How to Transfer Data from your old iPhone to your new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c

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If you’re planning to buy the new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c and wondering how to transfer data from your old iPhone to the new iPhone, then follow the steps mentioned below to first take a back up of your old iPhone and then restore the backup to your newly purchased iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c using iTunes or iCloud.

This process will transfer your saved messages, email accounts, photos, notes, and other personal settings to your new iPhone.

Before we start, we would recommend you to update your old iPhone to iOS 7 to ensure that you don’t hit any compatibility issues when you migrate from your old iPhone data on iOS 6.x.x or lower to iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c running on iOS 7. You can check out this guide to update your old iPhone to iOS 7.

Please note that if you also want to transfer passwords to your new iPhone then it is possible only using iTunes backup. Check this guide to encrypt iPhone backup so that your keychain information, which includes email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords you enter into websites and some other applications, is also backed up and transferred to your new iPhone.

We will show you how to transfer the data from your old iPhone to iPhone 5 using iTunes or iCloud.

Using iTunes:

  • Ensure that you’ve installed the latest version of iTunes. You can update it via Software Update or download it from here.
  • Take a back up of your old iPhone by following the steps in this tutorial.
  • After the backup is complete, turn off your old iPhone and turn on your new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. 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.

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  • When prompted to set up, choose “Restore from iTunes Backup,” tap next, and enter your Apple ID and password.

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  • Now connect your new iPhone to iTunes (on the same computer you used to back up your old iPhone). iTunes will ask you to restore from backup or set up as new. Select the backup of your old device and choose Continue (Ensure that iTunes is showing you the latest backup of your old iPhone). Please note that restoring from the backup 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.

itunes-set_up_your_iphone

  • When the restore process is complete, your new iPhone will restart. Then it will be ready for use. You should keep your new iPhone connected to iTunes to sync data not contained in the backup (such as music, videos, apps, and so on).
  • You can verify and change which data are synced by clicking the syncing tabs in iTunes.
  • If you haven’t encrypted your iPhone backup, then 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 due to security reasons.

Using iCloud:

  • 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.

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  • Now turn off your old iPhone and turn on your new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. 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.

ios-choose_a_network

  • When prompted to set up, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup,” tap next, and enter your Apple ID and password.

ios-setup_from_icloud

  • 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.

ios5-choose_backup

  • When the restore process is complete, your iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c 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. However, if you want them to be restored then using the iTunes method above.

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

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

  • tskwierc

    Good write up….. but man this is iPhone HACKS lol if anyone needs this that follows this site is pretty sad.

    • Gautam

      One must not forget that there are new users too. And the point about transferring passwords using encrypted iTunes backup isn’t covered on most blogs.

      • Abel Goddard

        Yeah, I’d never heard that part. I knew the rest, but had no idea about encryption. Thanks!

        • Gautam

          It’s an iPhoneHacks special :)

        • Gautam

          It’s an iPhoneHacks special :)

  • Jabfam

    Nice sharring. This may help many iPhone 5S/5C users. If you want to transfer SMS Text Messages only to iPhone 5S/5C from old iPhone, I recommend a program called Backuptrans iPhone SMS Transfer. It will merged the messages on the new iPhone.