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Got an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus? Do these 10 things first

Susie Ochs | Sept. 19, 2016
After you inhale that new-iPhone smell, follow this setup guide to be up and running faster than you can say A10 Fusion.

Well, you did it. You pulled the trigger on a shiny (or matte) new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. Nice! Before you head out to take a squillion 12-megapixel photos to fill up the super-sized storage, there are a few housekeeping details you should tend to first.

1. Back up and restore

This isn’t poor planning, I swear—I like to back up my old phone after I have my new iPhone in hand, so the backup is as up-to-date as it can possibly be. While you can back up via iCloud or iTunes, I prefer the faster iTunes method. Connect your old iPhone to your Mac, launch iTunes, select your iPhone by clicking the little phone icon in the toolbar, and under Backups, choose This Computer. Checking Encrypt local backup is a good idea, so your account passwords and Health data gets backed up too—just choose a password you won’t forget. Click the button to Back up now.

itunes backup iphone encrypted

Because I encrypted my backup, the Activity progress I made was synced over to my new iPhone 7. That progress was wiped out on my Apple Watch during the process of pairing it to the 7, but when I opened the Activity app on the iPhone 7, that progress was sent back over to the Apple Watch. Ta-da!

When the backup is done, connect your new iPhone 7, then tell iTunes you want to restore from the backup you just made. Later, you can switch back to iCloud backups if you prefer, in Settings > iCloud > Backup. But it never hurts to run a backup on your own Mac every now and then.

If you happen to be coming from an Android phone (hey, welcome to the garden!), there’s a Move from iOS Android app that can assist you with setting up your Google account data in Mail, Calendars, and Contacts, moving your camera roll over, even transfering your Chrome bookmarks to Safari.

2. Finish the setup

There are a few remaining steps to finish up the setup process. You’ll enter your iCloud account password, along with a second security code if you’re using two-factor authentication on said iCloud account (tiny moment of delight: I told it to send the code to my phone number, and because my iPhone 7 was already activated on that phone number, it entered the code for me). Then you’ll agree to the iCloud terms and conditions, and set up how people can reach you over iMessage and FaceTime.

3. Set up Touch ID and Apple Pay

Yes, you should use Touch ID for maximum security—it’s the quickest way to unlock your iPhone, and will let you set a more complicated passcode, since you don’t have to type it in every time. So you so take the few moments to repeatedly press a finger on the Home button to register it. If you trust another human to unlock your phone, you can add their finger (or more of your own digits) by going to Settings > Passcode. 


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