Which options should I pick when setting up a new iPhone? I'm confused by the number of options: iCloud, Location Services, Siri, iCloud Key Chain etc.
Setting up a new iPhone is generally very easy but you're right – you are faced with a lot of options. If you've just purchased a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, or been handed down a family member's old iPhone, or even been given one as a gift (lucky you!), here are some useful tips and advice for setting it up.
1) Are you upgrading from an older iPhone?
Yes: Go to step 2
No: Go to step 8
2) Make sure you back up your old iPhone first
If you're upgrading from an older iPhone, you can transfer all its apps, data, and settings to your new iPhone. But to do so, you'll need to make a backup (via iTunes or via iCloud) of your information.
How to back up an iPhone using iTunes
It's worth checking that you are running the latest version of iTunes before you start. Select iTunes from the menu, and Check for Updates. To make a backup, or update an existing one using iTunes, connect your old device to the computer you normally sync it with via USB, open iTunes, select the device, and press the Sync button.
How to back up an iPhone using iCloud
If you're running one of the latest versions of iOS, the chances are you will already be backing up on a daily basis via iCloud.
Check that your iPhone has recently backed up: your device will automatically make an iCloud backup once a day as long as it's locked, plugged in, and connected to a Wi-Fi network, and as long as you have sufficient space available in your iCloud account. You can find out when your iPhone's last backup was completed by going to Settings > iCloud > Backup and then checking beneath Back Up Now.
If it's not been backed-up recently you can manually force a backup by opening Settings and navigating to iCloud > Backup, making sure iCloud Back up is on, and selecting Back Up Now.
Backing up via iCloud may take longer than via iTunes, especially if it's the first time, so if you are in a hurry it may not be the best option.
For more information, see our dedicated guide to backing up your iPhone.
3) How to set up your new iPhone
Turn on your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus by pressing and holding (just for a second or two) the oblong on/off button at the top right of the device. Once the device is on, swipe where it says 'Slide to Set Up'. Apple will now take you through a number of options. First you'll need to choose your language, then your country or region, connect to WiFi including language and country, connecting to WiFi, Enabling Location Services, and then the option to Restore from iCloud Backup, Restore from iTunes Backup or Set Up as New iPhone. Since you have a back up, pick the relevant option (we'll discuss setting up as a new iPhone below).
4) Restore your new iPhone from an iTunes backup
If you backed up via iTunes, connect your iPhone the computer that you backed up your old iPhone to. iTunes will check that you want to restore from backup of set up as new. Select the Restore from this backup option. While the restore process is taking place the iTunes progress bar may pause, it may just need more time, so don't unplug your phone. When the restore process is complete your new iPhone will start up. Keep the device connected to iTunes to sync your music and other media files.
5) Restore your new iPhone from the iCloud backup
If your old iPhone is backed up to iCloud you don't even need to plug your iPhone into your computer, although you will want to plug it into a power source. It also needs to be on a WiFi network. In fact, it is possible to set up your new iPhone without ever plugging it in to a computer.
When prompted to set up, choose "Restore from iCloud Backup," tap next, and enter your Apple ID and password. Select the backup of your old device and tap Restore. Wait until the device has finished restoring from the backup - this will take longer depending on how much data is contained in the backup and the speed of your internet connection.
When the restore process is complete, your device will restart.
We've rounded up links to all our iPhone tips and tutorials here: iPhone tips and tutorials, everything you need to know
Also read: How to use Apple Music in the UK
6) Non-iPhone users moving to a new iPhone
If you're moving from an Android, BlackBerry, or Windows smartphone to Apple's iPhone, it should be relatively painless, but you can make transferring your data to your new device easier if you set things up the right way to start with. Make sure things are set up correctly to start with and there will be minimum hassle later.
How to activate your iPhone if you're switching from Android
Apple has recently made it much easier to move from Android to iOS with the new Move to iOS app, available in the Google Play Store. You need to download it to your Android device and open it. Then, on your iOS device you'll need to look for the Apps & Data screen during setup, which will only appear if your device is running iOS 9.
If it's not running iOS 9, follow the setup process as if you were setting up a new iPhone then go to Settings > General > Software Update and update to the latest version of iOS 9 you're offered. Then go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings and start the setup process from scratch. This time you should see the Apps and Data screen during setup.
