How to Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone without Backup

This guide will show you how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without backup. You can try iPhone Migration to transfer all data during the setup process or let FoneTool transfer selected data after setup.


By Lena / Updated on September 14, 2023

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Can You Transfer Data to New iPhone without Backup?

After getting the iPhone, the first thing that comes into your mind probably is - how to transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone. Of course, you can first make a backup with iCloud and then restore that backup to new iPhone.

However, iCloud only offers 5 GB of free storage space for you to store iOS data which is far from enough, making you want to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud. So you prefer a no-backup way and is it possible? Well, you can turn to iPhone Migration for help. It’s one new function that comes along with iOS 12.4, which can help users transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone without backup.

Note: If your iPhone is running on a lower iOS version, there’s another way that can help you transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud backup, click here to jump to the related part.

How to Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone without Backup

Since iOS 11, there comes a new Quick Start utility to help you set up new iPhone using the information from your current device. And then you can choose to restore from iCloud backup to transfer files from old iPhone to it.

To make things easier, with iOS 12.4 and later, Apple adds a new option in Quick Start called iPhone Migration. It can help users transfer all data wirelessly or via a direct cable connection from the current iPhone to the new one which makes it possible to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud backup.

If the Wi-Fi is not stable, you can transfer data using a wired connection. You'll need the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and a Lightning to USB Cable. Connect the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter to your current iPhone, then plug the Lightning to USB Cable into your new iPhone and connect the other end to the adapter.

Steps to Transfer Data to New iPhone via iPhone Migration

Be aware that the Quick Start will occupy both the current iPhone and the current iPhone which means that they are otherwise unusable.

● If you have already set up your iPhone, you can go to Settings > General > Reset (or Transfer or Reset iPhone) > Erase All Content and Settings to erase your device and restart the setup process. 
● If you prefer to transfer data to new iPhone after setup, you can go to the next part to learn another easy way to transfer important data.

1. Turn on Bluetooth on your current iPhone and turn on your new iPhone.

2. Place your new iPhone near the current iPhone. The Quick Start screen will appear on your current iPhone and offers the option of using your Apple ID to set up your new iPhone.

3. Make sure that it's the Apple ID that you want to use, then tap Continue.

4. An animation will appear on your new iPhone > Hold your old iPhone over the new iPhone, then center the animation in the viewfinder > Wait for a message that says Finish on New iPhone.

If you can't use your current iPhone camera, tap Authenticate Manually. You will receive an authentication code on your new iPhone, enter that code to the current iPhone.

5. Enter your current iPhone passcode on new iPhone.

6. Follow the instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID on your new iPhone.

7. Choose Transfer from iPhone option to begin transferring your data from your previous iPhone to your new iPhone.

iPhone Migration

Please keep your devices near each other and plugged into power until the iPhone data migration process is complete. The time it takes depends on factors such as the connection type that you're using, network conditions, and the amount of data being transferred. If there's a lot of data, it may take more than an hour to complete the transfer.

Another Way to Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone without Backup

The iPhone Migration only supports iOS 12.4 and later devices. Besides, it does not allow you to selectively transfer data. So here comes another tool to help you transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud and iTunes backup. That’s FoneTool.

It's one professional iPhone backup and transfer tool for iPhone, iPad, and iPod. It offers two transfer solutions to help you transfer data from iPhone to iPhone: full transfer & selective transfer. 

The tool supports all iPhone models from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone SE 2022/15/14/13/12/11 and works well with the latest iOS 17/16/15. Get the tool now and follow the steps below to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone in a few minutes.

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Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone without Backup - One Click Transfer

The iPhone to iPhone feature can help you transfer all data and settings from iPhone to iPhone quickly. 

1. Connect two iPhones to computer > Click Phone Transfer > Get to iPhone to iPhone and click Start Transfer.

Click iPhone to iPhone Transfer

2. Confirm the source device and target device > Enable backup encryption.

 Enable Backup Encryption

3. Click Start Transfer to begin the transfer. Your iPhone will automatically restart after the transfer is complete.

Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone without Backup - Selective Transfer

Here are the steps to selectively transfer photos, videos, songs, contacts, etc. from iPhone to iPhone.

Two steps to complete the transfer:
① Transfer data from old iPhone to computer
② Transfer data from computer to new iPhone
You can select the files you want to transfer. Most of all, there is no need to erase your new iPhone and it will not erase any existing data on the device.

① Transfer Data from Old iPhone to Computer

1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your old iPhone to computer via USB cable.

2. Click iPhone to PC option.

Transfer to Computer

◆ Note: You can here click the icon to choose the items you want to transfer, here we click Contacts for example. Select the contacts you need and click OK to confirm.

Select Files

3. Choose the storage path from Transfer Settings > Click Start Transfer to save files to computer.


② Transfer Data to New iPhone

1. Unplug your old iPhone and then connect your new iPhone to computer.

2. Click PC to iPhone option.

Transfer to iPhone

3. Click the Plus icon to select the files you exported from old iPhone.

4. Confirm the data that will be transferred to new iPhone > If everything is OK, click Start Transfer to add data to new iPhone.


Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone without Backup - FoneTool App

In addition, the mobile app of FoneTool can help you transfer files from iPhone to iPhone wirelessly. You can scan this QR code to download FoneTool from App Store.

FoneTool QR Code

The FoneTool app can help you wirelessly transfer photos, videos, songs, contacts and other data saved in Files app between two iPhones. No need to connect to a Wi-Fi network and will not consume data.

1. Download FoneTool from App Store.

2. Open FoneTool on two iPhones and allow the tool to use WLAN. (No need to connect to a Wi-Fi, just need to turn on the Wi-Fi option.)

3. Go to Connect Device and tap the device name on either iPhone to establish a connection.

4. Go to File Transfer > Choose the files you need > Click Send to make it.

Send Photis

The transferred photos and contacts will be saved in Photos app and Contacts app. Songs and videos are saved in "Received Music" and "Received Videos" in FoneTool and you can tap to play.


That’s all for how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without backup. The iPhone Migration is useful if your iCloud storage space is full and you don’t have enough room to perform a complete backup. It helps you directly transfer data from one iPhone to another. If your iPhone is running on iOS 12.4 earlier version or you just want to transfer the files you need, you can try FoneTool to help you make it.

If this passage solves your problem, you could share it to help more people. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section and we will reply to you soon.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.