Transfer Data from Old iPhone to iPhone 12 (Mini)/Pro (Max): Best 5 Ways

This passage tells how to transfer data from old iPhone to iPhone 12/12 Mini/Pro/Pro Max in 5 ways to help you migrate setings, WhatsApps, and other old iPhone data.


By Dylan / Updated on September 12, 2023

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Transfer iPhone 8 to iPhone 12

My iPhone 12 has arrived and I love it. The thing that I care most about is the best way to transfer data from old iPhone to iPhone 12. Actually, I have 2k photos and many songs to transfer, so would you please tell me the fastest way to transfer a large amount of data to my new iPhone 12?

- Question from Apple Community

The release of Apple’s new products is absolutely big news in the tech circle and also good news for Apple fans. The new iPhone 12 is released on October 23rd. It’s time to upgrade your iPhone 8/X/XR. iPhone 12 is the first iPhone that supports 5G, so it won’t you fall behind the new era.

New iPhone 12

To use your new iPhone as usual, you need to import everything from your old iPhone. The following section will lead you to learn how to transfer data from old iPhone to iPhone 12.

Section 1. Transfer settings to iPhone 12 by Quick Start

Quick Start lets you quickly set up iPhone and import some basic settings to your new iPhone 12. You will save a lot of time doing the tedious setup.

Note: Both iPhone should run iOS 11 or later, or there would be no options for you to start the session.

1. Enable Bluetooth on your old iPhone.

2. Start your iPhone 12 and place it near your old iPhone.

3. Wait for the prompt of Quick Start to appear on your old iPhone. Tap Continue.

Quick Start

4. Wait for the animation of blue dots appearing on your iPhone 12 and hold your old iPhone over the animation and let the camera scan it. Then you would get the message to Finish on New iPhone.

Quick Start Animation

5. Enter passcode of your old iPhone on iPhone 12.

6. Set up fingerprint on iPhone 12 and start to use it.

Section 2. Transfer everything to iPhone 12 by iPhone migration

If you think only familiar settings on new iPhone are not enough, you can transfer everything from old iPhone to iPhone 12 after Quick Start.

You need to keep putting your old iPhone near the new iPhone 12 and the process could last for hours if you have too much data on old iPhone. Wired connection will speed up the process if you have a Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and a Lightning to USB Cable.

Note: iPhone migration has more requirements than Quick Start. Both devices should run iOS 12.4 or later. If iPhone migration not working, you could follow the next section to keep migrate old iPhone.

1. After setting up your fingerprint, you will receive the message to Transfer Your Data.

2. Select Transfer from iPhone and the process will start.

Select Transfer from iPhone

Section 3. Transfer data to iPhone 12 with FoneTool

The best way to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone 12 after setup is using FoneTool because it is the fastest way to transfer all iPhone data to another device. And it lets you transfer only useful data like photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages.

FoneTool supports iOS 17/16/15/14/13 and all the iPhones including iPhone 15/14 series, iPhone 13/13 Mini/13 Pro/13 Pro Max/12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12/12 Mini/11 Pro Max/XS/XR/X/8/7/6S/6.

Tips: You can feel free to restore data with FoneTool because it won’t erase any previous data on iPhone 15/14/13/12.

Step 1. Download FoneTool and connect the current and the new iPhone to PC with USB cable.

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

Step 2. Click "Phone Transfer" > Locate "iPhone to iPhone" and click "Start Transfer" on the main interface.

iphone to iphone transfer

2. Here, your iPhones will be listed on the interface, click "Start Transfer" to start the operation. To transfer Health data and other private information, please encrypt the operation.

start transfer

Then wait for the process to be finished.

Tip: If there is only one USB data cable to connect iPhone, it is suggested to try the “Full Backup” and then the “Restore” method.

Step 1. Connect the old iPhone to computer, and go to "Phone Backup" > "Full Backup".

Step 2. Connect the new iPhone to computer, find the backup and restore to new iPhone.

Section 4. Restore data to iPhone 12 from iCloud backup

iCloud backup could be used to restore an inactivated iPhone. You need to make sure that the Internet is stable or iCloud backup will fail for poor network conditions.

1. Go to Settings app on old iPhone.

2. Tap [your name] > iCloud > Backup

3. Switch on iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now.

4. Waiting for the process completed and then start iPhone 12.

5. Connect iPhone 12 to a fast Wi-Fi, set up iPhone, and then select Restore from iCloud Backup.

Backup iPhone on iCloud

Section 5. Import data to iPhone 12 from iTunes backup

iTunes helps send files from iPhone to iPhone 12 without the Internet on computer. You can transfer most iPhone data like WhatsApp chat history after setup. Read this guide What Does iTunes Backup Include before you restore iPhone 12.

1. Download the latest iTunes and connect old iPhone to PC with USB cable.

2. Click the device icon on the upper-left corner, after iTunes recognizes your iPhone.

3. Click Back Up Now and wait for about 15 minutes.

4. Disconnect the old iPhone and then connect iPhone 12 to computer.

5. Click the device icon and then click Restore Backup.


Note: iTunes will totally rewrite iPhone 12. If you have already used it for some days and there are useful data. You can export them with FoneTool in section 3. You might have purchased music in iTunes. If you want to transfer music, refer to transfer music from iPhone to iPhone using AirDrop.


You can transfer data from old iPhone to iPhone 12 in any way you like with this guide.

FoneTool is considered as the best way because it is free, fast, and professional.

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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.