Transferring Apps to a new iPhone using iCloud
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Can I transfer my apps from my old iPhone to a new one through iCloud? If so how?
A: The short answer is yes, provided that your old iPhone supports iCloud, all of the apps that you wish to transfer are still available on the App Store, and you’re setting it up as a new iPhone.
To do this, you simply need to ensure that you have setup iCloud on your original iPhone with iCloud Backups enabled. You can find the option for this in the Settings app under iCloud, Storage & Backup.
From this screen you can also see the date and time of your last backup to the iCloud servers; iCloud backs up your iPhone once every 24 hours as long as it is connected to a Wi-Fi network and a power source. If you have not made a recent backup, you can do so manually as long as you’re on a Wi-Fi connection by tapping the “Back Up Now” button.
By default, your iCloud Backups include all of your settings and application data along with a list of the apps and media content stored on your device. You can confirm that everything is being backed up by tapping “Manage Storage” from the Storage & Backup screen and then tapping your iPhone in the list of devices; your total backup size will be shown here along with toggled to exclude certain items from being backed up. Note that unless you’ve changed these settings, everything will be backed up by default, but you may want to check here just to make sure.
Once you’ve confirmed that you have a recent backup of your existing iPhone in iCloud, you can proceed to setup your new iPhone, choosing to restore from your iCloud backup when prompted and then simply signing into iCloud and choosing the appropriate backup from the iCloud server (if you’re backing up more than one device to iCloud).
Restoring from iCloud works in much the same manner as restoring from iTunes. Your settings and data will be restored directly from the backup after which iOS will begin downloading and installing all of your apps and any of your media content that was purchased from the iTunes Store. As applications are reinstalled on your device they will appear greyed out on your home screen with a progress bar under each.
Note that if you have purchased apps with a different iTunes Store account from the Apple ID you’re using for iCloud, you will simply be prompted to enter your password for those additional accounts in order to download the necessary content. If you had media content on your iPhone that came from sources other than the iTunes Store (e.g. your own ripped CDs), you will need to sync with iTunes once the iCloud restore completes in order to transfer that content over to your new iPhone; your iTunes sync settings form part of the iCloud backup so you shouldn’t need to reconfigure anything in iTunes—just plug your iPhone into your computer and let it sync.
Keep in mind that this process only works if you are setting up your new iPhone from scratch or willing to erase everything on it to restore the backup from your old iPhone. There is no way to merge backups or restore a partial backup from iCloud, so this may not be an option if you have already started using the new iPhone and have apps and data on it that you don’t want to lose. In this case, you can still re-download the apps from iTunes in the Cloud using the App Store on your device, but you will not be able to bring over any of your data unless the apps themselves provide their own cloud storage, backup/restore or import/export options.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- Icahn pulls out of Apple over China concerns
- Apple launches CareKit, with four apps debuting today
- Alleged schematics for iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ show up in Japanese magazine
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- FBI will not disclose San Bernardino iPhone hack
- Notes from Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q2 results: $50.6B revenue, 51M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)