Getting a new iPhone or iPad? Use Apple’s Prepare for New iPhone feature

prepare for new Apple device using Settings app Transfer or Reset iPad

Never lose data when moving from one iPhone or iPad to another again! Apple’s Prepare for New iPhone (or iPad) feature makes transferring all your data from an old iPhone (or iPad) to a new iPhone easier than ever!

This feature uses iCloud storage for all users, regardless of whether they have a paid iCloud storage subscription plan, to temporarily back up all their iPhone’s data to iCloud and easily transfer their data to a new iPhone. So there is never a reason to lose any data when moving to a new Apple device!

Related reading

Prepare for New iPhone or iPad simplifies the upgrade process and saves you both time and effort!

Apple’s Prepare for New iPhone feature is a game-changer and time-saver when upgrading your iPhone or iPad to a new model. 

You no longer need to manually clear out your iPhone’s storage, remove and delete apps, backup your iPhone to iCloud or via a computer, or manually check your trade-in status. Prepare for New iPhone (or iPad) does all this for you and more!

How to use Apple’s Prepare For Your New iPhone or iPad feature

You find Prepare for new iPhone or iPad in the Settings app on devices using iOS & iPadOS 15 and above. Use this convenient feature when you upgrade to a new iPhone or iPad.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone. transfer or reset iPhone or iPad in Settings app
  2. Tap on Get Started under Prepare for New iPhone or Prepare for New iPad. Prepare for new iPad or iPhone Get Started option
  3. Apple runs through a series of steps and checklists to make sure everything’s ready when your new iPhone or iPad arrives, including:
    1. Backing up to iCloud and getting all your apps and data ready to transfer to the new iPhone or iPad.
    2. Reviewing trade-in information and status and checks the trade-in value of your current iPhone or iPad.
  4. If Apple detects you aren’t syncing apps with iCloud, it lets you know. Then, you decide if you want to move all app data with iCloud or if you don’t want to move data for those listed apps using iCloud. 
    1. We recommend selecting Move All App Data with iCloud. Prepare for new iPhone or iPad apps not currently syncing with iCloud
  5. Once you run through Prepare for New iPhone or Prepare for New iPad, Apple continuously uploads your apps and data to iCloud, keeping it up to date and ready to transfer to your new iPhone or iPad. Confirmation of iCloud Prepare for new iPhone feature with steps for trading in old iPhone
  6. Apple gives you between 2-3 weeks to store your data in temporary iCloud storage. If you don’t upgrade and transfer within that period, you need to repeat the process of preparing for a new iPhone or iPad.
  7. If you want to trade in your old iPhone or iPad, tap Learn more… under Trade in or recycle this iPhone or iPad. review trade-in information under Prepare for new iPhone or iPad in Settings app
  8. Press Done to complete the Prepare for New iPhone process.

Got your new iPhone or iPad, now what?

When you receive your new Apple device, all you need to do is place the old and new iPhones or iPads next to each other, connect them to power (or make sure they are at least 50% charged) and then use Apple’s Quick Start process to transfer all the data from iCloud.

When using Quick Start, make sure that you select Download from iCloud under the options for Transfer Your Data. Since Apple’s Prepare for New iPhone (or iPad) uses iCloud storage, it only works when selecting iCloud as your data source.

Final thoughts

Losing data when upgrading from an old Apple device to a new one may be something of the past now that Apple allows users access to temporary iCloud storage.

Apple continues to make it easier and easier to migrate all your data from an old device to a new device. And with its Prepare for New iPhone, it’s almost seamless!

Getting access to temporary iCloud storage to backup your old device’s data makes a huge difference, especially for folks that don’t use a paid iCloud subscription plan. 

I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives!


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