If you have just received an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, you will almost certainly want to migrate everything from your old iPhone to the new one, so that all your data, contacts, photos, messages, notes, apps and all other data and Custom things are transferred for use on your new iPhone XS / Max.
This procedure will show you the fastest way to transfer all your data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone XS Max or iPhone XS with iTunes.
Our goal here will be to use iTunes and a computer to transfer data from one iPhone to another, because for many people using a USB cable and iTunes will be the fastest method of backing up and transferring data. You could use iCloud if you want and you happen to have an incredibly fast and reliable Internet connection, but for most people iTunes will offer the fastest configuration with the transfer of all data on their new iPhone XS or iPhone xS Max.
To get started, you'll need the latest version of iTunes (12.8 or 12.6.5) on a computer (Mac or Windows PC), a USB Lightning cable to connect the iPhone to the computer, an active Internet connection and enough free space on the computer hard drive to store iPhone backup on your computer.
How to transfer all data on iPhone XS / iPhone XS Max from the old iPhone
In the examples here we will show the transfer of data from an iPhone Plus to a new iPhone XS using iTunes.
- Start by connecting the old iPhone model to your computer with a USB cable
- Launch iTunes on your computer, then select the old iPhone connected by clicking on the small iPhone button near the top of the iTunes window to select the device
- Under the Device Summary section in iTunes, look for the backup section and choose "This Computer" and make sure to select "Encrypt iPhone Backup"
- Now choose "Back up now" to create a new backup of the old iPhone connected to your computer – complete this backup process
- Next, on your new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, start following the installation steps on the screen as usual on your device, at the end you will be able to access the "App and data" screen
- Select the "Restore from iTunes Backup" option on this screen, then connect the iPhone XS Max or iPhone XS to the computer running iTunes with a USB cable *
- In iTunes you will see the "Welcome to your new iPhone" screen, choose the "Restore from this backup:" option and choose the previous backup of the old iPhone to iTunes, click "Continue" when the correct backup is selected
- The process of restoring the backup will start, this may take some time depending on the size of the device size, expect somewhere around an hour for 100 GB backups
- At the end of the iTunes recovery process, complete the configuration steps on the iPhone XS Max or iPhone XS, you will use your new device with all the data transferred in no time
All your data, messages, notes, photos, videos, videos, contacts, health data, settings and anything else will have been successfully transferred to your new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.
One thing to note is that the apps will be downloaded again as part of this process, as the apps are no longer saved to iTunes by default on the iTunes track (12.8), although you can use the alternative release track (iTunes 12.6. ) if you want.
Remember to use the "Encrypt iPhone backup" setting, as it stores integrity, password, access and other important details in iTunes backup. If you can not encrypt your backup, you will need to reenter all passwords and health data will be lost.
iCloud vs iTunes Restore from backup
* To be clear, while we are using iTunes here, you can also use iCloud backups or the optional Quick Start installation process to complete the entire migration and data transfer from an old iPhone to a new iPhone XS Max / iPhone XS. However, the use of iCloud presents a potential disadvantage because the time it takes to complete depends entirely on the speed of the Internet connection. For example, if you have a 100 GB iPhone backup stored in iCloud, downloading and restoring 100 GB from iCloud to an iPhone can take half a day or even several days to complete on many typical home Internet connections, and most people will not want to wait long before they can use their new iPhone (a 3 mbit / s DSL connection will require approximately 80 hours to download 100 GB!). But if you happen to have a modern Internet connection because you're in a region of the world that has a decent internet infrastructure with speeds of 100 Mbit / s, then use iCloud is easy and suitable, the whole process is practically the same except you will choose an iCloud backup to restore instead of iTunes. However, due to the enormous variability of Internet speeds, iTunes is often faster for most iPhone users because it uses a wired USB connection to complete the data transfer process.
This obviously covers the migration from an old iPhone to a more recent iPhone, but if you're thinking of switching to iPhone from an Android, you can read here how to migrate from Android to iPhone.