Fix iPhone Migration Not Working Issue in 6 Solutions

Quick Start is convenient for transferring data to a new iPhone but sometimes there is problem like iPhone migration not working. If you directly transfer from iPhone but find it not working, follow this passage to easily solve it.


By Dylan / Updated on June 25, 2023

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iPhone Migration not working on iOS 16 iPhone

I’ve bought an iPhone 14 and need to transfer data from my iPhone 7. I used Quick Start to do data migration but it keeps failing. The error message is Unable to Complete Data Transfer iPhone. I would like to listen to some advice to fix this issue or other ways to transfer iPhone data.

- Question from Apple Community

It is a great pleasure for an Apple fan to unbox a brand-new iPhone. You must not want to suddenly switch to an empty iPhone, so you need to transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone.

After iOS 12.4, users could directly import settings and data to another iPhone by Quick Start. Most of the time, this feature works perfectly, but iOS is not perfect.

Why is iPhone Quick Start not working?

You tried to force restart iPhone several times but only got stuck on “transfer directly from iPhone not working loop". If the issue has not been fixed, the loop won't end. Technically, the issue that iPhone migration failed is often caused by poor network conditions or system glitches. You can start by troubleshooting the following main reasons why new iPhone transfer is not working:

Bluetooth is disabled: Fast Startup doesn't work with Bluetooth disabled, turn on your Bluetooth. 
Outdated iOS version: Make sure both of your devices have iOS 11 and above. 
Devices are far apart: If the two iPhones are too far apart, and it's unable to complete data transfer of iPhone 14/13, please lean them together.
Low battery: Too low a charge will cause Fast Startup to not be enabled. You can connect your iPhone to a power source before you start the transfer.
Insufficient space: iPhone won't transfer to new iPhone not enough space, please make sure that the iPhone free storage space receiving data is bigger than the data you need to transfer. 

Unable to Complete Data Transfer

How to fix iPhone migration not working in 6 Solutions 

You might have problems transferring iPhone data with Quick Start. Follow this section to know how to fix it.

Before you use Quick Start to do iPhone migration, you need to do some preparation:
●Factory reset the target iPhone if it has been set up.
●Turn on Bluetooth on the source iPhone.
●Put the two iPhones close to each other.
Note: If the two iPhones get far from each other during data transfer, you would get the prompt message that Move Device Closer to Continue, and sometimes the process gets stuck.

Video tutorial:

Solution 1. Update the target iPhone system

As we mentioned above, Quick Start works on an iPhone running with iOS 12.4 or later version. If your iPhone is still running with old iOS version and can’t see the option Transfer from iPhone, you need to update the target iPhone to iOS 12.4 or later. iOS 11 just support migrating iPhone settings. Follow the steps to update the system.

1. Go to "Settings" on your iPhone, and tap "General".

2. Tap "Software Update". If there is any newer iOS version, follow the guide to update it.

software update

Solution 2. Reboot the source iPhone

If you could not see the prompt on the source iPhone, there might be system bugs on the source iPhone preventing it from answering the calls of iPhone migration. Restarting iPhone will refresh the system.

  • If you are using iPhone X or later models of iPhone, press and hold either the volume button or the side button until the power off slider appears.
  • For iPhone SE, 8, 7, and 6, press and hold the side button until you see the slider turn off. 

Solution 3. Insert SIM card to source iPhone

If the source iPhone is brand-new and has not been activated, you need to insert SIM card into it. iPhone cannot be activated without a SIM card. This may be able to restart the iPhone migration after setup. 

Solution 4. Plug both iPhone to power

Why is  my move to iOS transfer stuck at 1 minute? It may be because your iPhone is not enough power. The power supply should be stable to do wireless data transfer. Users reported that they could complete data transfer after connecting the old iPhone and new iPhone to power.

Solution 5. Use wired iPhone migration/check the cable

The wireless connection might not be stable between the two devices and cause iPhone migration to take hours, so you need to try a wired migration. Use a Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and a Lightning to USB Cable to connect both iPhones and then try transferring data again.

If it still does not work, please check the cable. Please make sure that the cable is working well and no physical damage to it. You can try another cable or use a cable that Apple recommends.

Solution 6. Migrate data to new iPhone on Computer

After trying all the methods above, if you are still unable to complete data transfer on iPhone 14/13/12/11, you can turn to another tool to manually transfer data to a new iPhone on computer.

 Tool 1. Powerful iOS transfer /migration tool - FoneTool

 FoneTool, which is known as iOS data transferring software. With this tool, you can easily make a full iPhone migration to another iPhone on a computer within a few clicks. Besides we get started, you can view the following advantages of this tool.

Fast and stable iPhone migration: FoneTool transfers data based on a USB connection. That gives you a faster and more stable transferring process.
Transfer unlimited iPhone data for free: No matter how many files are on your iPhone, you can successfully send data to your targeted iPhone. 
Support partial data transfer: If you just want to send part of your iPhone data, like some photos, videos, contacts. FoneTool can also help you.
Save iPhone backup to partitions: This tool is also backup software. It helps you to create an iPhone backup on a computer to avoid data loss. 

> Steps to migrate iPhone with FoneTool:

Step 1. Download FoneTool and connect both iPhones to a computer.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Run FoneTool on your computer, choose "Phone Transfer" and select "iPhone to iPhone".

Iphone To Iphone Transfer

1. If you have only one USB cable, you can also choose "Full Backup" to make a complete backup on your computer. Then connect the new iPhone to your computer, and restore the backup to your new iPhone.
2. To make a partial transfer, you can select "Phone Transfer" to transfer data between iPhones, like transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone.

Step 3. Click "Start Transfer" to start migrating data to the new iPhone.

Start Transfer

Tool 2. Backup and restore iPhone data with iTunes

iTunes is an official tool that helps you to backup an old iPhone and restores it to a new iPhone. In this way, you can transfer data to a new iPhone when iPhone migration takes hours or failed. you can see what iTunes backup includes to know more details about it.

Then you can check the upside and downside before using iTunes to transfer.

●Transfer most of data to new iPhone
●Stable data transfer between devices

●This process is a bit complicated
●Can’t preview data or select data to transfer
●Can’t view iPhone backup files on computer
●Create more than 8G backup files to boot drive every time

> Steps to migrate iPhone with iTunes:

Step 1. Open iTunes and connect the source iPhone to computer with a USB cable. Click the device icon in the upper-left corner.

Step 2. Click Summary in the sidebar. Click Back Up Now and wait for about 15 minutes to finish backup.

Step 3. Disconnect the source iPhone and connect the target iPhone to iTunes. Enter Summary and click Restore Backup.



Saving old iPhone data and transferring old iPhone to new iPhone is necessary. When you have the problem of iPhone migration not working in iOS 16/15/14/13, you can follow the 5 solutions in this passage to fix it.

If new iPhone directly transfer not working, you can also turn to FoneTool or iTunes to complete iPhone 14/13/12/11 data migration. But by contrast, FoneTool can be the best choice. It supports fully or partially transfers to meet different needs. 

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.