show you how to transfer the data from your old iPhone to iPhone 5 using iCloud. If you’re using iTunes to backup your iPhone, then check out this guide that shows you how to do it using iTunes.

  • Though it is not a standard practise, we would recommend you to update your old iPhone to iOS 6 to ensure that you don’t hit any compatibility issues when you migrate from your old iPhone on iOS 5.x or lower to iPhone 5 running on iOS 6. You can check out this guide to update your old iPhone to iOS 6.
  • iCloud backs up your device once a day. But it is good practise to backup your old device to iCloud one last time before before migrating so nothing is missed out. Launch the Settings app and navigate to iCloud > Storage & Backup and tap on Back Up now button. This may take time depending on the amount of data to be backed up.
  • After the backup is complete, check the Last Backup time (should show current time) to ensure that your backup was successful.
  • Now turn off your old iPhone and turn on your new iPhone 5. Note: It’s important that you don’t use your old iPhone as it will cause conflicts with the backups in iCloud.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup assistant by selecting your language and country, and choose whether to enable Location Services. When prompted, choose your Wi-Fi network.
  • When prompted to set up, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup,” tap next, and enter your Apple ID and password.
  • Select the latest backup of your old device and tap Restore. Wait until the device has finished restoring from the backup. Please note that it can be a time consuming process and depends  on the amount of data contained in the backup and on the speed of your Internet connection.
  • When the restore process is complete, your iPhone 5 will restart. Then it will be ready for use. You should also connect the device to iTunes to sync data not contained in the backup (such as music, videos, apps , and so on).
  • iPhone will also start re-downloading all your apps in the background.
  • You can verify and change which data are synced by clicking the syncing tabs in iTunes.
  • You will also need to enter your password for your Apple ID, email and other accounts, and voicemail again. The passwords are not restored to a new device for security reasons.

That’s it, you should now be able to use your shiny new iPhone 5.

Let us know how it goes and feel free to drop us a line if you’ve any questions.

[via Apple]

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  • stan

    Through iTunes backup? Any Instructions?

  • Gerry Howley

    Thanks loads for this! “Note: It’s important that you don’t use your old iPhone as it will cause conflicts with the backups in iCloud.” – if I’m giving my old phone to someone else to use, please can you tell me what do I need to do to ensure it doesn’t interfere with my iCloud and backups? Thanks again.

    • Kao Saephan

      Once you’ve successfully created a backup on iCloud, simply go into your phone settings and erase all content and settings. That’ll reset the phone and have it ready for the new owner.

      • Gerry Howley

        Great! Thanks

  • Guest

    May want to note that using icloud to transfer from one device to another doesn’t transfer your music and in some cases your pictures.

    • Kao Saephan

      Pictures will be restored from iCloud unless you disabled the pictures option. For music, only the songs that are purchased from iTunes will be downloaded unless you have iTunes Match (in which case it’ll download all of your songs).

      I recommend using the “Manually manage music and apps” option in iTunes to drag and drop your songs over to your new iphone after it’s done restoring from iCloud.

  • Michael Huczko

    My problem is that the guys at the store when they activated my phone ran through the setup assistant and told me to login to iCloud later. But I dont see any way to re-run the setup assistant or to tell it to restor from my old backup. How can I tell it to restore?

    • RobeGarza

      Michael i’m having the exact same problem, it looks like the only way to do so is by deleting all settings and such in the settings section, so when you restart it will run the setup assistan again… im doing this as i type… hope it works

  • KR

    When restoring to the new phone via iCloud, should I connect to line power or do it wirelessly? Does the new phone arrived fully charged up?

  • Annie

    My iPhone 5 started to download all contacts and photos. Came back to phone after several hours and it had stopped downloading photos and all contacts were gone. Please help!!!

  • antonysimpson

    What about apps and their positions and settings? I didn’t realise that my settings on iTunes were not to sync apps, so now if I click that I do want to sync apps it asks me if I want to wipe my iphone?

    • just saying

      first choose to transfer purchases from ur iphone from FILE in the menu bar then none of ur apps will be wiped if u chose sync apps

  • sb

    Whilst migrating from my jailbroken 3GS to my new 5 my wifi failed and so not all apps downloaded. For a week many apps were in “loading” mode. After awhile I noticed that some apps were disappearing. As it turns out, not all apps downloaded and were deleted instead. Entire folders of apps disappeared! Do I try to do a complete restore from the cloud? Or just start re-installing from app store? Before I realized the problem I started downloading some apps & rearranging them on my phone.
    I’m thinking it’s best to just start redownloading them because a complete restore could cause me to lose data accumulated since the migration. I don’t want to go back to iTunes because the backup there was SO old because after the jailbreak my 3GS wouldn’t talk to iTunes anymore.
    Question about redownloading – if I bought an app, would I have to buy again or would my Apple account remember I already paid for it?

    • Dana

      Me Too. This is happening to me right now. My apps load and then disappear. I’m out of the country and have to rely on my iCloud restore but it’s not working.

  • anonymous

    These people at Verizon don’t realise that many of their customers are NOT as tech savvy as they are. They need to perform these set-ups FOR their customers so that the customer doesn’t fuck anything up. My father knows close to NOTHING about the iphone, he transferred from 4 to 5 and he is babbling about how he lost all of his pictures, his pandora account, etc. Thus the Verizon seller did not do his/her job correctly in providing him simplistic step by step procedures to recover his info and his pictures, his contacts, etc.