How to Quickly Set Up Your New iPhone 8 or X Using iOS 11’s New ‘Quick Start’ Upgrade Tool

By Paul Riegler on 18 October 2017
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The excitement of getting a shiny new phone quickly wears off once the setup process begins. Will my accounts and contacts transfer? Will I lose messages or photos? What am I forgetting to address?

Apple recognized that the process, until now, has been less than easy and straightforward and introduced a new setup procedure called Quick Start with its recently introduced mobile operating system, iOS 11. Quick Start makes setting up a new iPhone incredibly easy.

We tested the new setup procedure with a shiny Space Grey iPhone 8 plus that just arrived in our offices. To begin, both the old and new iPhones need to be running iOS 11 and they also need to be close to one another throughout the process. We found it also paid to have power available nearby, since the transfer process isn’t quick.

During the setup, the new iPhone will ask if you want to perform the procedure by cloning your old iPhone by using Quick Start. The process works both for new iPhones as well as iPads.

The Quick Start screen on your current device will verify the iCloud ID you are to use then runs a circular animation on the new device. Simply hold your new iPhone up to the old iPhone’s camera and position the circle in the display. Pressing the “Finish on new device” option will cause the new iPhone to request the current device’s password on the new device.

Next up is configuring Touch ID. Following that, the new phone will offer the choice of restoring apps, data, and settings from your most recent iCloud backup, or updating your current device’s backup and then restoring. Once the backup is selected, you will be asked to choose if you wish to transfer settings related to location, privacy, Apple Pay, and Siri.

Keep in mind that the restoration of the backup will take some time, depending on how much data you have on the current device.

Quick Start worked well until it stalled at the point where it should have been downloading apps. The progress bar stopped moving at around the 85% point and stubbornly refused to go any further. A call to Apple technical support was useless, even after a senior advisor was summoned, and I had to force restart the iPhone 8 Plus by hitting the volume up button followed by the volume down button and then holding the power button in for three seconds, at which point things resumed, although I later had to repeat the process after discovering that half of the content (such as photos) from the original phone was missing .

Finally, for iPhone users with an Apple Watch, while the system is meant to ask if you’d like to transfer your Apple Watch data and settings to the new iPhone, it didn’t in this case and I had to reset the watch and pair it in order to complete the setup.

After this last step, if you are transferring the SIM card from the current phone to the new phone, this would be the right time to do it. Double check that everything moved over and then return the old phone to factory settings.

Keep in mind that most apps will require you to reenter your user name and password, a notable exception being the New York Times’ app, which in our test retained this information. Anything you’ve paired via Bluetooth such as speakers or a car’s hands-free setup will require pairing although HomeKit devices will be carried over unless, as in the case of the August lock, they also require Bluetooth connectivity.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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