iOS 11 Makes Setting Up New Devices Super Easy

In iOS 11, Apple is implementing a new "Automatic Setup" feature, which is designed to make it much quicker to get a new device ready to go right out of the box.

As seen in the video below, Automatic Setup transfers over your preferences, Apple ID and Wi-Fi info, preferred settings, and iCloud Keychain passwords, streamlining the setup process for new iPads and iPhones.


With iOS 11 installed, during the setup process, there's a new option to transfer settings from an existing device (which also needs to be running iOS 11). The two devices need to be held close to one another, and when nearby, you'll get instructions to pair them.

Pairing involves using the camera of the old device to scan an Apple Watch-style pairing image on the new device. After that, you'll be prompted to enter the passcode of the old device, which also becomes the passcode on the new device, and then the devices will need to remain near each other during the transfer.

The process sounds a bit complicated when explained, but it's straightforward with clear instructions that are simple to follow and it takes just a couple of minutes to complete.

After the two devices are paired and the settings are transferred, there's also a new simplified setup process for activating Touch ID and then enabling settings like Find My iPhone, location, and analytics all at once instead of individually. After that, you can set up Apple Pay and Siri, and then your device is ready to go.

Whether setting up a device as new or importing an iCloud backup, Automatic Setup in iOS 11 is quicker than the traditional setup method, provided you have an existing device on hand.

iOS 11 is limited to developers right now, but it will be provided to public beta testers later this month. For more on iOS 11, make sure to check out our full iOS 11 roundup.

Top Rated Comments

plastiqueusa Avatar
47 months ago

Now if only they could figure out how to speed up restoring all your apps while you stand in the Apple Store.

Show of hands: who has had to stand in Apple (or Verizon or Sprint etc) and wait and wait and wait for their overcrowded WiFi to redownload all their apps?

Keep your hand raised if you wish you could prioritize which apps download first, so you could at least have your most needed apps before you leave the store, rather than seeing it download The Elements or GTA San Andreas instead of the Gmail app.

I just tell the Apple Store person helping me that I'll take care of setup after I get home.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
47 months ago

I don't understand how this is any easier than restoring from an iCloud backup!

Maybe because iCloud backup does not store any of those things?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rshev Avatar
47 months ago


Keep your hand raised if you wish you could prioritize which apps download first, so you could at least have your most needed apps before you leave the store, rather than seeing it download The Elements or GTA San Andreas instead of the Gmail app.

You can actually prioritise downloads even on iOS 10 by force-touching the app in a downloading state.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Table Top Joe Avatar
47 months ago

Now if only they could figure out how to speed up restoring all your apps while you stand in the Apple Store.

Show of hands: who has had to stand in Apple (or Verizon or Sprint etc) and wait and wait and wait for their overcrowded WiFi to redownload all their apps?

Keep your hand raised if you wish you could prioritize which apps download first, so you could at least have your most needed apps before you leave the store, rather than seeing it download The Elements or GTA San Andreas instead of the Gmail app.

Eh.....do it yourself at home no? It's not very difficult in fairness
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fmillion Avatar
47 months ago
Now if only they could figure out how to speed up restoring all your apps while you stand in the Apple Store.

Show of hands: who has had to stand in Apple (or Verizon or Sprint etc) and wait and wait and wait for their overcrowded WiFi to redownload all their apps?

Keep your hand raised if you wish you could prioritize which apps download first, so you could at least have your most needed apps before you leave the store, rather than seeing it download The Elements or GTA San Andreas instead of the Gmail app.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannys1 Avatar
47 months ago

I go through the setup in store so I know I am taking home a working device.

I make the UPS man wait 3 hours whilst I set it up outside so I know i'm receiving a working device.

/s
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...