How to Set Up an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

Introduction

Whether this is your first iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you're simply upgrading to a new one or switching over from and Android phone or tablet, this guide will walk you through the process of getting started.

This guide is applicable to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 12 or later.

What You'll Need:
  • The Lightning cable your iOS device came with (Only necessary if iTunes is used for activation or data restoration).
Before You Begin:
iOS Logo.

1 Setup Start

  1. Your new iOS device should come with a partial charge which will allow you to perform the initial setup. Press and hold the On/Off button on the side of your device to turn it on.

    The location of the power button will vary depending on the model of iOS you're working with.

  2. Once turned on, you will be greeted by the Hello screen. To begin the setup process, swipe from left to right.
    Arrow showing swipe direction on Hello screen of iOS device setup.
  3. Select your preferred language then your country or region.
    Country/region selection screen of iOS device setup.

2 Setup Method

There are two ways to set up your new iOS device:

Set Up Manually

With this method you can configure each setting manually to set up your new iOS device. This method is the main focus of this guide.

  • Select Set Up Manually.
    Set Up Manually option highlighted in iOS setup of iOS device.
Set Up with Quick Start

If you have another iPhone or iPad running on at least iOS 11 (or newer) and it is already set up, it can be used to automatically configure some of the settings on your new iOS device.

  1. Bring the old iOS device close to your new iOS device to begin.

    Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your old iOS device.

  2. The old iOS device will show you the Apple ID that will be used to set up the new iOS device. Tap Continue.
    Continue button highlighted on Quick Start setup screen of old iPhone.
  3. Point the camera of your old iOS device to your new iOS device's screen and center the animation in the viewfinder.
  4. The Finish on New [iOS device] message will show up on the old iOS device and you will have to switch back to your new iOS device.

    The rest of the setup process will be similar to the manual setup except some of the steps will be performed automatically. Make sure you enter the old iOS device's passcode when asked.

3 Activate Device

To be able to use your iOS device, it needs to be activated first. There are three ways to do this:

Activate iOS device via WiFi

Connecting to WiFi is recommended if you intend on restoring your data from a previous iCloud backup.

  • To activate your device over WiFi, select the network you want to want to connect to and type in the password if asked.
    Wi-Fi network highlighted in iOS device setup.
Activate iOS device via Cellular Service

Ensure your SIM card is already inserted and you are in service range of your mobile network.

  • To activate your iPhone or iPad through your mobile carrier, select Use Cellular Connection.
    Use Cellular Connection option highlighted in iOS device setup.
Activate iOS device via iTunes

Connecting to your computer is recommended if you intend on restoring your data from a previous iTunes backup.

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer.
    iTunes.
  2. Connect the iOS device to the computer using the cable that came with it.
    iPhone connected to computer with provided cable.
  3. Wait for iTunes to detect your iOS device.
  4. If it shows you the Welcome screen and is asking if you want to Set up as new or Restore from backup then the iOS device was activated and you can continue the setup process from there.
    New iPhone detection screen in iTunes.

4 Set Up Face ID and Create Passcode

Depending on what model of iOS device you're working with, you may be prompted to set up Face ID or Touch ID. With these features, you can use face recognition or your fingerprint to easily unlock your device and make purchases.
  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID, or tap Set Up Later In Settings to skip this feature for now.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted in iOS device setup.

    You need a passcode to use features like Face ID, Touch ID and Apple Pay.

  2. Next, set a six-digit Passcode to help protect your data.
    Passcode entry screen in iOS device setup.

    If you'd like a four-digit passcode, custom passcode, or no passcode, tap Passcode Options.

5 Set Up Data

Depending on whether you're setting up your first iOS device, you're upgrading from an older iOS device or switching from an Android device, you have a few choices to pick from:

Set Up as New iOS Device
  • Select Set Up as New [iOS device].
    Set Up as New Device option highlighted in iOS device setup.
Restore from iCloud Backup
  1. Select Restore from iCloud Backup.
    Restore from iCloud Backup option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  2. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password.
  3. Pick the most relevant backup based on date and size.
  4. Wait for the restore process to finish.

    If possible, keep your device connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into power after setup, so that your data stored in iCloud is automatically downloaded to your device.

Restore from iTunes Backup

On Your iOS Device

  • Select Restore from iTunes Backup.
    Restore from iTunes Backup option highlighted in iOS device setup.

