Setting Up Your iPhone 14? Here’s How to Do It


This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

You’ve received your iPhone 14. Maybe you waited in line at an Apple Store or preordered it and received it in the mail — but at long last, Apple’s latest phone is in your hands — and now you need to set it up.

Whether you’re transferring over from an Android or you’ve been a longtime Apple user, you might still need some help. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps of setting up your iPhone 14iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, from turning on your device and connecting to Wi-Fi to activating your eSIM and transferring all your data.

For more on the new iPhone and iOS, here’s how to download and install the new iPhone OS, the first three things to do after you update your iPhone, and why you might want to wait before updating to iOS 16.

What to do before you start to set up your iPhone

Before you start setting up your iPhone, 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 14, 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.
  • Make sure you’re connected to the Internet. You need to connect to a stable Wi-Fi network to set up your iPhone.
  • 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 14

The first thing you need to do is turn on your iPhone. No matter which model you have, 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 14

On the next page you’ll see the Quick Start screen, which allows you to automatically set up your iPhone 14 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 14 

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 or Touch 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 16 on your iPhone 14.

4. Set your iPhone 14 up manually

Now, if you’re coming from an Android or other phone or want to set up your iPhone 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 or Touch ID. This will be how you can unlock your iPhone 14 with facial recognition or your fingerprint.
  • Create a six-digit passcode to unlock your iPhone 14. This is your backup for unlocking your iPhone 14. 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 14 running iOS 16

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 14. Depending on how much there is to transfer, this can take as much as a few hours.

Apple iPhone 14

iPhone 14 running iOS 16.


James Martin/CNET

For more on setting up your iPhone, here’s how to get rid of the new search button, hidden iOS 16 features you’ll want to uncover, and all the new features you can check out once your iPhone is set up.

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