If you've got a new iPhone 13 to replace your current iPhone, there are a few ways you can migrate your data across to the new device. You can restore your apps, data, and settings from your most recent iCloud backup, restore from a backup on your computer, or you can use device-to-device migration to transfer your data directly from your previous ‌iPhone‌ to your new one. There are currently known issues with restoring your data from a backup, so this article focuses on how to perform a wireless device-to-device migration.

iphone 13 vs iphone 12
Without doubt, device-to-device migration will be the most convenient option for most owners of a new ‌iPhone 13‌. It transfers over information like photos, app data, login credentials, device preferences and settings, and more. As with an ‌‌iCloud‌‌ backup, apps themselves are downloaded directly from the App Store rather than from your existing ‌‌iPhone‌‌. It may take a little longer than restoring from a backup, but the time saved from not having to log into all your apps again makes it worth the wait, which is why this process trumps the other transfer methods.

The following steps outline the Quick Start process that you can use to perform a wireless device-to-device migration. As always when transferring data between devices, make sure you have made a backup of your current ‌iPhone‌, just in case anything untoward happens during the migration process.

It's also worth noting that if your current ‌iPhone‌ has an eSim plan, you'll be asked to "Transfer Cellular Plan" while setting up your ‌iPhone 13‌: You can either select the numbers you want to transfer or opt to Decide Later to complete the plan transfer after you've set up your ‌iPhone‌.

  1. Plug both iPhones into a power outlet, turn on your new ‌iPhone 13‌ and place it near your current ‌iPhone‌, which needs to be running iOS 12.4 or later for the transfer to work. The Quick Start screen will appear on your current ‌iPhone‌ and offer the option of using your Apple ID to set up your new device. Make sure that it's the ‌Apple ID‌ that you want to use, then tap Continue.
  2. Hold up your current ‌iPhone‌ and center the camera's viewfinder over the animation that appears on your ‌iPhone 13‌. Wait for a message that says "Finish on New ‌iPhone‌."
    set up iphone 13

  3. When prompted, enter your current passcode on your new ‌iPhone 13‌.
  4. Follow the instructions to set up Face ID on your ‌iPhone 13‌.
  5. Tap Transfer from ‌iPhone‌ to start transferring your data to your ‌iPhone 13‌. You should be given the choice of whether to transfer some additional settings, such as Apple Pay and Siri, to your new ‌iPhone‌.
  6. If you have an Apple Watch paired to your current ‌iPhone‌, you'll be asked if you want to transfer your Apple Watch data and settings.
  7. Keep the two iPhones near each other and plugged into power until the data migration process is finished.

The amount of time that it takes to transfer data from one ‌‌iPhone‌‌ to another will vary based on what's on the existing ‌‌iPhone‌‌, but Apple provides a data transfer estimate on the main data transfer screen.

If the wireless network you're relying on is too slow, you can perform the data migration using a wired connection, but for that you'll need a Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adaptor and a Lightning to USB Cable. Connect the Camera Adaptor into your current ‌iPhone‌, then plug the Lightning to USB Cable into your ‌iPhone 13‌ and the other end into the adaptor. You'll then be able to follow the steps outlined above.

If you plan to sell or trade in your old ‌iPhone‌ to get a bit of extra cash, make sure to adequately erase everything on it to get it ready for its next owner.

Related Roundups: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

bmodi Avatar
12 months ago
Also a restore is a "clean install". I think most misunderstand a "data transfer".
What it does is not to directly send everything from the old to the new. Just the settings get overtaken, which apps you had and so on. However all apps everything gets downloaded from the App Store like you would do it in case you do a manual setup. No difference. But overtaking it from the old Iphone will save you a lot of time!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DC101 Avatar
12 months ago
So at what stage do you swap the sim over?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wyarp Avatar
12 months ago
First time I experienced the 'device to device' migration by just holding the 2 phones next 2 each other 2 years ago with the iPhone 11Pro. By far the easiest most straightforward data transfer I've ever had. So much better than all the faff we used to have to endure backing everything up, plugging everything in etc.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
R Kenny Avatar
12 months ago
One great outcome for me was that the side-by-side transfer method allowed all of my music to be transferred - even the albums/songs I had ripped from CDs. Previously I had to use a third party app (e.g. iMazing) to transfer the music from a backup on my MacBook. The whole process took 45 minutes and was seamless. Well done Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RealMonster Avatar
12 months ago

