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
18 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
18 months ago
So at what stage do you swap the sim over?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wyarp Avatar
18 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
18 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
18 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
18 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)

Popular Stories

Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
maxresdefault

Kuo: Apple to Release Foldable iPad With Carbon Fiber Kickstand in 2024

Monday January 30, 2023 12:55 am PST by
Apple will launch a foldable iPad with a carbon fiber kickstand sometime next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In a series of tweets, Kuo said he expects an "all-new design foldable iPad" to be the next big product launch in the iPad lineup, with no other major iPad releases in the next nine to 12 months. The analyst said he...
Hero0013

Best Apple Deals of the Week: 2021 MacBook Pro Gets Massive $500 Markdowns as Samsung Discounts TVs and Memory Accessories

Friday January 27, 2023 11:07 am PST by
As we near the end of January, this week we saw a collection of deals on Apple's iPad Pro, iMac, and the 2021 MacBook Pro. Additionally, we're tracking new sales on TVs and memory accessories from Samsung. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Samsung...