How to Set Up Your iOS Product: A Step-By-Step Guide

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When you first purchase your iOS product, you will need to complete an initial setup process. This process entails, among other things, connecting the device to wifi, creating a passcode, and signing into or creating an iCloud account for the device. While the device provides on hand and easy-to-follow onscreen instructions, we have included a guide here with additional information and recommendations on how to set up your device for your convenience. Below are the instructions on how to set up your iPhone or iPad product.

  • First you will need to power on your device, to do so hold down the sleep/wake button on the right hand side of your iPhone, or on the top right corner of your iPad, until you see the Apple logo appear. Once you see the Apple logo, you may release the button and wait for the device to turn on fully.
  • The first screen in the set up process asks you to select a language. This will be the language that all wording in the phone will default to, including any system information such as settings, as well as in any additional applications that you install on your device unless specified otherwise.
  • The next screen will ask you to select your country/region, it is important that you select the correct region, as this determines the efficacy of your location settings.
  • The next screen offers an option known as “Quick Start” which allows you to skip certain parts of the setup process by pairing the new device with your old one. If you would like to complete the Quick Start option, bring your old device close to the new one and unlock it. A pop up will appear asking if you would like to use your iCloud to set up the new device, once you accept the request on the new device, the old one will begin to download information wirelessly from your iCloud account.
    • If you would like to set up the device manually, meaning you can adjust certain system settings that would instead be automatically applied from your old device, or if you would like to set the device up on a different iCloud account from your old one, then select “Set Up Manually” at the bottom of your display. The rest of the instructions below detail the manual set up process.
  • The next step is to connect your device to a wifi network, if you are at home or at an Apple or carrier store, select the correct network, and enter the password if there is one. If you do not want to or cannot use wifi, and the device has cellular service enabled, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Use Cellular Connection” instead. You can also select “Connect to a Mac or PC” if you would like to piggyback off of their wireless connection.
    • We recommend setting your device up on wifi in order to expedite the process, as the download speed on a secure network is faster than that of a cellular network, but it is not a requirement.
  • The phone will automatically activate on the next screen once you have selected your network, and from there you will continue through the data and privacy disclaimer. If you would like to learn more about Apple’s privacy policies, select the “Learn More” option at the bottom of the screen, from there you can see the individualized privacy settings for each application. If you would like any further information regarding these policies visit
  • The next screen will give you the option to set up either Face ID and Touch ID, depending on the model and hardware of your device. If your product has a home button with Touch ID capabilities, you can program a fingerprint of your choice here. If you have an iPhone or iPad without a home button that has Face ID capabilities, you can set up an appearance to unlock your device. To set up your Face ID or Touch ID, simply select the blue “continue” button at the bottom of the screen, and follow the onscreen instructions.
    • For Touch ID you will simply need to place and then lift the finger that you would like to program as the device prompts you to do so. You will then be prompted to repeat this process while adjusting your grip so that the button can detect the sides of your finger.
    • For Face ID, locate your face in the center of the circle, and slowly tilt your head in a circular motion so that the TrueDepth camera can detect and read all angles of your face. Repeat this motion as many times as needed, until the phone notifies you that the process has been completed.
    • If you do not want to set up either of these features, select the “Set Up Later” button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Once you have set up either Face ID or Touch ID, the next screen will ask you to create a passcode to unlock the device. If you have Face ID or Touch ID enabled, you must have a passcode for your device, however, if you have not set up an alternative unlocking method, you do not have to have a passcode on your device.
    • To create a passcode, enter the six digits you desire to use to unlock the device. If you would like to use either a four digit or custom alphanumeric code, select the “passcode options” button in the center of the screen, and choose which option you would prefer.
    • If you do not want to use a passcode on your device, select “passcode options” and select “don’t use passcode.”
  • The next screen will give you several options for transferring data from another device onto the new one. The options are as follows:
    • Restore from iCloud Back Up: this allows you to safely transfer data from an iPhone to your new Apple product. You can only use this option if you have created an iCloud back up on your previous device, as well as your Apple ID and password for the iCloud account used to create the back up. Your device will prompt you to sign into your iCloud account, and from there it will display all available back ups to choose from, as well as when these back ups were created and from what device. Once you have chosen your backup, your device will take a few minutes to restore the data before restarting and continuing the setup process. For more information on iOS back ups, see our Deep Dive
    • Restore from Mac or PC: this option allows you to restore a back up that has been created on a computer, you will need to connect your new device to the computer that the back up has created on using a cable, and then follow the on screen instructions.