I’m just going with a clean install. It’s slower overall but at least I get to control the order so the things I need are there first.
The only problem with clean installs is things like stickers or apps that aren't available anymore won't be available, even if you still use them on your current device. If you transfer, it keeps them. That might not be an issue for you, but I was bummed when I found some of the stuff that I was using didn't show up on my fresh install.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dingo Dave 69 Avatar
12 months ago
Tempted to setup as a new iPhone as a fresh start and to avoid carrying over any potential bugs. Can someone tell me if the health data will transfer over once I sign into iCloud and also how do I sync my new phone to my Apple Watch without losing my activity records to date?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

iOS 15.4: How to Set Up Face ID With a Mask

Friday January 28, 2022 10:46 am PST by
In iOS 15.4, currently in beta, Apple has added a handy new feature that allows you to unlock your iPhone with Face ID and authenticate Apple Pay payments even when you're wearing a mask. In previous versions of iOS going back to iOS 14.5, it is possible to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask, but only if you're also wearing an Apple Watch as an extra layer of security. The new option...
Universal Control Colored Feature

How to Use Universal Control Across Macs and iPads

Monday February 7, 2022 1:04 pm PST by
As of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, Apple has introduced support for Universal Control, the long-awaited feature that's designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with a single mouse and keyboard. Thanks to Universal Control, you can use the same cursor and keyboard on any nearby Mac or ‌iPad‌ that's signed into your iCloud account. So, for example, if you have a...
applewatchfaceswatchos7

How to Automatically Change Your Apple Watch Face Based on Time or Location

Thursday February 24, 2022 1:12 pm PST by
If you find yourself regularly swiping to a different watch face on your Apple Watch depending on what you're doing or where you are, this article is for you. Because thanks to the power that Apple has built into its Shortcuts app, it's possible to make the watch face on your Apple Watch automatically change based on the time of day or your location. Keep reading to learn how. One of the...
Whatsapp Feature

How to End-to-End Encrypt Your WhatsApp Chat Backups in iCloud

Friday October 15, 2021 1:03 am PDT by
WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups are now rolling out for iPhone users, Facebook has announced. Until now, WhatsApp let users back up their chat history to ‌‌iCloud‌‌, but the messages and media contained in the backups weren't protected by WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption while in ‌‌Apple's cloud servers‌. End-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you're...
apple studio display blue

How to Use Siri on Apple's Studio Display

Wednesday March 23, 2022 7:20 pm PDT by
Apple's Studio Display comes with three built-in microphones that allows it to recognize "Hey Siri" voice commands and respond to spoken queries, and the connected Mac doesn't even have to officially support Siri for it to work. Keep reading to learn how. While Siri support has been available on most recent Macs for some time, some Macs such as the 2019 Mac Pro and Mac mini (2018 and later)...
erase content settings monterey

How to Erase All Content and Settings on Mac

Wednesday October 27, 2021 8:33 pm PDT by
Following in the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, Apple silicon Macs and Intel Macs with a T2 security chip (2017-2020 models) now have an "Erase All Content and Settings" option available in macOS Monterey. This article explains what the option does and how and when to use it. Traditionally, wiping a Mac and returning it to factory settings involved manually signing out of a range of...
ios 13 iphone ipad duo

How to Erase and Reset a Locked iPhone or iPad

Thursday December 16, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
If you've forgotten the passcode for your iPhone or iPad, you can erase and reset or restore the device using your Apple ID and password. This article explains how. iPhone passcodes are usually six digits long, but they can still be forgotten, especially if the device hasn't been used for a while. If you find yourself in this predicament, you have the option to erase and reset it, after...
watch notifications

How to Mute or Turn Off Apple Watch Notifications

Tuesday February 22, 2022 5:04 pm PST by
One of the Apple Watch's most greatest features is the ability to keep you connected to your notifications without needing to have your iPhone in your hand or even in your pocket all of the time. If your iPhone is unlocked, you'll get notifications on your iPhone instead of your Apple Watch. But if your iPhone is locked or asleep, you'll get notifications on your Apple Watch, unless your...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Purple

Apple Planning to Hold iPhone 14 Event on September 7

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:51 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to hold its first fall event on Wednesday, September 7, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The event will focus on the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8. The standard iPhone 14 models are expected to get few changes, but the iPhone 14 Pro models will include updated camera technology, the removal of the notch in favor of a pill-shaped and hole-punch cutout, an A16...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 With Bug Fixes

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:50 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 15.6.1, minor updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems initially released in September 2021. iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 come a month after Apple released iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 with new Live Sports features and bug fixes. The iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
Apple Watch Series 3 v 8 1

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: 20 Major New Features and Changes for Customers Upgrading

Tuesday August 16, 2022 6:52 am PDT by
It's crazy to think about, but next month will mark five years since Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 3. Despite being a severely antiquated smartwatch, the Series 3 has remained at the bottom of Apple's lineup for $199. Suppose you're still holding on to your Apple Watch Series 3. In that case, this article will list all the major new features and changes you'll get if you decide to...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...