All you really need is a Wi-Fi connection.
You’ve finally received your iPhone 15. Maybe you picked it up at your local carrier store or preordered it and got it in the mail — but at long last, Apple’s latest phone is now in your hands. And you need to set it up — but you might need some help doing so.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps of setting up your iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, from turning on your device and connecting to Wi-Fi to activating your eSIM and transferring all your data.
What to do before you start to set up your iPhone 15
Before you start setting up your iPhone 15, you’ll need the following things if you’re moving over from another phone or setting up an iPhone for your first time:
- Back up your old iPhone. If you’re moving over from an older iPhone, you’ll be transferring data from your existing phone to your new iPhone 15, so it’s best to have an up-to-date backup to restore from. If you don’t have enough storage, you can back up to your computer.
- Keep your old phone close by. No matter if it’s an Android or iPhone, it’s a good idea to have your previous phone ready. This can actually expedite the setup process.
- And have your charger with you, just in case. Although your new iPhone 15 should have enough battery to get you through the setup process, you might need power to charge your older iPhone during the transfer.
- Make sure you’re connected to the Internet. You need to connect to a stable Wi-Fi network to set up your iPhone 15.
- Have your Apple ID credentials on hand. In case you need to sign in to your Apple account, to restore a backup and more, have your email and password ready. You can also create one during the setup process.
Ready? Let’s get started.
1. Turn on your iPhone 15
The first thing you need to do is turn on your iPhone. Whether you have an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max, turning it on is the same: Press and hold the side button, on the right side of your iPhone, until you see the Apple logo appear. Wait a few seconds, and the Hello screen should appear. Swipe up to begin.
2. Follow the iPhone onscreen instructions
Now you’ll have to do a couple minor things on your iPhone to get through the first part of the setup, and luckily they’re both easy to do. To start, you’ll have to:
- Choose a language: If you’re in the US, you should see English listed directly at the top.
- Select your country or region. Again, if you’re in the US, you should see “United States” at the top.
3. Use Quick Start to set up your iPhone 15
On the next page you’ll see the Quick Start screen, which allows you to automatically set up your iPhone 15 with the help of your previous iPhone or even an iPad. If you go this route, you’ll need to turn on your old device, connect it to Wi-Fi or cellular and then bring it near the new iPhone 15
Next, you’ll be asked to authenticate or connect the two phones. You can either use the camera on your old iPhone to scan the pattern on the new iPhone or enter a verification code. Activation will then take a few minutes.
Note: If you want to do this manually, skip down to the next section.
You’ll then be prompted to do the following, among other things:
- Join your Wi-Fi network on your new iPhone.
- Set Up eSIM. You should see two options: Transfer from another iPhone (the best option) or Set Up Later in Settings. If you choose the first option, you’ll be asked to double-press the side button on your old iPhone.
- Set up Face ID.
- Choose how you want to transfer your data. You can either do it from iCloud or from your previous iPhone.
It’s a good idea to keep both devices connected to a power source while you do this, because depending on how many apps and how much data you have, it could take a while. Follow all the steps until you’re finished and have access to iOS 17 on your iPhone 15.
4. Set your iPhone 15 up manually
Now, if you’re coming from an Android or other phone or want to set up your iPhone 15 manually, tap Set Up Manually on the Quick Start screen. If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to manually do the following things:
- Connect to a Wi-Fi network. Wait a few minutes for your phone to activate.
- Read the Data & Privacy prompt. Hit Continue when you’re finished.
- Set up Face ID.
- Create a six-digit passcode to unlock your iPhone 15. This is your backup for unlocking your iPhone 15. Enter the passcode twice.
- Choose how to restore your apps and data. You can restore from iCloud backup, restore from Mac or PC, transfer directly from iPhone, move data from Android or don’t transfer apps and data.
Depending on your method of restoring your apps and data, you may be asked to enter your iCloud credentials to sign in to your Apple account. You then need to enter a verification code, which may appear on one of your other devices, to verify your identity.
Next, agree to the terms and conditions; customize your settings; update to the latest iOS; and set up Apple Pay, Siri and Screen Time, if necessary. You’ll also be asked whether you want to share your app analytics with developers, which helps developers improve their apps using your data (anonymously).
Finally, set up the True Tone display, choose light or dark mode and select a standard or zoomed view (for those that have impaired vision).
5. You can now use your iPhone 15 running iOS 17
Once you’re finished, you can swipe up to enter your iPhone. You may not see all your applications on your home screen or your photos and videos in your camera roll, so you’ll need to wait a bit while your phone slowly transfers all your apps and data to your new iPhone 15. Depending on how much there is to transfer, this can take as much as a few hours.