We previously wrote a guide on how to setup a new iPhone from an iCloud backup, but that is limited by the fact that Apple only gives you 5 GB of free storage. If you have more than 5 GB of music, apps and other data, and you do not wish to pay for additional iCloud storage, you will have to resort to an iTunes backup. Read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to setup a new iPhone from an iTunes backup.

Note that this tutorial was made using an iPhone, but the steps are identical for an iPad or iPod touch.

How to backup your old iPhone to iTunes

The first half of this guide involves backing up the data on your old iPhone to iTunes. Make sure that you are running the latest version of iTunes, which is available through Software Update, and have plugged your device into your computer using the sync cable. These steps are geared towards Mac users, although they should be similar if you are using iTunes on Windows.

Step 1: Connect your old iPhone to your computer.

Step 2: Open iTunes and in the Menu Bar, click on File > Devices > Back up.

backup ios device in itunes

Step 3: Wait patiently, as the backup process could take 10 minutes or longer depending on how much music, apps, and other data is on your iPhone.

Step 4: When the backup is complete, disconnect your old iPhone from your computer.

How to restore using an iTunes backup on a new iPhone

Now that the backup has been completed we are going to to setup your new iPhone using that backup. It will effectively bring over all the data from your old iPhone to your new one, including music, photos, messages, contacts, etc.

Step 1: Connect your new iPhone to your computer.

Step 2: Open iTunes and in the Menu Bar, click on File > Devices > Restore from Backup…

restore ios device from backup in itunes

Step 3: Wait patiently again, as restoring from an iTunes backup could take a lengthy time. Your data is being transferred to the new iPhone.

Step 4: When the backup is restored, disconnect your new iPhone from your computer.

If you followed the above steps correctly, your music, messages, contacts, apps and all other data should now be on your new iPhone. If you are fully confident that all of your data has been transferred to your new iPhone, you can proceed with wiping the data off of your old iPhone. To do so, tap on Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. The old iPhone will now be at the “Welcome to iPhone” screen of the iOS Setup Assistant.

  • Khalouda Trad

    Thanks for the tips. You guys are great

    • Joe Rossignol

      You’re welcome. :p

  • Joshua Petersen

    any tutorials on how set up an iPhone as new while retaining contacts, bookmarks and settings (im trying to figure out the best way to have a clean install with the least hassle)

    im jailbroken on 7.1.2 currently and don’t want any “other” data lingering around hogging up space

    • Dave C

      I’d like to know this as well, with the addition of retaining my sms/iMessages.

    • haerondir

      you can use ibackupbot and keep your messages/photos/game progress/etc without having to restore from backup

  • arvindb02

    Who’s iDB staff?

  • Blake Hendrix

    How can I transfer everything from my jailbroken iphone 4s to my new iphone without using itunes? iTunes won’t transfer Cydia applications, tweaks, etc!

  • SAMe

    Is there a way to do a back up from iTunes and not have pictures restored? I just want the contacts and some other information but it’s a little bit more than the free 5 GB iCloud storage. I don’t want to pay extra.

  • Peggy Wolff

    how to restore from itunes if device is stolen?