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Migrating to a New iPhone

2011 December 10
by SSedro

I had the good fortune to migrate to an iPhone 4S today.  It went so smoothly that I want to share what I did.

First, a bit of background information.  My iPhone 3GS was already running the most current version of iOS (5.0.1).  That phone was already using iCloud to sync mail, contacts, calendars, bookmarks and notes. I am using a Mac running Lion (10.7.2) for syncing.

      1. Read this short article designed to help people who are traveling and rent an iPhone.
      2. Run software update to ensure you have the most current version of iTunes.
      3. Prepare to Back Up Contacts, Mail Accounts, Calendars, Bookmarks and Notes
        Check that you have your important data set to backup.  With the iPhone plugged in and iTunes open, click on the iPhone in the left navigation bar. Then click on the Info tab.  That is where you tell the iTunes which data to backup.  If you are not using iCloud, make certain you have the right boxes ticked to back up that data from the phone to the computer. I am using iCloud so I did not tick any of the boxes and I had the message below.
      4. Sync your old iPhone.
      5. Transfer Purchases and Back Up
        It was probably redundant, but I also right-clicked on the iPhone in iTunes and transferred purchases from iPhone to computer.  Then I right-clicked again and made the iPhone back up.
      6. Back Up Databases
        I created a folder on my desktop. Then I backed up the following data sets on my computer into it so I could more easily recover if something went wrong.

        • Contacts: Open Address Book > File > Export >Address book archive
        • iCal: Open iCal > File > Export > iCal archive
        • I should have backed up 1Password, my third-party password program. Fortunately, that data seems just fine.
      7. Backup Third-Party Apps Data
        Next, from within iTunes I scrolled to the bottom of the apps tab to the filesharing section.  This is where you can backup app data from certain third-party apps.  For the apps that actually had data which I wanted to keep, I clicked on the app, clicked on the data, and then clicked the Save To.. button to save it to that backup folder I created on my desktop.  I did this for Good Reader, Gym Buddy and HandDBase.  Many of my apps, such as 2Do and Evernote sync to a location on the web, so I did not back them up here.
      8. Sync New iPhone
        When I plugged in the new phone I was asked if this was a new phone or if I wanted to restore. I chose the latter and selected to restore from my old iPhone.  Everything I did up until now took around 15 minutes.  This step took another 15 minutes while all my data was transferred to my new phone.  To my delight, everything seems to have transferred correctly.  My apps seems to be there, in the same locations and folders.  My important information is there such as contacts and calendars.  Even my third party apps have their data and my Gmail app already knew my credentials and logged in.
      9. Rename Your New Phone
        Since you did a restore, your new phone now has your old phone’s name. Double-click on the name of your old device in the left navigation bar.  Give it a new name and press return.
      10. Connect to WIFI
        In settings, connect to your wifi network.

      11. Connect to iCloud
        In settings, click on iCloud and login. Select which data sets you want to backup to iCloud.  Make certain Find My iPhone  is turned on. I sync everything except  Photostream, Documents & Data.  That is a personal preference. You may want to sync those as well. See short directions with photos here.
      12. Check that Find My iPhone is Working
        On your computer, open Safari. Navigate to www.icloud.com.  Login. Click on the cloud.  Click on Find My iPhone.  Let it find your new phone.
      13. Charge Phone and Wait for Network Services to Kick In
        Since I am switching to a new phone but keeping the same phone number, it will take a few days for network services to transfer from my old phone to my new one.

That’s it. The entire process took no more than 45 minutes.  I hope your migration goes as smoothly. If you are lucky enough to give it a try, let me know how it goes.

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