Monday, October 5, 2015

Set up new iPhone 6S or 6S Plus the right way

With the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus making their way into the world, many are planning to switch for Android powered smartphone to iPhone 6S (Plus) or old iPhone to the latest one. Now it would be a good time to learn how to set up and activate this shiny new stuff before upgrading to new iPhone 6S/6S Plus smoothly.

Part 1: Back Up Your Old iPhone

There are many ways to back up an iOS device, but to keep things simple, we will cover just the basics — namely, backing up through iCloud, iTunes and MobileTrans.

1. Backing up with iCloud

An item of note before I explain the backup process: Apple has changed their iCloud storage tiers over time. You can see the current plans here, or by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Change Storage Plan.

For the US, the current plans and pricing are:

5 GB — Free (same as ever)
50 GB — $1/month
200 GB — $3/month
1 TB — $10/month

While I do wish 50 GB was the free plan, Apple has matched Dropbox on the 1 TB option and lowered the pricing elsewhere. 50 GB will cover the vast majority of people's backup needs.

With that said, here's how to back your data up to iCloud. First, let's determine what you want to include in (or exclude from) the backup. To do that, navigate to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage > Choose your device under "Backups".

Under Backup Options you will see a list of toggles for the photo library and every app on your device, sorted by file size. Everything will be toggled on by default, so turn off any items you'd rather not back up. If you've upgraded to one of the new storage tiers listed above and space is no concern, then we recommend leaving everything on.

Once you've determined what to back up, make sure the device is on a Wi-Fi network and, for best results, connected to a power source (this process can take a while). Now, navigate back to Settings > iCloud > Backup and ensure iCloud Backup is toggled on. If it is, you'll see a "Back Up Now" option. Just tap that button and wait for the process to complete.

Also note that iCloud backups can happen automatically at night. Assuming your iOS device is plugged in and charging and is also connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will automatically back up to iCloud. If you've been running the iOS 9 betas on your iPhone 6, be sure that it has a current backup before setting up your iPhone 6S/6S Plus. Some versions of the public beta had issues making iCloud backups.

2. Backing up with iTunes

An iTunes backup is a great option if: (a) you need more space than the free/paid tier of iCloud storage you have allows; or (b) you want an extra layer of backup in addition to your iCloud backup.

The process is simple:
  • Plug your device into your PC or Mac.
  • Open iTunes and select the iPhone icon in the upper-left corner.
  • Click the Summary tab and scroll down to the Backups section.
  • Click the "Back Up Now" button and wait for the backup to complete.
  • To verify that the backup worked, open iTunes Preferences and select the Devices tab. If the backup was successful, you'll see it listed there.
It's not as slow as iCloud, but can still take a while if you're not in the habit of regularly backing up your device. If you don't keep local copies of your applications stored in iTunes, you'll want to transfer purchases before trying to restore to a new phone. You can do from File > Devices > Transfer Purchases. Once your new phone is restored and all your apps have been reloaded, you can delete the apps off your computer to save space.

3. Backing up with MobileTrans

Run and Install MobileTrans on your computer, and connect your old iPhone and iPhone 6S (Plus) to it via 2 USB cables > Select the content you want to backup > Start Copy. In the pop-up dialog, you can see the transfer progress. When it's finished, the data on your old iPhone will be transferred to your new iPhone 6S/6S Plus.


1. Regarding the Security of Your Backups

If you store a lot of sensitive information on your device, you'll be happy to know that Apple's two-factor authentication feature was recently extended to cover iCloud backups. If you still haven't activated two-factor authentication yet, you can do so from your Apple ID control panel. We highly recommend it.

iTunes backups can also be protected with a passcode if you're worried about that data falling into the wrong hands, but be wary—the backup contains your keychain information, meaning all the passwords you've saved for email accounts, Wi-Fi networks, websites, and certain apps.

On the plus side, encrypting such a backup allows you to transfer your keychain to a new device without having to re-enter all those passwords, a luxury that unencrypted backups do not enjoy.

