How to Set Up an iPhone

A step-by-step guide to configuring your new iPhone and transferring data from your old device

Easton Smith
Jun 27, 2022
Icon Time To Read3 min read

So you went and got yourself an awesome new iPhone. Good choice! Now it’s time to get it running so you can actually enjoy all of those nifty features that you paid for. 

Setting up your iPhone is easy. Just insert your SIM card, turn it on, and follow the on-screen instructions. Your phone will walk you through configuring your settings and transferring data from your old device. 

If you want a more detailed, step-by-step guide for setting up your phone and transferring your data, then check out the sections below!

How to set up a new iPhone

So you’ve unboxed your beautiful new iPhone and admired its sleek design. Now it’s time to start that puppy up and get it running. Here’s a step-by-step guide for doing just that.

  1. Insert your SIM card. You may be able to use the SIM card from your previous phone, unless you’ve changed carriers.
  2. Turn on your iPhone. Press and hold the button on the side of the phone to turn it on.
  3. If you have another active Apple product that you’d like to transfer your information from, then you can select the Quick Start option. If not, select the Set Up Manually option.
  4. Connect to a network. If you have an active SIM card, then your iPhone should connect to the mobile network. You can also connect to a local Wi-Fi network. Once you’re online, you can activate the device and continue with set up.
  5. Configure Face ID or Touch ID (if you want to), and set up a 6-digit passcode. If you don’t want to set these up right now, you can always tap Set Up Later in Settings.
  6. If you want to transfer your data from another device, now is when you can do this. (We’ll talk more about transferring data from iPhones and Android phones in the sections below.)
  7. Sign in with your Apple ID and password. If you don’t have an Apple ID, then select the Forgot password or don't have an Apple ID? option.
  8. Set up automatic updates and information sharing settings. On the next screen you’ll be prompted to select if you want to automatically update your phone or not. You can also personalize settings about sharing information with Apple and apps.
  9. Set up Siri. If you want to use Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, then you can set that and other features up on this screen.
  10. Customize your Screen Time settings and other accessibility features.

That’s all. Your iPhone should be fully set up and ready to use. You can always go back and change the settings you entered here in your iPhone’s Settings menu.

Worried about losing your iPhone? Maybe you could use an Apple AirTag.

Ready to upgrade your phone plan?

Now that you have a fancy new iPhone, maybe it’s time to snag an equally fancy unlimited data plan? Check out our review of the best unlimited plans on the market.

How to transfer data and settings from other iOS device

If you’re setting up a new iPhone and you want to transfer your data and settings from an older Apple device, the process is quite simple. 

First of all, make sure that you have a backup of your old device, whether that’s on iCloud or on your computer. Also, have your Apple ID and password ready for sign in. 

You can select the Quick Start option when you’re setting up your new iPhone. This allows you to transfer all of the data and settings from your old device using Bluetooth. Just follow the instructions on your phone. 

You can also transfer your apps and data from a backup of your old device using iCloud or your computer. Just follow the instructions on the Apps & Data screen when you’re setting up your new device. 

If you’ve already set up your iPhone, and you want to restore the settings and data from your old phone, then you’ll need to go back and erase your new phone’s set up first. To do this, go to Settings, then under the General tab, find the Transfer or Reset option. Select Erase All Content and Settings. Then restart your phone.

How to transfer data and settings from Android device

If you’re moving from an Android device (whether it’s a Google Pixel, a Samsung Galaxy, or something else entirely) to an iPhone, the process is surprisingly easy. 

First of all, it’s best if you do this all as you set up your new iPhone. If you’ve already set up your phone, then you’ll need to erase it and start over (or move your data manually). You’ll also want to make sure to install the Move to iOS app on your Android device before you begin. 

Now, here’s how to transfer from Android to iOS. 

As you're setting up your new iPhone, you’ll come to an Apps & Data screen. On that screen, tap Move Data from Android. Follow the instructions on your iPhone to link your two devices through a local Wi-Fi network. You’ll be able to choose what kinds of data (photos, contacts, etc.) you want to transfer from your old Android phone. 

And that’s it. You should be ready to rock. 

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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