    • Transfer Directly From iPhone: this will return you to the Quick Start option, and allows you to migrate the information from an old device directly to the new one.
    • Move Data from Android: if you are switching from a non-Apple device to an iPhone, this option allows you to transfer the data. To do so, you will need to download an application called “Move to iOS” onto the Android device. From there, follow the onscreen instructions to migrate the data.
    • Don’t Transfer Apps and Data: if you do not have any data that you would like to transfer, select this option and you will be able to set up the device as a new phone. If you would like to transfer some data using iCloud, such as Contacts, Photos, and Notes, you can sign into your iCloud account, or set it up later in settings.
    • Please note that the next steps may not exactly mimic your device’s set up process, as restoring data automatically selects some of these settings for you based on the settings of your old device. We have included here all of the choices available to you, so if you do not see one or any of these options during your setup, do not be concerned.
  • The next screen informs you that your phone’s software will be kept up-to-date. You can always adjust this in the settings of your device after the set up process, if you would like to instead manually install any software updates.
  • On the next screen you can set up FaceTime and iMessage. By selecting “continue” you allow iMessage and FaceTime applications to use your phone number, rather than simply the email address used for your Apple ID. If you choose “not now” then if someone tries to reach you using either of these platforms, they can only do so using your email address, rather than your number.
    • We recommend using your phone number to set up iMessage and FaceTime, as it keeps all of your communications in a centralized location and access point, making it easier for others to reach you.
  • The next screen asks if you would like to enable location services on your device. If you enable location services, applications that require up-to-date access to your location such as Weather, Maps and Find My iPhone can keep track of your location. You can adjust this setting even further in the settings of your device, limiting these applications to only having access to your location while you are actively using them.
    • We recommend that you enable your location services on your device, especially if you use applications such as Maps and Find My that need access to your location to function.
  • The next screen prompts you to set up Siri, Apple’s virtual, voice-controlled assistant. If you set up Siri here, the phone will automatically open Siri if it hears you say the words “Hey, Siri.” In order to do so, this step will record you saying certain phrases that begin with “Hey, Siri” so that it can learn the sound of your voice. If you do not set up Siri on your device, then you will have to manually activate this feature by holding down the sleep/wake button until you see the Siri symbol appear at the bottom of your display.
  • The next iOS feature that you can choose to enable is Screen Time, which tracks your app and device usage each week and provides you with a detailed analytic report that breaks down how you are using your iPhone. Screen Time also allows you to impose certain time limits on applications, and can be used as a form of parental control on children’s devices – all of these adjustments can be made through the Settings of your device once you have completed the setup process. To enable Screen Time, select the blue “Continue” button, if you do not want to use Screen Time on your device, select the “Set Up Later in Settings” option.
  • The next two screens ask if you would like to share iPhone and app analytics with both Apple and app developers. This allows the research teams for both platforms to keep track of any recurring issues with their devices and/or software, this means that if an app or your device crashes, a report is sent to the respective company or developer. For more information on these allowances, select “About Device Analytics and Privacy” on the iPhone Analytics page, or “About App Analytics and Privacy” on the App Analytics page.The first screen asks if you would like to share analytics with Apple, and the second asks if you would like to exchange app analytics with app developers. To allow for sharing, select the blue “Share with Apple.” To turn off this feature, select “Don’t Share.”
  • The next screen will allow you to select an appearance for any digital windows or platforms on your device. The two options are light and dark, and you can toggle between them by selecting the circle below each option to see the appearance in effect. Light mode ensures that any system windows such as Settings, FaceTime, or Messages display with a default of an off-white background with darker text. Dark mode ensures the reverse, with a black background and white text. To select an appearance, tap inside the circle underneath the display window of your desired choice, then select the blue “continue” button to proceed.
  • The next screen allows you to select either a “Standard” or “Zoomed” display setting. The zoomed display allows for larger text and control buttons, and your push notifications display at a larger size. Meanwhile the standard allows for the content of your screen to fit the display more proportionately. To select a display setting, tap on the circle underneath the window that shows the setting you would like installed, and then press the blue “Continue” button
  • You’re done! Swipe up from the bottom of your screen or press the home button to begin using and enjoying your new iOS product. As always, remember that most of the features or settings you have chosen during this process can be changed in the “Settings” application of your device, so these choices are not permanent.