2. Restoring Your Data
Though we would rather avoid having to wipe and restore a device altogether, a good backup eases the pain a bit.

Restoring from iCloud: During the iOS Setup Assistant process that comes up with every new (or recently-wiped) device, you will eventually see options to either Set Up as New iPhone or Restore From [iCloud/iTunes] Backup. Choose whichever backup you made most recently.

(Note: If you accidentally set up the device as new when you wanted to use a backup, you'll have to wipe it and start over again. You can do this from Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This also applies if you ever get a replacement phone with an older version of iOS than your backup is.)

Restoring from iTunes: Open iTunes and navigate to File > Devices > Restore from Back Up. Again, choose the most recent backup you've made. On older versions of iTunes (10.7 and earlier), you can right-click your device from the sidebar list and choose Restore from Backup.

Part 2: Activate Your iPhone 6S (Plus)

Now that you have a fresh backup made, you're ready to start setting up the new iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus.

1. Turn on the new iPhone and start the setup process as usual, choosing a language, joining wi-fi, configuring Touch ID and a passcode, and setting a few preliminary settings

2. When you get to the "Apps & Data" screen, choose "Restore from iTunes Backup"

3. The iPhone 6S / iPhone 6S Plus screen will turn black and show a "Connect to iTunes" message with the iTunes icon, now connect the new iPhone 6S to the computer you had just previously used to make a backup of the old iPhone

4. Enter the Apple ID and password when requested, select the most recent backup that was just made from the prior iPhone in iTunes, and let the transfer of all data from the old backup to the new iPhone 6S complete

When the migration is complete, the new iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus will reboot itself and startup complete with all of your older iPhone stuff now on the new iPhone.

Note that sometimes apps will need to re-download from the App Store on the new device, this starts automatically when the iPhone 6S boots up again and can be quick or a while depending on your internet connection speed and how many apps need to be downloaded.

You'll probably want to double-check that everything is there and that all of your stuff is in order. Take a look at your photos to be sure they're in place, open Mail app, flip around on the Home Screens to be sure your apps are there, check your Contacts, etc. Everything should be there, but if it's not, don't flip out, we've got you covered with the troubleshooting steps below.

Part 3: Troubleshooting Moving Your Data and Setup of an iPhone 6S/6S Plus

Wait, already I started using the iPhone 6S already and didn't move my stuff over yet! – Don't worry, this isn't the end of the world. You can start over the setup process by resetting the iPhone to factory default settings, this allows you to easily restore the new iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus from a backup.

I completed the restore but my email passwords and health data aren't showing up on the new iPhone 6S! – This happens when the original backup made was not encrypted with iTunes (iCloud encrypts backups by default), you'll want to connect the old iPhone to iTunes again and enable encrypted iPhone backups in iTunes, complete a back up again, and start over. This is fairly common, and if you find that no passwords or health data is on the new iPhone 6S, this is why.

My Photos app says I have thousands of photos but none of them are showing up! – If you open Photos app and discover that every image thumbnail is blank, but the Photos app shows the proper number of images that should be there, this is because you chose to restore from an iCloud backup and all of the photos must download from iCloud to the iPhone 6S. This can be quick, or take a while, depending on the speed of your internet connection and how many pictures and videos are needed to download. For many users with many GB of media, it can take a while, which is why we recommend using the iTunes backup, iTunes restore, using MobileTrans method outlined above.

Related Software:

Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS: Top iOS Data Recovery program enables you to recover your iPhone/iPad/iPod data, including photos, contacts, messages, videos, etc.

Wondershare Dr.Fone for Android: A quick way to recover your lost or deleted data from Android.

Wondershare TunesGo: Frees your music anywhere from iPhone, doing what iTunes can’t.

iFastime Video Converter Ultimate: Make all your Blu-ray, DVD collections and movie library compatible with iPhone.

More iPhone Tips:

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