How do I get to iOS Setup Assistant?

The iOS Setup Assistant is the screen that appears when you first turn on a new iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch or after erasing an iOS device and resetting it to factory settings. The Setup Assistant walks you through the initial configuration of the device, including choosing language and region settings, connecting to a Wi-Fi network, signing in with or creating an Apple ID, enabling services like Location Services and iCloud, and more. Here are the steps to access the iOS Setup Assistant on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

If Setting Up a New iOS Device

When you first take an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch out of the box and turn it on, you will automatically be greeted with the iOS Setup Assistant. The device will power on, display the Apple logo, and then launch right into the Setup Assistant. All you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions to get the device set up for the first time.

If Resetting an Existing iOS Device

If you want to erase your existing iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and reset it to factory default settings, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset on the iOS device.
  2. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings”.
  3. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  4. Tap “Erase” to confirm and wait for the device to reboot.

Once the device finishes rebooting, you will be greeted with the iOS Setup Assistant screen to set up the device like new.

If Screen is Stuck or Frozen

In some cases, the iOS Setup Assistant screen may get stuck or frozen during the initial device setup. If this happens, you can force restart the device to get back to the Setup Assistant:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

This will force restart the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and boot it back up to the iOS Setup Assistant.

Setup Assistant Overview

Once you’re in the iOS Setup Assistant, you’ll be walked through several screens to configure the new device or erased device. Here is an overview of what to expect:

Choose Language and Region

Select the language you want to use on the device and your region. This sets the device’s formatting and controls like time/date display, number formatting, units of measurement, and more.

Select Wi-Fi Network

Choose a Wi-Fi network and enter the password if needed. Connecting to a Wi-Fi network allows you to activate and set up your device. You can also select to set up as a new device or restore from an iCloud backup in this section.

Activate iPhone / iPad / iPod

If activating a new device, you will need to choose your carrier and sign in with your carrier credentials or activate without a SIM. You can also activate later if needed.

Enter Apple ID

Sign in with your existing Apple ID and password or create a new Apple ID from scratch. Using an Apple ID unlocks access to Apple services like the App Store, iCloud, FaceTime, iMessage, and more.

Terms and Conditions

Agree to Apple’s Terms and Conditions to be able to use the device and Apple services.

Touch ID / Face ID

On supported devices like iPhone and iPad models with Home button or Face ID, you can set up fingerprint or face authentication. This allows you to unlock the device, make purchases, and authorize access using Touch ID or Face ID.

Create Passcode

You have the option to set up a 6-digit numeric passcode to increase security on the device. This is required to use Touch ID or Face ID.

Add Alternate Appearance

On iPhone X and later, you can create an alternate appearance lookup for Face ID for appearances like wearing glasses, hats, etc.

Display Zoom

Makes interface elements bigger or smaller. Choose Larger, Standard, or Zoomed display.

Location Services

Allow apps and system services to pinpoint your location. Used for maps and navigation, Find My, location-based recommendations, etc.

Enable Siri

Turn on Siri voice assistant to respond to your voice commands and questions. Siri can open apps, answer questions, adjust settings, and more.

Share iPhone & iPad Analytics

Share analytics from your device with Apple to help improve products and services.

Screen Time

Turn on Screen Time to see device usage, set limits, and configure downtime. Manage access to apps and websites.

App Analytics

Share analytics from apps you use with the app developers.

Display & Text Size

Make additional adjustments to text size, bold text, and screen contrast.

Add Accessibility Features

Enable any accessibility features you need like VoiceOver, Zoom, Assistive Touch, and more.


Choose between light or dark theme.

Transfer from Android

On supported iPhone models, you can transfer data quickly from an Android device.

Restore from iCloud Backup

Restore your settings, data, apps, etc. from an existing iCloud backup of another iOS device.

Apple Pay

Set up Apple Pay with credit/debit cards to make purchases using your device.

Express Settings

Quickly enable common settings like Location Services, analytics, iCloud, Siri, and more.

Meet Your New iPhone / iPad / iPod

Brief walkthrough of new iOS 16 features if applicable. Get started with your new device!

Troubleshooting Setup Assistant

If you encounter any issues during the iOS Setup Assistant process, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure you have a stable, high-speed internet connection
  • If device activation fails, contact your carrier for assistance
  • Ensure you are entering the correct Apple ID and password
  • If stuck, force restart the device and try again
  • You can skip optional steps like Apple Pay setup
  • Check Apple Support site for step-by-step setup assistance

Bypassing Setup Assistant

In some cases, you may want to bypass the iOS Setup Assistant entirely and access the home screen. Here are a couple options to skip the initial setup screens:

Restore from iTunes / Finder Backup

Connect the iOS device to your computer via USB and initiate a restore from a backup in iTunes (Windows) or Finder (Mac). After the restore completes, it will skip the Setup Assistant.

Restore Manually in Recovery Mode

You can use Recovery Mode to erase the device and install the latest iOS version without having to go through Setup Assistant:

  1. Connect device to computer and launch iTunes / Finder
  2. Put device in Recovery Mode: press and release Volume Up, press and release Volume Down, then press and hold Side button until Recovery screen appears
  3. In iTunes / Finder, choose to Restore and select the iOS version
  4. Once restore completes, device will restart without Setup Assistant

This method requires downloading the iOS IPSW file for the correct device model and version.


The iOS Setup Assistant provides an easy guided walkthrough to configure a new or erased iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch model. It covers basics like language, Wi-Fi, Apple ID, and activating the device. Setup Assistant ensures your device is personalized, secured, and ready to use from the start. If you run into any issues, try troubleshooting tips like resetting network settings, force restarting the device, or contacting tech support. With Setup Assistant handled, you can start exploring all the great features of your new iOS device!

Setup Assistant Step Description
Choose Language and Region Select device language and geographical region.
Select Wi-Fi Network Connect to a Wi-Fi network and optionally restore from iCloud backup.
Activate iPhone/iPad/iPod Activate device with SIM card and carrier service.
Enter Apple ID Sign in with or create a new Apple ID account.
Terms and Conditions Agree to Apple’s terms of service.
Touch ID/Face ID Set up fingerprint/face authentication.
Create Passcode Set 6-digit device passcode for security.
Add Alternate Appearance Add secondary appearance for Face ID.
Display Zoom Make interface items larger or smaller.
Location Services Allow apps and services to use location.
Enable Siri Turn on Siri voice assistant.
Share iPhone & iPad Analytics Share analytics data with Apple.
Screen Time Configure usage limits and downtime.
App Analytics Share analytics data with app developers.
Display & Text Size Adjust text size, bold text, and contrast.
Add Accessibility Features Enable accessibility options.
Appearance Choose light or dark mode.
Transfer from Android Import data from Android device.
Restore from iCloud Backup Restore data and settings from iCloud.
Apple Pay Set up Apple Pay.
Express Settings Quickly enable recommended settings.
Meet Your New iPhone/iPad/iPod Learn about new features for your device.