On Your Computer

  1. Launch iTunes on the computer that you used to back up your previous iOS device.
    iTunes.
  2. Connect the new iOS device to the computer using the cable that came with it.
    iPhone connected to computer with provided cable.
  3. Click the devices button in iTunes to view the contents of your iOS device.
    • If you have multiple devices connected to your computer, select the correct device from the pop-down menu.
    Device button highlighted in iTunes.
  4. Click Restore Backup from under the Backup heading in the right side pane.
    Restore Backup button highlighted in iTunes.
  5. Pick the most relevant backup based on date and size then click Restore.
    Backup selection and Restore button highlighted in iTunes popup.
  6. Wait for the restore process to complete then allow your device to restart and sync with your computer.
Move Data from Android

On Your iOS Device

  1. Select Move Data from Android.
    Move Data from Android option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  2. Tap Continue to proceed.
    Continue option highlighted Move from Android feature of iOS device setup.
  3. Your iOS device will display a 12-digit code that you'll need to enter on your Android device.
    Move from Android option showing 12-digit code.

On Your Android Device

  1. Launch the Move to iOS app.
    Move to iOS.
  2. Tap Continue to proceed.
    Continue option highlighted Move to iOS app.
  3. Enter the 12-digit code displayed on your iOS device.
    12-digit code entered on Android phone in Move to iOS app.
  4. Select the type of data you want to transfer to your iOS device then tap Next on the top right.
    Next option and checkmarks highlighted on Transfer Data screen of Move to iOS app.
  5. Wait for the transfer process to complete on both devices.

On Your iOS Device

  • Select Continue Setting Up [iOS device].

6 Apple ID Sign In

You will need an Apple ID to access all Apple products and services.

  • Enter the email address and password associated with your Apple ID to sign in.
    Apple ID entry field highlighted on sign in screen of iOS device setup.

    If you need to recover your Apple ID's password, need to create a new Apple ID or set one up later, select Forgot password or don't have an Apple ID?

7 Setup Finish

  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions to set up the Siri voice assistant, or tap Set Up Later In Settings to skip this feature for now.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted on Siri setup screen.
  2. Do the same for the Screen Time feature which allows you to set time limits for how much certain apps are being used on a daily basis.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted on Screen Time setup screen.
  3. Choose whether you want to update your device automatically by tapping Continue, or if you would rather do this on your own, select Update Manually.
    Continue button and Update Manually option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  4. Lastly, you have to choose whether you want to share app behavior with developers to help improve them in the future, and configure some options that depend on the features provided by the device you have.

At this point you should be all set to enjoy your new iOS device.

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Whether this is your first iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you're simply upgrading to a new one or switching over from and Android phone or tablet, this guide will walk you through the process of getting started.

This guide is applicable to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 12 or later.

What You'll Need:
  • The Lightning cable your iOS device came with (Only necessary if iTunes is used for activation or data restoration).
Before You Begin:
iOS Logo.
  1. Your new iOS device should come with a partial charge which will allow you to perform the initial setup. Press and hold the On/Off button on the side of your device to turn it on.

    The location of the power button will vary depending on the model of iOS you're working with.

  2. Once turned on, you will be greeted by the Hello screen. To begin the setup process, swipe from left to right.
    Arrow showing swipe direction on Hello screen of iOS device setup.
  3. Select your preferred language then your country or region.
    Country/region selection screen of iOS device setup.

There are two ways to set up your new iOS device:

Set Up Manually

With this method you can configure each setting manually to set up your new iOS device. This method is the main focus of this guide.

  • Select Set Up Manually.
    Set Up Manually option highlighted in iOS setup of iOS device.
Set Up with Quick Start

If you have another iPhone or iPad running on at least iOS 11 (or newer) and it is already set up, it can be used to automatically configure some of the settings on your new iOS device.

  1. Bring the old iOS device close to your new iOS device to begin.

    Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your old iOS device.

  2. The old iOS device will show you the Apple ID that will be used to set up the new iOS device. Tap Continue.
    Continue button highlighted on Quick Start setup screen of old iPhone.
  3. Point the camera of your old iOS device to your new iOS device's screen and center the animation in the viewfinder.
  4. The Finish on New [iOS device] message will show up on the old iOS device and you will have to switch back to your new iOS device.

    The rest of the setup process will be similar to the manual setup except some of the steps will be performed automatically. Make sure you enter the old iOS device's passcode when asked.

To be able to use your iOS device, it needs to be activated first. There are three ways to do this:

Activate iOS device via WiFi

Connecting to WiFi is recommended if you intend on restoring your data from a previous iCloud backup.

  • To activate your device over WiFi, select the network you want to want to connect to and type in the password if asked.
    Wi-Fi network highlighted in iOS device setup.
Activate iOS device via Cellular Service

Ensure your SIM card is already inserted and you are in service range of your mobile network.

