The Expert’s Guide to Upgrading to iPhone 6

Why iOS 8 is Changing Your Life

“Should I wait to upgrade to the newest version of the iPhone or just get the iPhone 5S now, is it going to be worth it?” Pam asked.

“Since you have an older iPhone,” (iPhone 3GS) “anything would be a major improvement. I would wait for the new one since it won’t be very long till the newest model is released.” I said. “However, you want to do it the right way, whatever you choose.”

Have you ever upgraded your iPhone and had the same problems you had with your last one? Or have you gone to the Apple Store, they replace the phone, and the next one has the same issue? Is there some trick to making sure your newest phone performs the way you want it to?

If your phone has issues or more than a couple years old, you should consider not restoring your phone from a backup.

Why? If you restore your phone from a backup when you have issues on your phone that are not blatantly hardware issues like a button not working, the problems are most likely going to transfer to your new phone.

It’s like not showering for 2 weeks, then expecting to smell better just by changing your clothes.

Not everyone needs to do this, but I always recommend it. When Pam buys the new iPhone, I won’t be restoring her phone from a backup. This is what I’m going to do:

  1. Import her photos to my her Mac. We have already imported everything, but we’ll do it one more time to make sure nothing is missing. Once she has the new phone, we’ll plug it into her Mac. In iTunes, there is a tab for photos. Here, you can sync folders, albums or events to your phone from your computer. Your new phone’s Camera Roll will be empty, but there will be whatever albums you sync to the phone.
  2. Make sure that her contacts and calendars are synced with her iCloud account. If you don’t have an iCloud account now, you can get one for free by going to your iPhone’s Settings, iCloud and clicking Create Account. It will copy your stuff to iCloud for you.
  3. Check to see if there are any email accounts from work or school that I should write down the settings for before selling or donating her old phone. Go to Settings, Mail Contacts and Calendars, Tap on the account you want to save the settings for.
  4. Make sure she has her passwords to sign back into everything. Most apps have a login and password for you to put in. Once done, everything is restored. Not all apps do that so open your apps and click the settings icon in that app to see if you’re signed into an account.
  5. Reset her voicemail password. Most of the time when you get a new phone, your service provider will want you to enter your voicemail password. Almost no one knows what that password is, so don’t worry. Just dial 611 and you can reset the password in a few seconds using the automated system. Just follow the prompts, it’s going to be OK!
  6. Have fun playing with that new phone! Check out some new apps, play with the slow-mo on your camera and whatever cool new things Apple included on this phone that your current one doesn’t have.

Did I miss anything that you would want to do? Leave me a comment below and together we’ll make sure everyone reading this has the perfect checklist.

One last note before I leave you to look up the rumors of what the new phone will entail. Most phone service providers and even the Apple Store have trade in specials. Apple didn’t start this until last year so you may not have heard about it. Shop around. Ask AT&T and Apple how much they would give you for your phone. Also check out websites like

I always recommend going to your local Apple Store to buy the phone if possible. If you are unfortunate enough to get a phone with issues within the first 2 weeks of purchase, they can swap it out for you much faster than if you bought it through a reseller.

I hope you get the new phone and love it! The mockups I’ve seen online look awesome!

Don’t forget to leave a tip for the other readers checking this out!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jim

    Some less than robust applications do not sync with iCloud and force you to backup content by alternative means. For example, say you have a photo collage application that does not save your pretty collages to your camera roll automatically, but you still want those picture mashups of you and your friends at the lake, giving peace signs/making duck faces, your family (hashtag blessed!!!) or whatever you crazy kids are doing these days. Most applications give you another way to get the information out of them. In the example above, I’m sure there is an option to save them to the camera roll or email them to yourself. Use your mighty friend Google to see what other people have done!

    • Hey Jim,

      Love the comment, thanks for chiming in!

      For those apps that you manually have to export, look for the gear icon. There should be an option to export there, and import into your new phone. I have to do that with a particular free app since I never upgraded to the paid version.


    • I love your domain name btw! Have you turned it off and on? The first question we always ask! Update me when your website is up 🙂

  • Paul Riley

    Thanks so much for this post Shawn. My wife’s iphone has been plagued by ghosts of iOS past so when we bought a new iPhone 6 today I followed your instructions. I’m hoping that things will “smell” better now! Now if I only had a way to move over all her iMessages to the new phone …

    • I use the tool PhoneView by eCamm to get messages from old phones. The downside is it only converts them to a PDF and stores them on the new computer, it doesn’t transfer them to the new phone.
      There is another tool called iBackupBot, but I haven’t purchased it to try and transfer the messages. I know the eCamm company is legit, iBackupBot has an awful looking website and user interface of the software. Doesn’t mean it’s legit, just makes me tighten my fist around my cash and wondering. I’ll probably give it a try sometime soon though.
      Let me know what you end up doing!