The first thing to do after getting a new iPhone (or any new smartphone, really) is to transfer our personal data from our existing phone to the new one. The process of restoring data might not always be enjoyable when our old phone has so much data on it. I got my new iPhone 7 yesterday and know I need to go through the painful experience once again knowing that my iPhone 6 with 64 GB capacity only has 2 GB of free storage left.
So I plugged my iPhone 6 to my computer and did full backup through iTunes because my free iCloud storage couldn’t handle the total size of my backup data. The full backup took few minutes, which was alright. Then I plugged the new iPhone 7 into my iTunes and seeing the estimated remaining time steadily increasing from 1 hour, 2 hours, 10 hours and so on. After waiting for about 20 minutes, the estimated remaining time shows 52 hours, which means I won’t be able to use my new phone over the weekend and most probably not even on Monday when I’m back to work.
After cursing Apple for a while, I decided to unplug my lightning cable and take the risk to redo it once again with some better preparation. The estimated time remaining when I disconnected my iPhone was 52 hours, but I’m sure it will go much longer if I kept it running. This post is about how I ended up speeding the process of iTunes data restore from 52++ hours to 10 minutes.
1. I went back to my iPhone 6, plugged it to my computer, sync with iTunes and remove all songs that I have in my computer. I decided that the songs don’t need to be part of the restore process because I can easily sync it again with my iPhone 7 later after data restore is completed. I also do the same for my movies and music clips.
2. I created new full backup of my iPhone 6. This time without songs and movies.
3. I opened iPhone 7 and perform a full reset from Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Content and Settings. Then I activated my phone once again, followed the steps up to the point it asks me to plug the phone to iTunes for data restore.
4. In my first attempt, I used lightning cable from my old iPhone 6, connected to my Mac through a USB 3.0 hub. I removed the old cable, then used the new cable included in iPhone 7’s box and attached it directly to my Mac’s USB port (no USB hub).
5. So I plugged iPhone 7 to my computer and redo the data restore process again. This time, it finished in 10 minutes! To be fair, perhaps not all of the above steps are needed. The case is, I don’t know which steps were actually mattered in speeding up the process, so I just write them all.
Naturally, the 10 minutes is just the time for my personal data to be copied to iPhone 7. After that, the phone still need 1-2 hours to re-download all the apps before I can start using it as my primary phone. Of course, you should allow some extra time to re-enter so many passwords in your apps and phone settings.
Hope this quick guide can be helpful to save your time.