  • To activate your iPhone or iPad through your mobile carrier, select Use Cellular Connection.
    Use Cellular Connection option highlighted in iOS device setup.
Activate iOS device via iTunes

Connecting to your computer is recommended if you intend on restoring your data from a previous iTunes backup.

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer.
    iTunes.
  2. Connect the iOS device to the computer using the cable that came with it.
    iPhone connected to computer with provided cable.
  3. Wait for iTunes to detect your iOS device.
  4. If it shows you the Welcome screen and is asking if you want to Set up as new or Restore from backup then the iOS device was activated and you can continue the setup process from there.
    New iPhone detection screen in iTunes.
Depending on what model of iOS device you're working with, you may be prompted to set up Face ID or Touch ID. With these features, you can use face recognition or your fingerprint to easily unlock your device and make purchases.
  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID, or tap Set Up Later In Settings to skip this feature for now.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted in iOS device setup.

    You need a passcode to use features like Face ID, Touch ID and Apple Pay.

  2. Next, set a six-digit Passcode to help protect your data.
    Passcode entry screen in iOS device setup.

    If you'd like a four-digit passcode, custom passcode, or no passcode, tap Passcode Options.

Depending on whether you're setting up your first iOS device, you're upgrading from an older iOS device or switching from an Android device, you have a few choices to pick from:

Set Up as New iOS Device
  • Select Set Up as New [iOS device].
    Set Up as New Device option highlighted in iOS device setup.
Restore from iCloud Backup
  1. Select Restore from iCloud Backup.
    Restore from iCloud Backup option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  2. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password.
  3. Pick the most relevant backup based on date and size.
  4. Wait for the restore process to finish.

    If possible, keep your device connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into power after setup, so that your data stored in iCloud is automatically downloaded to your device.

Restore from iTunes Backup

On Your iOS Device

  • Select Restore from iTunes Backup.
    Restore from iTunes Backup option highlighted in iOS device setup.

On Your Computer

  1. Launch iTunes on the computer that you used to back up your previous iOS device.
    iTunes.
  2. Connect the new iOS device to the computer using the cable that came with it.
    iPhone connected to computer with provided cable.
  3. Click the devices button in iTunes to view the contents of your iOS device.
    • If you have multiple devices connected to your computer, select the correct device from the pop-down menu.
    Device button highlighted in iTunes.
  4. Click Restore Backup from under the Backup heading in the right side pane.
    Restore Backup button highlighted in iTunes.
  5. Pick the most relevant backup based on date and size then click Restore.
    Backup selection and Restore button highlighted in iTunes popup.
  6. Wait for the restore process to complete then allow your device to restart and sync with your computer.
Move Data from Android

On Your iOS Device

  1. Select Move Data from Android.
    Move Data from Android option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  2. Tap Continue to proceed.
    Continue option highlighted Move from Android feature of iOS device setup.
  3. Your iOS device will display a 12-digit code that you'll need to enter on your Android device.
    Move from Android option showing 12-digit code.

On Your Android Device

  1. Launch the Move to iOS app.
    Move to iOS.
  2. Tap Continue to proceed.
    Continue option highlighted Move to iOS app.
  3. Enter the 12-digit code displayed on your iOS device.
    12-digit code entered on Android phone in Move to iOS app.
  4. Select the type of data you want to transfer to your iOS device then tap Next on the top right.
    Next option and checkmarks highlighted on Transfer Data screen of Move to iOS app.
  5. Wait for the transfer process to complete on both devices.

On Your iOS Device

  • Select Continue Setting Up [iOS device].

You will need an Apple ID to access all Apple products and services.

  • Enter the email address and password associated with your Apple ID to sign in.
    Apple ID entry field highlighted on sign in screen of iOS device setup.

    If you need to recover your Apple ID's password, need to create a new Apple ID or set one up later, select Forgot password or don't have an Apple ID?

  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions to set up the Siri voice assistant, or tap Set Up Later In Settings to skip this feature for now.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted on Siri setup screen.
  2. Do the same for the Screen Time feature which allows you to set time limits for how much certain apps are being used on a daily basis.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted on Screen Time setup screen.
  3. Choose whether you want to update your device automatically by tapping Continue, or if you would rather do this on your own, select Update Manually.
    Continue button and Update Manually option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  4. Lastly, you have to choose whether you want to share app behavior with developers to help improve them in the future, and configure some options that depend on the features provided by the device you have.

At this point you should be all set to enjoy your new iOS device.

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