The best (and least frustrating) way to set up your new iPhone

iCloud might not be your best friend.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

While I patiently await DHL to correct a mix-up and deliver my shiny new iPhone to the correct address (UPDATE: It arrived Saturday morning), social media has been awash with new iPhone 13 owners who have become frustrated by not being able to set up their new devices.

The problem seems to come down to iCloud servers being swamped by, well, essentially lots of people trying to set up their shiny new iPhones.

Putting aside the arguments that you'd think Apple would make sure it had enough capacity to deal with all those new iPhones it sells (that costs money, and since it's a transient Apple seems to opt for riding the wave and waiting for things to settle down), what should new iPhone owners do.

Step by step: Setting up a new iPhone 13

New iPhone owners have three options when it comes to setting up a new iPhone:

  1. Set the iPhone up as a new device, and install all your apps onto it afresh.
  2. Transfer the data from your existing iPhone, either wirelessly or using a wired connection (to do this you'll need a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and a Lightning-to USB-3 camera adapter).
  3. Download your data from iCloud.

The process for carrying out this cloning of your iPhone is detailed here.

If you're the owner of a fresh-off-the-production-line iPhone 13, the fact that iCloud is being hammered makes that a frustrating option. You could wait for the party to die down, or you could keep hammering and trying until you succeed, but that's going to be vexing for sure.

While iCloud is handy and a lifesaver if you've lost or broken your hardware, I much prefer to clone from one device to another. I've found it to be quite a quick and easy option, and I've never lost data upgrading this way. 

And it's pretty quick.

Another option is to set your iPhone up new. This can be a longer process, as you need to download things manually and choose what to install, but if you've been an iPhone owner for a few years, and you've built up loads of apps that you no longer use, this can be quite cleansing.

It's a great way to get rid of all the detritus.

This may very well be the route I take... when my iPhone is finally delivered (Update: I chose to make a clone at this state. I might wipe it later and restart from fresh.).

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