How to: Migrate From Your Current iPhone to the iPhone 5

How to: Migrate From Your Current iPhone to the iPhone 5

If you’ve just gotten your hands on a shiny new iPhone, or are planning to get your hands on one in the near future, you may have some questions. To help, we’ve put together a guide for how to migrating your applications and settings from your current iPhone over to your iPhone 5.

1. Backup Your Old iPhone

The first step in migrating is to back up your original iPhone. To do this, simply plug it into your computer. If iTunes doesn’t launch automatically, launch iTunes and then sync your iPhone. Additionally, you can choose not to sync, but only yo back up by right-clicking on the iPhone in iTunes and choosing Back Up from the contextual menu.

This backup is important – it will preserve your iPhone’s settings and saved data. It will not, however, back up your installed applications, music, movies, or photos. This must be done by syncing the iPhone later in the process.

2. Prepare Your New iPhone

This is the easiest step. Simply plugging it in to your computer and making sure iTunes is open will take care of it.

3. Restore

With your iPhone plugged in to your computer, within the iTunes interface, you should be presented with the option of setting up your iPhone as a new device, or restoring from a backup. If for some reason you aren’t presented with these options, then you can simply right-click (or option-click) your new iPhone in iTunes, and select “restore from backup” in the contextual menu that follows.

iTunes will now make a copy of your backup, and use the copy to configure your new iPhone with your old iPhone’s settings.

4. The First Sync: The Waiting Game

After the initial backup, your iPhone will restart and begin syncing for the first time. It’s important not to interrupt this, as iTunes is now migrating all your applications, music, movies, photos, and settings to the new iPhone, carefully making sure to preserve their position on the home screen and in their respective folders. Interrupting the transfer might result in apps being out of place or content not being transferred to your new device.

5. Enjoy!

Once this process is finished, your new iPhone is ready for action! Simply eject it from iTunes, and enjoy a faster, better version of what you already loved before.

If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to comment or contact us.

Check out our iPhone 5 launch page for our full assortment of tips, guides, apps, resources, and other iPhone 5 coverage!

  1. Danny Marks says:

    iPad or iPhone lol… Check section 3. 😉

    1. Oops! Fixed that. Thanks!

      1. Still an “iPad” under #3. Thanks for the info.

  2. Adam says:

    Thats so old school!!! I backed up to the cloud and just did a restore straight from the cloud. Didn’t have to touch my computer. After restore it was exactly the same as my old iPhone 4.
    Come on get with the times!!!

    1. It takes much, much longer over iCloud. Many people prefer using iTunes on the Mac as a result.

  3. I did as instructed but not all my apps came over I hadd about 150 and only 20 came transferred to the new phone? Help someone. Thx

    1. Perhaps you should try it again. Sounds like the sync might have been interrupted.

  4. Jakeyalex says:

    I have also had problems getting everything to come across to the iPhone 5. The majority of my apps have not come across. My music (126 albums) have not come across. Only the main photo album has come across. I followed the instructions precisely, synced my old phone. Can you advise what to do next? Is this some sort of bug, as I cant see that I am doing anything incorrectly? Thank you

  5. requiser says:

    haha ye wish this works but it doesnt… itunes is pure cancer…. its unbelievable that it should be this hard to transfer data between 2 devices…

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