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Transfer Apps, Contacts, Music and Personal Data from an old phone to a new Phone

Your new phone has arrived, and you're probably having a blast checking out the new features and showing it off to your friends. It might be an iPhone, or it might be an Android phone... it might even be a Blackberry.

You're also probably wondering how to copy everything from the old phone to the shiny new one - apps you've purchased, music, photos, contacts, email, notes - the whole enchilada.

There are two ways you can tackle this task, and each one just depends on how much manual work you want to take on, or how easy you want the process to be.

Let's start with the DIY manual process. It's free... but we all know that nothing is really truly free, because the free approach is always harder and takes longer... and time is money, so you have to decide what's most important to you. It also only works with iPhones. If you are transferring from or to an Android phone, then jump to the bottom of this tutorial and learn how to use Wondershare's new MobileTrans app that lets you transfer data from any iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian etc. to any other phone without any loss of data.

Manually Transfer Everything From Old Phone to New Phone

Here are the steps you'll need to take, to transfer everything from your old iPhone to your new one, by backing up your old iphone and then restoring the new iPhone from the backup. These same steps can be followed to fully backup an iPhone (and you might realize after reading this article that the backups you've been doing have not been fully backing up your purchased apps).

1. Backup the old iPhone

Connect your iPhone to your computer with the USB data cable and open iTunes. Wait for it to recognize your iPhone, and then right-click on your iPhone in the left side bar. Select "Backup" from the short-cut menu to start the backup.

The first backup took about 20 minutes on my iPhone, which was loaded with about 4 GB of data. I say first, because I ended up having to do it again because the first run didn't backup my purchased apps nor my music files. Instead, I received an error message indicating that not everything was transferred, and that my computer wasn't authorized to play the items (even though I had already authorized my computer).

Turns out you have to tell iTunes to transfer purchased apps from your iPhone to your computer, and Apple didn't put the menu option in a prominent location.

2. Transfer Purchased Apps

When you purchase apps from your iPhone, they aren't included in the iTunes backup. You have to right-click on your iPhone in iTunes and select "Transfer Purchases".

This copies over all of your purchased apps into iTunes, but they still wont' be part of the backup unless you select them. Select your iPhone in iTunes and then click the "Applications" tab, and make sure that all of the apps are selected. Do the same thing with the Music and Videos tab, and make sure all of your songs and movies are selected. Very important: Run the backup one more time to backup the apps, music, and movies we just selected.

3. Restore from the Backup

Now we're ready to transfer everything over to the new iPhone. Unplug the old iPhone and connect the new iPhone. Wait for iTunes to recognize it, and you should see it show up on the left sidebar just like the old one. Right-click on your new iPhone in iTunes, and select "Restore from Backup". Choose the option to "Restore from the backup of" the old iPhone.

Important: Once the backup has finished, do one last sync and be sure to select everything you want transferred over (apps, music, etc). This will copy everything over from the old iPhone to the new iPhone, including email accounts, contacts, photos, apps, etc. It won't delete any of the new iPhone apps either, like the new Compass or Voice Memos.

A few Gotchas worth pointing out:

I had to go in an enter passwords for the email accounts - those weren't transferred over, which actually makes sense from a security point of view. Same thing for Wi-Fi networks. It didn't save my work or home Wi-Fi network settings, so I had to reconnect to them and re-enter the passwords for those networks.

Other then the hassle of transferring purchased apps and making sure everything was selected for the backup for Music, Applications, Videos, etc - this was a fairly bumpy process that took about 2 hours all together from start to finish.

If you'd like an easier, faster and safer method for transferring everything from your old phone to your new phone, and that works with just about any type of phone, then this new MobileTrans app from Wondershare is your ticket.

Wondershare MobileTrans App

What if you could replace the 2 hours of manual transfer steps with just a single click? 

The new MobileTrans app from Wondershare let's you transfer contacts, text messages, photos and other file types between devices directly... and with just 1 click. You can run it on Windows or Mac, and it works with Android and Blackberry phones... and you can even download and try it for free!

Wondershare MobileTrans

Here's how it works:

1. Download, install and run MobileTrans Phone Transfer.

2. Connect both of your devices to your computer.

3. Click "Phone to Phone Transfer"

Now wasn't that way easier? :-)

It works perfectly with Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Google, HUAWEI, Motorola, ZTE, and more smartphones and tablets. It's also fully compatible with major providers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Download a copy of MobileTrans for Mac or Windows, and in a few minutes you'll have all of your data transferred over to your new phone. You'll also have something you can recommend to your friends the next time they upgrade one of their phones!


omg 2 years later and your help was the only help I could find. My back up is done. Thank you!!!

Here's my issue: I have the new iPhone 4s upgraded from the iPhone 3G. I have my contacts synced from Yahoo but cannot get my calendar, notes or text messages to transfer over. Whenever I plug in the 3G or 4s, I get the: "No supported calendar application can be found." as well as "No supported notes application can be found."

That being said, which PC Applications are people using that ARE supported for notes and calendar events???? I could live without the text messages but I really need the events and notes. Since the 3G can't connect to anything by iTunes, what options do I have available??

fantastic, was pulling my hair out until i found this, simple instructions and great advice. Cheers

Hi Ricky, I haven't tried this all yet as my main concern is that I need all the information in my calender and text messages to transfer over from old iphone 3 to my new iphone 4 (I'm on PC windows btw). Will this happen as part of the process you mention? All the emphasis seems to be on the music and apps.


I just got an iphone 4S yesterday to replace my 4 and i did the back up and restore but since i had the manually manage music button checked because i dont put my whole itunes library in my iphone none of my music or playlists transferred... This was such a bummer...... Verizon mentioned trying a third party software but that didnt work either....

I recently bought an iPhone 5 but i am little bit confusion regarding how to transfer apps, contacts, music and other important files from old iPhone to new iPhone. From this blog i got an useful tips which might be helpful for me. Thanks for sharing this information.


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