How to transfer the content of your old iPhone to the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c

Apple iPhone 5S 3 colors

If you already own an iPhone and you’re planning to upgrade to the iPhone 5s or the iPhone 5c, you probably want to carry your old data and settings along with you. Thankfully, there are two fairly easy ways to do this.

If your soon-to-be-old phone is running iOS 5 or later and you have an iCloud account, use iCloud. It’ll let you store your data and settings in the cloud, then wirelessly beam it back down to your new phone. If you’re running on older version of iOS or you don’t have access to a solid wireless internet connection to back up your data with iCloud, then iTunes is the way to go. It’ll still let you keep your old data and settings, but requires you to use a cable and transfer everything through iTunes.

And if you’ve decided that you’re just going to stick to your old phone for the time being, but you want to freshen it up with iOS 7, check out how to prepare your iOS 6 device for the iOS 7 update.

Note: If possible, do not turn on your new phone until you’ve taken the steps to back up your old one. If you’ve already activated your device and set it up as a new phone, you can tap on Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to restore it to factory settings. Just keep in mind this will erase all of the content and settings on your phone.

iCloud login

iCloud

  1. Tap on Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup. Make sure iCloud Backup is switched to on.
  2. When connected to both a power source and Wi-Fi, iCloud will automatically back your phone up once a day. To trigger it to back up manually, tap Back Up Now. (Note that you will need to be connected to a power source and Wi-Fi.)
  3. Once you’re all backed up, turn on your new phone and complete the setup assistant. When you reach the screen that says Set Up iPhone, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and select the backup of your old phone you wish to use. Note that you will need to know your Apple ID and password in order to do this.
  4. Wait until your phone has been fully restored before you use it. It will restart when ready.
  5. Connect your phone to iTunes to sync any data that wasn’t stored in your backup (like apps, music and video). You can check which data is synced through the syncing tabs in iTunes.
  6. Once backed up, you will still need to provide passwords for your email and voicemail, along with other synced accounts.

iTunes

iTunes

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer, and the most recent version of iOS installed on your phone.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Click the File menu in iTunes, then select Devices > Back Up, and click on Back Up Now.
  3. To make sure the backup is complete, open the iTunes Preferences menu and click on the Devices tab. The name of your phone and the time of backup should appear. Once verified, disconnect the phone from your computer.
  4. Once you’re all backed up, turn on your new phone and complete the setup assistant. When you reach the screen that says Set Up iPhone, choose “Restore from iTunes Backup” and select the backup of your old phone you wish to use.
  5. Connect your new phone to iTunes, select the backup of your old phone, and click Continue.
  6. Wait until your phone has been fully restored before you use it. It will restart when ready.
  7. Keep your phone connected to iTunes to sync any data that wasn’t stored in your backup (like apps, music and video). You can check which data is synced through the syncing tabs in iTunes.
  8. Once backed up, you will still need to provide passwords for your email and voicemail, along with other synced accounts.
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