Get more iCloud storage for free with this iPhone setting

What’s happening

iOS 15 includes a setting that lets you temporarily borrow more iCloud storage for free when transferring data from an old iPhone to a new one.

Why it matters

iCloud’s free tier is capped at 5GB of storage. The new temporary solution gives you more iCloud storage without costing you extra money.

Did you just buy new? iPhone 13, 13 pers or maybe one of Apple’s older phones like that iphone 12, iphone 11 or iPhone SE? Regardless of the model, you need to transfer all your messages, photos, videos, and music to your new phone. With iOS 15Apple has updated the method of transferring your data from one iPhone to another.

There is three ways to transfer data from your old iPhone to a new one. when you run Mac OS Catalina or newer, you can connect your iPhone to your Mac with a charging cable and use the Finder. It’s quick, but you need a Mac and enough space on it for the backup file.

You can also use Apple’s direct data migration tool, which copies your old phone to your new one without using a computer or iCloud. The downside to this process is that you won’t be able to use either phone until the transfer process is complete, which can take an hour or more.

Then there is the use of iCloud to perform the transfer. The benefit of this process is that you don’t have to be tied to a computer and have access to your old phone while the new one downloads your backup file. The downside is that you need enough space on your iCloud account to hold the backup file. If you’re on Apple’s free 5GB iCloud tier, that probably won’t do the trick.

You could Pay Apple a few dollars a month for more storage. But if you’d rather not, iOS 15 lets you borrow some iCloud storage for free to back up your old iPhone. Here’s how you do it.


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Use iOS 15 to borrow more iCloud storage for free

First, Update your old iPhone to iOS 15. This works on the iPhone 6S ($190 on eBay) or newer. Depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi network, downloading and installing may take a while. Took me about 20 minutes.

After the update is complete, go to settings, General and tap on the new option: Transfer or reset iPhone. A new page will appear. In the Prepare for New iPhone section, tap Getting started.

A pop-up called Extra iCloud to move apps and data will appear. Read it again and when you’re ready, go for it Continue Button. You may see the “iCloud backup is disabled” message. If yes, tap Enable backup for transfer. That didn’t show up for me.

Transfer iCloud temporary storage from iOS 15 to iPhone 13

The backup you create using iCloud temporary storage is valid for 21 days.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Next, you’ll see the Move data for all your apps screen. Read it again. There is a list of apps that don’t sync their data with iCloud. Tap the Move all app data with iCloud Button. Another screen will appear explaining what you can do with your old iPhone. overread or not. Then hit the blue Finished Button.

Your old iPhone will start backing up to iCloud. If you look in Settings on the main page, you’ll see a new section that says “iCloud backup in progress”. Once the backup is complete, you’ll see “Ready for your new iPhone” in this new section in Settings.

Extend your temporary iCloud backup for another 21 days

You can start this process up to 21 days before purchasing a new iPhone. Just remember that any new texts, iMessages, photos or videos will not be included in this backup. If your new iPhone doesn’t arrive within 21 days, you have an additional 21 days to restore your temporary backup before opening it deletes it settings and knock Keep my backup longer.

When your new iPhone arrives, whether it’s an iPhone 13 or earlier, turn it on and follow the prompts to complete tasks like entering a passcode, setting up Face ID, and agreeing to Apple’s terms of service take care of. Eventually, you will land on a screen that offers you different ways to transfer your data. Choose Restore from iCloud. Then sign in to iCloud using the same Apple ID and password as your old iPhone.


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Choose the latest backup and follow the prompts, after which your backup file will be downloaded to your new iPhone. After the download is complete, your new iPhone will restart and your apps will be fully downloaded. All your photos, emails, contacts, appointments, and messages will appear there.

You may be wondering what happens to that temporary iCloud backup when you’re done? It remains available for seven days and is then permanently deleted.

Now that your new iPhone is ready, Here are eight features and settings you need to change ASAP.

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