How to Use Automatic Setup in iOS 11 to Get Your New iPhone 8 Up and Running Quick

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Apr 12, 2001
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iOS 11 includes a new "Automatic Setup" feature, which is aimed at making it quicker to get a new device ready to use right out of the box. Automatic Setup streamlines the setup process for new iPhones and iPads, transferring over preferences, Apple ID and Wi-Fi info, preferred settings, and iCloud Keychain passwords.

Automatic Setup is not the same as restoring from an iCloud backup and it does not offer full device-to-device content transfer. After transferring settings using Automatic Setup, you will still need to transfer over app data by restoring from a backup, a step available after Automatic Setup is complete.


When you buy a new device, Automatic Setup will pop up automatically, but there are some steps to follow to get everything transferred over.
  1. Power on your new device.
  2. After choosing your language, you'll see a "Set Up Your iPhone (or iPad)" prompt.
  3. When this appears, place your existing iOS device near the new device to initiate Automatic Setup.
  4. Your existing device will show a pop up letting you know you can use Automatic Setup. Tap "Continue" to start.
  5. An Apple Watch-style pairing image will appear on the new device, and you'll be instructed to scan it with the camera on your existing device.
  6. In an area with decent lighting, hold the existing device's camera over the image to pair.
  7. Enter the passcode from your existing device on the new device.
  8. From there, all of your data starts transferring over to the new device.
After Automatic Setup, you'll need to go through the Touch ID, Siri, and Wallet setup processes, but your other information is synced over. An "Express Settings" feature further speeds up new device activation, automatically enabling Find My iPhone, location services, and analytics. If you don't want these options enabled, tap on "Customize Settings" to change them.

At this point, you can restore all of your apps and app data from an iCloud backup, or set a device up as new. You will need to use the iCloud backup step for a full content transfer from your old device to your new device as Automatic Setup is only for settings and bypassing some of the setup steps that can take several minutes.

To use Automatic Setup, both of the devices involved need to be running the iOS 11 update, so it's perfect for customers who are receiving an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus and have already upgraded their previous-generation devices to iOS 11.

Article Link: How to Use Automatic Setup in iOS 11 to Get Your New iPhone 8 Up and Running Quick
 

glindon

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2014
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Phoenix
Do we need to unpair Watch before doing this or do the watch settings transfer too?

My guess is unpair first.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,214
9,393
Florida, USA
Does this do the equivalent of restoring from a backup, or does it just copy basic preferences over?

I can see this being really awesome for people upgrading if it copies data from the old device to the new, allowing you to set up the device without having to wait on restoring a backup over a possibly slow Internet connection.
 

glindon

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2014
296
555
Phoenix
Does this do the equivalent of restoring from a backup, or does it just copy basic preferences over?

I can see this being really awesome for people upgrading if it copies data from the old device to the new, allowing you to set up the device without having to wait on restoring a backup over a possibly slow Internet connection.
So many questions that this article should have discussed.

Now that I think about it, all this does is transfer wifi settings and iCloud sign in. You still have to “restore” from iCloud backup.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,214
9,393
Florida, USA
So many questions that this article should have discussed.

Now that I think about it, all this does is transfer wifi settings and iCloud sign in. You still have to “restore” from iCloud backup.
How disappointing. Apple had an opportunity to add a really awesome feature to speed upgrading your device, direct device to device data transfer, and didn't bother to do it.

This would have been really good for rural customers who have heavily metered satellite connections. Why send several GB of data to and from the Internet when all the data is already right there on the device?

Sigh.
 
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AMDeeb

macrumors newbie
Mar 14, 2013
23
0
Lebanon
Devices should talk to each other and transfee data locally already, something like a LAN AirDrop. Sending data to Apple servers and back to a device in the same room is bandwidth intensive.
 

maclaw21

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2009
220
196
So many questions that this article should have discussed.

Now that I think about it, all this does is transfer wifi settings and iCloud sign in. You still have to “restore” from iCloud backup.
I read the article as saying, “If you don’t want to use the easy setup, you still have the option of restoring from a backup or just setting the phone up as brand new with no data transfer.” But I agree with you frustration—the article is not well written.
 

Huskieboy

Suspended
Sep 16, 2017
123
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When you buy a Samsung and own an iPhone you connect the two and it transfers everything in the phone you ask it to. His was a huge opportunity but as alway Cook blew it
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
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3,343
California
So many questions that this article should have discussed.