On your Android device, read the terms and conditions and then tap Agree to continue. Tap Next when you see the Find Your Code screen. Then go back to your iOS device on the Move from Android screen and tap Continue. You should then see a ten-digit code that you need to enter on your Android device.
You can now select the content on your Android device that you would like to transfer to your new iPhone. Once you've picked everything you want, tap Next and leave both phones alone until the loading bar on your iPhone is complete. It could take quite a while to complete so don't be impatient and click anything before it's done as you may lose progress and have to start again.
You can then follow the onscreen instructions to finish setting up your iPhone.
How to activate your iPhone if you are new to Apple
Unbox your iPhone and turn it on by pressing the On/Off switch. A welcome screen greets you, displaying a 'Slide To Set Up' slider that rotates between different languages.
Once you begin the activation process, you're asked to pick your language and country, and whether you'd like to enable Location Services. This allows Apple apps (and third-party apps) to access your location via Wi-Fi networks and your GPS (Global Positioning System) location. Your iPhone then checks for any Wi-Fi networks in the area that your phone can connect to; if there aren't any, or if you'd rather use your cellular service, just tap the Next button.
From here, you can set up your device as a brand-new phone.
7) How to transfer email, contacts and calendars to your first-ever iPhone
If you're using a Gmail account or other POP or IMAP-based account for mail on your smartphone, it's already syncing to a central server. You should be able to add that account to your new iPhone with few issues. Apple's iOS has automatic setup for those using Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, Aol, or Hotmail; you'll also be able to manually set up a POP or IMAP account for mail, LDAP or CardDAV for contacts, or CalDAV for calendars.
8) How to sync music and movies to your first-ever iPhone
Use iTunes on your Mac or PC to sync your music, TV shows, movies, and photos from your computer to your new iPhone. If your smartphone wasn't an iPhone previously you will need to get the data from your non-Apple device onto your computer and into iTunes. Once your music and movies are in iTunes they will be ready to sync with your new iPhone. Plug your iPhone into your computer, open iTunes, select your device from the left hand navigation, and choose the music and movies you wish to sync. If you have a big collection of media and limited space on your device you can create Playlists and set them to sync with your iPhone.
Read our latest iTunes tutorials including:
- How to sync iPhone to iTunes without erasing the content
- Get music on to and off of your iPhone without using iTunes
- iTunes syncing tips for iPhone users
9) How to sync photos with your first-ever iPhone
To sync photos to your iPhone you will need to add them to Photos on your Mac or a Pictures folder on a PC. To find out more about syncing photos to your iPhone, read the following articles:
- Tips for using the Camera and Photos app
- How to use the Photos app in Mac OS X
- How to use iCloud Photo Sharing and iCloud Photo Library
10) How to sync non-iOS Apps
Unfortunately, you can't port any Windows or Android apps from your old device to your iPhone. It is often the case that you will find parallel versions of those apps on Apple's App Store though. Note that if you have purchased content through apps – for example Kindle books – you will be able to download an equivalent app to access the data, in most cases at least.
11) How to import contacts from a really old phone
If your phone has a nano-SIM card you should be able to transfer contacts. Copy all your contacts to the nano-SIM in your old phone then, once you've set up your new iPhone, you can copy those contacts by swapping out your iPhone's SIM card with your old nano-SIM and heading to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Import SIM Contacts. Once the import has completed, eject your old SIM and put the one that came with the iPhone 5 back in its tray. If your phone has a SIM card that doesn't fit in the iPhone 5, but it comes with a USB cable for connecting it to your computer, you may be able to transfer your contacts (and your photos) by exporting them through software.
12) How to keep my old SMS and text messages
SMS and MMS logs are not transferrable, but you may be able to rescue them from oblivion. It's not a simple process, but you may be able to save them onto your computer. There are a variety of programs available for exporting messages from your smartphones - SMS Backup & Restore for Android is one option.
Now get to know iOS 9
Spend some time getting to know your new phone, all Apple's iPad and iPhone models ship with iOS 9 and various apps provided by Apple for free. There are also thousands of apps available on the Apple App Store for you to download. Here are the 10 best apps for your new iPad or iPhone to get you started.
You can read more about iOS 9 over in our iOS 9 topic zone.
You might also like to read:
Thinking about buying the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus but haven't taken the plunge yet? Here's how (and where) to buy the new iPhone in the UK.