How do I transfer data from my new iPhone when it wont work?

If you just got a new iPhone and are having trouble transferring data from your old iPhone, you’re not alone. Many users struggle to get their contacts, photos, apps and other data moved over to their shiny new device. The good news is there are several potential solutions to try to get your new iPhone set up just the way you want.

Why won’t my new iPhone transfer data from my old iPhone?

There are a few common reasons why you may be having trouble transferring data from an old iPhone to a new one:

  • Software issues – Sometimes there are bugs or glitches that prevent the data transfer process from completing successfully.
  • Connection problems – Weak WiFi signals, low battery, or other connectivity issues can disrupt the data transfer.
  • Insufficient iCloud storage – You may need to purchase additional iCloud storage to transfer large amounts of data.
  • Trying to transfer from a newer model to an older model – Data can only be transferred from older iPhones to newer models.
  • Damaged charging port – If the charging port is damaged on your old iPhone, it may not properly connect to transfer data.

How can I get my contacts to my new iPhone?

There are a few ways to transfer your contacts from an old iPhone to a new one:

  • Using iCloud – If you previously had iCloud Contacts enabled on your old iPhone, simply sign into your iCloud account on the new iPhone and your contacts will sync automatically.
  • Via a computer – Connect both iPhones to a computer and use iTunes to transfer contacts.
  • With a backup – Restore a backup from your old iPhone onto your new one to transfer contacts.
  • Manually moving contacts – You can manually move contacts by exporting them from the old iPhone and importing them to the new one.

Enabling iCloud Contacts is usually the easiest way to transfer your contacts seamlessly to your new device.

How can I get my photos to my new iPhone?

To move your photos from your old iPhone to your new one, here are a few options:

  • Using iCloud Photos – If you had iCloud Photos enabled on your old iPhone, your photos should automatically sync to your new device when you sign in.
  • Via computer transfer – Connect both phones to a computer and transfer the photos through iTunes.
  • From a backup – Restore a backup from your old iPhone onto the new one to transfer photos.
  • With AirDrop – Use AirDrop to wirelessly transfer photos between iOS devices.
  • Using cloud storage – Upload photos to a cloud service like Google Photos from the old phone, then download to the new phone.

The easiest options are using iCloud Photos or restoring a backup. This will transfer your entire photo library automatically.

How can I transfer my apps to a new iPhone?

To get all of your apps onto your new iPhone, you have a couple choices:

  • Restore from iCloud backup – Restoring your latest iCloud backup will transfer your app data and reinstall any apps you downloaded from the App Store.
  • Sync with iTunes – Connect both iPhones to your computer and sync them through iTunes to transfer app data and reinstall App Store apps.
  • Manually redownload apps – You can manually search for and redownload free apps you previously installed from the App Store.
  • Move files for non-App Store apps – For apps not downloaded via the App Store, you’ll need to move their data files manually from your old iPhone using a computer.

Restoring an iCloud backup is the most straightforward way to automatically transfer your apps. You’ll just need to sign in to the same Apple ID on your new device.

What if my old iPhone is damaged?

If your old iPhone is damaged to the point where you can’t access it normally, you have a couple options to rescue your data:

  • Repair the old iPhone – Take your damaged device to a repair shop to get it functional enough to transfer data.
  • Use data recovery software – Special software can sometimes recover data from damaged devices.
  • Extract data directly – In some cases, phone repair experts can directly access and transfer data parts like the flash memory in a damaged device.
  • Restore an old backup – If you have an iCloud or iTunes backup from before your phone was damaged, you may be able to restore the backup.

Getting the phone repaired enough to transfer data, or professionally extracting the data are often the most successful approaches when dealing with a damaged device.

What should I do if my new iPhone came with iOS 15 or earlier?

If your new iPhone came with iOS 15 or earlier pre-installed, here are some steps to take:

  1. Update to the latest iOS version – Bring your new iPhone up to the most current iOS version to ensure compatibility.
  2. Back up your old iPhone – Create a backup from your old iPhone either in iCloud or through iTunes on a computer.
  3. Transfer data from the backup – Restore the backup you just created onto your new iPhone to transfer data.
  4. Reinstall apps – Any apps not transferred will need to be downloaded again from the App Store.
  5. Check for full data transfer – Make sure all your data like contacts, photos, calendars, etc. transferred correctly.

Updating to the latest iOS and restoring a backup is typically the most straightforward process for moving your data to a new phone on an older iOS version.

How can I transfer data if my old iPhone has a broken screen?

If your old iPhone’s screen is cracked or broken, you still have options for transferring data:

  • Use iCloud – If you have iCloud backups enabled, you can transfer data wirelessly using iCloud.
  • Get the screen repaired – Take your phone to a repair shop just to get the screen working temporarily.
  • Connect to iTunes – Use iTunes on a computer to transfer data from the old iPhone.
  • Extract data directly – Phone repair experts may be able to carefully extract the raw data from the iPhone as a last resort.

Getting the screen temporarily repaired or using iTunes are usually the most straightforward solutions in this case.

What should I do if my new iPhone has iOS 16 and my old iPhone is on iOS 15 or earlier?