Now that I think about it, all this does is transfer wifi settings and iCloud sign in. You still have to “restore” from iCloud backup.
I mention it at the end. After basic settings are transferred over, there's another option to restore from backup for all of your app data.
[doublepost=1506034004][/doublepost]
I read the article as saying, “If you don’t want to use the easy setup, you still have the option of restoring from a backup or just setting the phone up as brand new with no data transfer.” But I agree with you frustration—the article is not well written.
I'll attempt to make this part clearer. Sorry about that.
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,666
3,343
California
I've updated the post, please give it a look and let me know if I've made it clearer what Automatic Setup does and does not do. Also, let me know if there's anything else I should add. Thanks for the feedback, guys :)
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,070
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Central U.S.
So many questions that this article should have discussed.

Now that I think about it, all this does is transfer wifi settings and iCloud sign in. You still have to “restore” from iCloud backup.
That's too bad. I came here to ask about that too. It should use something like AirDrop to send the files directly over to the new device so we don't have to re-download all of our photos, videos, movies, and apps again from iCloud—which can take a long time even on a fast connection. Perhaps in a future version? Though they may just be betting on the internet speeding up over time, making it pointless.
 
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maclaw21

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2009
220
196
I've updated the post, please give it a look and let me know if I've made it clearer what Automatic Setup does and does not do. Also, let me know if there's anything else I should add. Thanks for the feedback, guys :)

It’s clearer. Thanks.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
23,878
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Gotta be in it to win it
How disappointing. Apple had an opportunity to add a really awesome feature to speed upgrading your device, direct device to device data transfer, and didn't bother to do it.

This would have been really good for rural customers who have heavily metered satellite connections. Why send several GB of data to and from the Internet when all the data is already right there on the device?

Sigh.
There may have been some security concerns or not enough time to complete development. Either way you can restore from itunes, except for apps.o_O
 

RF9

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
153
102
California
I really think this is more for Apple Store employees to use on customer devices when they replace them (upgrades, warranty replacements, etc.) As it is now they walk through the prompts but this might let them simply put the old next to the new to get it going then have you wipe the old before they take it away.
This has marginal convenience at home though.
 
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Mike Delta

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2014
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When you buy a Samsung and own an iPhone you connect the two and it transfers everything in the phone you ask it to. His was a huge opportunity but as alway Cook blew it
Apple already does this with the move to iOS app. I guess Cook has been helping you out the whole time lol.
 

leesweet

macrumors demi-god
Feb 1, 2009
1,064
254
Northern Virginia, USA
Yeah, still don’t see why it can’t transfer EVERYTHING. It takes hours to get all the data and apps redone even with iTunes since the App Store is hammered on launch day and there is no way to actually backup and restore a phone image.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
This "stung" me; I used this feature and ended up with a backup from June. I then tried to manually do a backup from my previous phone but was told that I don't have enough free space in iCloud. I'll need to go via iTunes when I have some time.

I agree that it should transfer everything; with both phones on the same Wi-Fi network there's no real reason not to.
 
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Huskieboy

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Sep 16, 2017
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Apple already does this with the move to iOS app. I guess Cook has been helping you out the whole time lol.

There is nothing for the IPhone is what I’m saying. I can’t hook the 8 plus tomorrow to my current 6 plus and just transfer everything over. Have to use iTunes and back up.
 

Wondercow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2008
557
363
Toronto, Canada
I've updated the post, please give it a look and let me know if I've made it clearer what Automatic Setup does and does not do. Also, let me know if there's anything else I should add. Thanks for the feedback, guys :)
In the headline you should add the adverb quickly and remove the adjective quick. :rolleyes:
 

one more

macrumors 68000
Aug 6, 2015
1,770
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Earth
“Automatic Setup is not the same as restoring from an iCloud backup and it does not offer full device-to-device content transfer. After transferring settings using Automatic Setup, you will still need to transfer over app data by restoring from a backup, a step available after Automatic Setup is complete.”

So what’s the point then?
 
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Allards

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2016
24
6
Yeah, still don’t see why it can’t transfer EVERYTHING. It takes hours to get all the data and apps redone even with iTunes since the App Store is hammered on launch day and there is no way to actually backup and restore a phone image.
It does restore everything from iCloud even all App settings. I recently wiped and restored my iPad

After the setup process all my App and settings where just like before!
Even tricky Apps as my banking App just worked without having to set them up, going to a painful authorisation process.

Basically my iPad was just as I left it before the wipe!
 
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