Q: I’ve been an iPod touch user for two years and am planning make the jump to the iPhone 4. I know all my apps and media will transfer easily, but is it possible to transfer all my device’s settings as well, such as saved Wi-Fi networks, e-mail accounts, bookmarks, app folders, and so forth? It’s not a huge deal, but it would be really helpful if I didn’t have to configure all that again.
A: Absolutely, and it’s actually very easy to do. As you may know, iTunes normally makes a backup of your iPod touch settings and data each time you sync. Transferring your settings to your new iPhone 4 is basically as simple as restoring this backup; iTunes will provide you with the option to do this when you first set up your iPhone.
You can confirm that iTunes has a current backup of your iPod touch by going into your iTunes Preferences and choosing the Devices tab. This shows a list of all of the backups stored by iTunes and the date and time of the last backup.
You can restore a backup from any iOS device onto any other iOS device, regardless of model—iPod touch, iPhone and iPad backups are all interchangeable across devices. The only restriction is that the device you’re restoring onto must be running the same or newer version of iOS as the backup—backups of devices with newer iOS versions than the current device will simply not appear on the list.
This won’t likely be a problem when going to the iPhone 4 unless you’ve already upgraded your iPod touch to iOS 4.0.2. In that case you will probably need to update your new iPhone 4 to 4.0.2 as well before you can restore the backup—many of the shipping iPhone 4 units will still have 4.0 or 4.0.1 on them out of the box. In this case you can set the device up as a new iPhone in order to update it to iOS 4.0.2, which can be done through the normal “Check for Updates” button found on the “Summary” in iTunes. Once you’ve updated the device, you can manually restore your backup by simply right-clicking on the iPhone in the iTunes Devices list and choosing the Restore from Backup… option on the context menu that appears.