If your new iPhone has a newer iOS version than your old iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Update old iPhone to latest iOS – Update your old iPhone to the newest iOS version it supports.
  2. Backup old iPhone – Create a backup of your old iPhone on iCloud or iTunes.
  3. Wipe new iPhone – Wipe your new iPhone by restoring it to factory settings.
  4. Restore backup to new iPhone – Restore the backup from your old iPhone onto your new device.
  5. Reinstall apps – Download any apps that didn’t transfer from the App Store.

Updating your old iPhone first, wiping the new iPhone, then restoring the backup helps ensure full compatibility between the iOS versions during the data transfer process.

What are some troubleshooting tips if my data won’t transfer?

If you’re having trouble getting your data to transfer to your new iPhone, try these tips:

  • Update both iPhones to the latest iOS versions.
  • Check for errors during the transfer process and try again.
  • Try a different data transfer method like iTunes or iCloud.
  • Make sure you have good WiFi connections and battery on both phones.
  • Remove any unnecessary apps or data to optimize space.
  • Factory reset the new iPhone then re-attempt transfer.
  • Contact Apple support for further troubleshooting assistance.

Updating software, trying alternate transfer methods, and eliminating errors are some of the most common ways to troubleshoot data transfer issues.

How can I get all my text messages to a new iPhone?

To transfer your text messages from an old iPhone to a new one:

  • Back up your messages – Create an iCloud backup or iTunes backup to store messages.
  • Transfer the backup – Restore the backup to your new iPhone.
  • Enable iMessage syncing – Make sure iMessage syncing in iCloud is enabled to store future messages.
  • Use a third party app – Apps like iExplorer let you view and export messages for backup.
  • Manually export conversations – Open key conversations on your old iPhone and email them to yourself.

Restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup is the easiest way to transfer the bulk of your text history. Enabling iMessage syncing will make sure new texts also get stored.

Is it better to use iTunes or iCloud to transfer data?

Both iTunes and iCloud offer options for transferring data from an old iPhone to a new one. Here’s a comparison:

iTunes iCloud
Ease of use More complex, requires computer Easier, wireless transfer
Types of data transferred Transfers almost all data Doesn’t transfer all data
Speed Can be faster Depends on internet connection
File management Full file system access Limited ability to manage files

In summary, iTunes provides more control and options for power users, while iCloud offers faster wireless transferring for most users’ needs.

What should I do if I don’t have my old iPhone anymore?

If you’ve lost your old iPhone or no longer have it, you still have a few options for getting your data onto a new device:

  • Restore an iCloud backup – iCloud backups store your data wirelessly.
  • Restore an iTunes backup – Connect your new phone to a computer with an iTunes backup.
  • Check iCloud app data – App data may be on iCloud even without a full backup.
  • Use alternative backup services – Some apps back up to other cloud services.
  • Re-download data and apps – Tedious but you may be able to recover data this way.

Leveraging iCloud and iTunes backups are your best bets for recovering data from an unavailable old iPhone. Sign into iCloud to check if backups exist.

What should I do if I’m switching from Android to iPhone?

Switching from Android to iPhone involves a few extra steps to transfer your data:

  1. Back up your Android device – Use Google account backup or device manufacturer tools.
  2. Sign into your Google account on iPhone – This syncs contacts, email, calendar.
  3. Use Move to iOS app – Transfer photos, videos, contacts and calendars to your new iPhone.
  4. Check for third party app data backups – Apps like WhatsApp may back up data elsewhere.
  5. Manually move files from Android – Use Google Drive or a USB cable to manually move files.

The Move to iOS app helps automatically transfer key data like photos from your Android device to your new iPhone.

What are my options if my new iPhone is brand new with no data on it?

If your new iPhone is completely new with no data or customization on it, you have a few options to populate it with your stuff:

  • Restore an iCloud backup – This will quickly transfer your data wirelessly.
  • Restore an iTunes backup – Connect your iPhone via cable to transfer data.
  • Set up new iPhone manually – Sync contacts, calendars, photos new without a backup.
  • Use Quick Start setup – Place the old iPhone near the new iPhone to auto-transfer settings.
  • Selectively transfer data – Manually move over only certain data like contacts, mail accounts, photos.

If available, restoring an iCloud backup is the fastest way to clone your old iPhone’s data onto your new device.

What should I do to prepare for a new iPhone while keeping my old iPhone active?

To prepare your data while keeping your old iPhone active until getting a new one:

  1. Declutter your old iPhone by removing apps, photos, videos, etc. you no longer need.
  2. Create a backup in iCloud or iTunes of your data from the old iPhone.
  3. Make sure your contacts, photos, and other key data is synced to iCloud.
  4. Update your old iPhone to the latest supported iOS version.
  5. Sign into iCloud and App Store on your new iPhone using your Apple ID.
  6. Restore the backup to the new iPhone.

Decluttering, creating a backup, and syncing to iCloud before getting your new iPhone allows you to smoothly transfer your data later.


Getting data from an old iPhone to a new one can be tricky, but is manageable using iTunes or iCloud backups. Additionally, selectively moving data, getting a device repaired, or using third-party software are options if backups are unavailable. With some patience and by troubleshooting errors, you should be able to successfully move your contacts, photos, apps and other critical data to your shiny new iPhone.

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