If you got a new iPhone or iPad for Christmas and you already have at least one iOS device that's running iOS 11, setting up the new device is simple and quick with Automatic Setup.

Introduced in iOS 11, Automatic Setup streamlines the setup process for new iPhones and iPads, transferring over Apple ID info, your WiFi network credentials, your preferred settings, and your iCloud Keychain.


Automatic Setup is meant to be used in tandem with a restore from an iCloud backup, because while it transfers many settings, it does not offer full device-to-device content transfer. When you buy a new device, Automatic Setup will pop up automatically, but there are some steps to follow to get everything transferred over:

  1. Power on your new device, which will open up to a menu asking you to pick a language.
  2. After choosing a language, you'll see a "Set Up Your iPhone (or iPad)" prompt.
  3. When this appears, place your existing iOS device near the new device to initiate Automatic Setup.
  4. Your existing device will show a pop up letting you know you can use Automatic Setup. Tap "Continue" to start. appleautomaticsetup
  5. An Apple Watch-style pairing image will appear on the new device, and you'll be instructed to scan it with the camera on your existing device.
  6. In an area with decent lighting, hold the existing device's camera over the image on the new device to pair the two together.
  7. Enter the passcode from your existing device on the new device.
  8. From there, all of your data will start transferring from the old device to the new device.

When the first few Automatic Setup steps are complete, your iPhone or iPad will walk you through setting up Touch ID/Face ID, Siri, and Apple Pay, which are separate steps.

An additional "Express Settings" feature following Automatic Setup is designed to speed up new device activation even further. Express Setup automatically enables Find My iPhone, location services, and analytics, so if you don't want these features on, make sure to tap "Customize Settings" to change them.

Once you've transferred all of your settings with Automatic Setup, you can restore from an iCloud backup to get all of your apps transferred over. If you want to set up a device as new without downloading all of your old content, though, you're finished once Automatic Setup is completed.

If you don't have an iOS device running iOS 11, you'll need to go through a more traditional setup process. The steps are a lot like Automatic Setup, but instead of choosing an existing device after setting a language, you'll need to manually enter data like your Apple ID and your WiFi password.

Top Rated Comments

etgg Avatar
49 months ago
Look. From the get go this article is wrong and will lead to many many agrovated people.

tl;dr

Upgrade and then backup old phone and Apple Watch BEFORE starting express update.
NOTE your paid content WILLNOT be copied over via express update.



First things first.
If you have a phone and a watch they MUST both be running the very latest revs of software. Remember always Apple never gives you anything for free - you have to upgrade first. After that you can use express setup to move your basic configs over AND still save your Apple Watch content. Follow another path and you prob loose all your existing Apple Watch data, even if you use Apple cloud or encrypted local backup.

That’s right. Any other path and your one or two years of Apple Watch Data is gone.

It won’t move your music or other content. Not even if it’s backed up in Apple cloud in your latest backup. And not even if you bought it on iTunes - though you can download it again after you are all setup. More on that later.

Remember second. Macrumors should never assume it’s readers are running the latest revs. iPhone6 and 6s battery slow down issue anyone? We have lots of reasons not to chase Apple down it’s rabit hole of “progression”. We have found time and again that we are not best served if we own a device more than a year old.

Third. Although your iCloud based backup, that you pay Apple for every month, contains all of your music. They will NOT move your music or other content to the new device. You still need to use iTunes for that. So why bother downloading from iTunes Store again, since you already have it in your library and will need to reload all that music from your computer anyway.

Watch were the ball is headed. Apple wants you to subscribe to services, not use your already owned music. If you are fine with that and always own the latest devices with the latest revs of code - then express setup could be for you.

Macrumors needs to learn how to be critical. Not just a smoke factory.

Before folks point out. Sure it’s my first post. Nope, I’m not anti apple. Yet. I’ve got shares (held for a long time). Had macs (also for a long time, though only intel based so not that long). iPads (normal and pro and pencil). Obv I have an older iPhone (4,5 and latest 6 plus). Have a Apple Watch (gen 0). Yup use their cloud too.

Nope express setup is an extremely poor way for Apple to “help” move an existing user from one device to another. They are experimenting on their use base. And they force you to use it if you want to continue using your original Apple Watch with your new iPhone X.

They can do better laying out the upgrade process. And macrumors can do better being critical of Apple. We all could be getting better service.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
democracyrules Avatar
49 months ago
I love this new automatic set-up. Thanks, Apple to make it easy for your customers setting up new devices.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MH01 Avatar
49 months ago
This is an excellent feature
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2013.1 Avatar
49 months ago
In my opinion it is no good for replacing devices.
I used it twice for migration. It was a pain both times.
At some point the process askes if a backup should be restored.
The iOS in the box was always older than the iOS on the old device.
Therefore iTunes couldn’t restore the backup onto the new device.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
devfarce Avatar
49 months ago
This makes it so easy to restore software on an iPhone or iPad. I’ve been having some battery issues lately (who hasn’t) and wanted to make sure that everything was up to date. I used my iPhone 6 to restore my iPad Mini 2 and then my iPad to restore my iPhone shortly thereafter.

Connecting to WiFi is automatic and after about 10 mins, my phone is just how I like it. I do wish I could keep Apple Watch and health info in iCloud and move to new devices but I like the local storage for privacy implications.

Re:etgg
It’s MacRumors, not the New York Times. It’s not going to be critical. And this is an informational article to get readership from people with new devices.

Use iCloud music library all of the music just shows up again. And purchases can be re-downloaded.

MacRumors is a smoke factory, that’s the reason it’s called MacRumors.


...
Upgrade and then backup old phone and Apple Watch BEFORE starting express update.
NOTE your paid content WILLNOT be copied over via express update.
...
That’s right. Any other path and your one or two years of Apple Watch Data is gone.

It won’t move your music or other content. Not even if it’s backed up in Apple cloud in your latest backup. And not even if you bought it on iTunes - though you can download it again after you are all setup. More on that later.
...
Third. Although your iCloud based backup, that you pay Apple for every month, contains all of your music. They will NOT move your music or other content to the new device. You still need to use iTunes for that. So why bother downloading from iTunes Store again, since you already have it in your library and will need to reload all that music from your computer anyway.

Macrumors needs to learn how to be critical. Not just a smoke factory.
...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
49 months ago
In my opinion it is no good for replacing devices.
I used it twice for migration. It was a pain both times.
At some point the process askes if a backup should be restored.
The iOS in the box was always older than the iOS on the old device.
Therefore iTunes couldn’t restore the backup onto the new device.
This the last piece of this puzzle they need to solve. Setting up my new phone was nice until I forgot I have the beta on my old phone. First thing it should do is part of this automatic set up is check to see if the phones have the save version of the OS.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iOS 15 icon on phone

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to Developers

Tuesday August 17, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming one week after Apple released the fifth betas. Registered developers can download the profile for the iOS and iPadOS betas from the Apple Developer Center, and once the profile is installed, beta updates will be available over the air. iOS 15 is a major update that...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
MacBook Pro Coating

Apple Launches Quality Program for MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Issues

Saturday October 17, 2015 7:58 am PDT by
Apple has issued an internal notice about a new Quality Program that addresses anti-reflective coating issues on MacBook and MacBook Pro models with Retina displays, as confirmed by multiple sources. These issues include the anti-reflective coating on displays wearing off or delaminating under certain circumstances. Apple will replace Retina displays on affected MacBook or MacBook Pro models ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...