How to Transfer Your Stuff to a New (Apple) Device

Here’s the issue in general:

You have a new iOS device (iPhone, or iPad), and you want to make it just like the old iOS device you’re replacing. I have personally tested this process with iPhones and iPads on a Mac, but the theory should apply to Windows as well, and probably to iPods as well.

Here’s the specific situation you find yourself in:

You have a new device, and you want, or need to turn it on right away. If, for example, you go to the phone company’s store, and buy a new iPhone, or iPad, and you have them stick in a new SIM card because your old phone uses a different SIM card, you can now use the new phone immediately, and your old phone should not be turned on again, as the phone number now routes to the new SIM card in the new phone.
Now… You go home, plug your new phone into your computer to synchronize it with iTunes. iTunes will say that it’s detected a new phone, and ask you if you want to treat it as a new phone, or synchronize/restore it from a previous phone. This will most likely be the old phone you just replaced, as it should have been the last one you synched with iTunes.

Here’s the issue in general:

You have a new iOS device (iPhone, or iPad), and you want to make it just like the old iOS device you’re replacing. I have personally tested this process with iPhones and iPads on a Mac, but the theory should apply to Windows as well, and probably to iPods as well.

Here’s the specific situation you find yourself in:

You have a new device, and you want, or need to turn it on right away. If, for example, you go to the phone company’s store, and buy a new iPhone, or iPad, and you have them stick in a new SIM card because your old phone uses a different SIM card, you can now use the new phone immediately, and your old phone should not be turned on again, as the phone number now routes to the new SIM card in the new phone.
Now… You go home, plug your new phone into your computer to synchronize it with iTunes. iTunes will say that it’s detected a new phone, and ask you if you want to treat it as a new phone, or synchronize/restore it from a previous phone. This will most likely be the old phone you just replaced, as it should have been the last one you synched with iTunes.

Here’s what will happen:

Your new phone will sync with iTunes, all the apps that are compatible with the new phone will get loaded onto the new phone, and a lot, if not all of the settings will be transferred to the new phone. However, some things might not get transferred, or transferred properly. Some apps might not sync, which, as I mentioned, is because some apps might not work on the new phone because of hardware, or operating system incompatibilities. Sometimes you can update, or add these apps to the new phone, if there’s a newer version that is compatible. Sometimes there is no newever version. Sometimes passwords will not transfer, and the first time you launch certain apps on the new phone, you’ll be asked for them. This may happen no matter what you do. Sometimes default apps will revert to the Apple preference, and not yours. For example, if you use a different Web browser than Safari, you may find Web addresses opening in Safari after the changeover. Sometimes, and this is the most harmful one, your default account may revert to the Apple preference. That is, if you usually use your Gmail account, as I do, but you have an iCloud, or Me account, Apple will revert that to the default sending account, and all your friends will ask if you’ve moved. You should check all these things after a phone restore, or update no matter what!

Be Prepared:

As a general rule you should synchronize your iPhone with a computer on a regular basis. Once a week would be dead minimum, but prior to leaving the house with your phone, or every day is much, much smarter. This means that, no matter what happens, you can have your phone back the way it was almost instantly. Just restore it to the previous backup. This has saved me several times.

Here’s the key concept:

If you synchronize a phone that’s never gone through the startup process, and then restore it using the settings of a previous sync, or backup process, you will end up with a phone as close to the old phone as possible. You should still check those things I mention above. If, however, you start a new phone, and use it for even a few minutes, then restore it from an old phone’s backup, iTunes and the phone are left to decide which settings, and apps are the ones that take precedence. I don’t know, nor do I need to know, what the list of precedences are. I only need to know how to get the new phone as close as possible to the old phone.

Note: If you sync over the air with iCloud, your new phone will begin to sync stuff in the background as you’re walking around with the new phone in your pocket, or purse. This process seems to be pretty random, and it probably won’t be finished by the time you get home. It will also suck a ton of bandwidth from your data plan.

Preparing for an Upgrade:

If you do a routine sync as frequently as possible, you should be pretty good to go. However, here’s what I recommend, if you know you’re on your way to upgrade, or even exchange your phone:
1. Synchronize your old phone to your computer using iTunes, doing the iOS update at the same time, if necessary. You want your old phone to be as close in operating system to your new phone as possible.
2. Do a manual backup of your old phone to your computer using iTunes (not quite the same thing)
3. Go get the new phone, and do what you want. Try not to take pictures, or videos, if they’re not synced to iCloud.
4. Do a factory reset on the new phone, and then do a restore from iTunes on your computer.
5. Check everything I mentioned above, but especially that default mail account. If the passwords don’t work, too bad. Just enter them as you go. If the default apps aren’t right, just launch the one you want to be default, and it should over to take of as default like it did when you first got it. If not, go into the app’s settings, and make it default.
6. If this goes sideways in the middle, go to step 4, and start again with the factory reset.

Apple Factory Reset

This is something you should know. It’s not the same as resetting the phone from the Settings app.

If you plug the new phone into iTunes after a factory reset, and the first thing it wants to do is an iOS update, do it.

Apple’s factory reset puts the phone into ‘Recovery Mode’. Here’s how to do that: Recovery Mode

Here’s the ‘simple’ restore process most people, and the phone company reps will tell you to use: Backup and Restore