Tutorial on Transferring Messages from iPhone to iPhone

"I have bought a new iPhone and just got it recently, Apple's advanced products never make customers disappointment, but the excitement is faded by lack of knowledge on how to transfer messages from iPhone to iPhone, can you tell me the simple way to sync messages to my new iPhone? Please help!" According to our research, every time when Apple releases new iPhone devices, the similar questions will become hot on forums and social networks. Users are familiar with their iPhone, but when it comes to export or import data, the characteristics of iOS bring a lot of trouble.

Transfer Messages from iPhone to iPhone

Fortunately, Apple has realized such demands. And to help users transfer SMS between iOS devices, Apple has released several services. iCloud, for example, is a cloud-base service for backup and syncing SMS from iPhone to iPad or another iPhone wirelessly. On the other hand, iTunes is a desktop program able to transfer data between iOS devices through iOS backup. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to use these official services to get iPhone messages to iPad or another iPhone simply. Plus, we will introduce more options to achieve such task. Anyway, you can learn about the advantages and downsides of each method and pick up the most appropriate one under various situations.

Part 1: Transfer messages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud

No matter you are a multi-device user or just upgrade to the new iPhone, the iCloud service is very useful, especially when transfer messages from iPhone to iPhone. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of text messages on iPhone, iMessages and traditional SMS.

The former is Apple's instant message service, which allows you to chat with others through Wi-Fi or cellular data without text message fee. You can distinguish iMessages and traditional SMS with the background color, blue is iMessages and green is SMS. And the methods to use iCloud to sync iMessages and SMS from iPhone to iPhone are different.

Text iMessage

Way 1: Transfer iMessages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud

Step 1. To sync iMessages to new iPhone, you need to set up it on both devices. On the previous iPhone, open the iOS Settings app, tap your Apple ID, scroll down to find the "Message" option and tap on it.

Step 2. Put the switch of "iMessage" to "ON" position, and then select the Send & Receive option. Tap on "Use you Apple ID for iMessage", enter your Apple ID and password and tap "Sign in" to activate Messages.

Sign in iMessage

Step 3. Then the email addresses registered to your Apple ID will show up. You can add more email accounts for iMessage by tapping Add an Email.

Step 4. Now turn on your new iPhone and set up iMessage with the same Apple ID that you use on the previous iPhone. Then your iMessages will be sync to the new device with iCloud automatically. And the iMessages conversations that you send on one iPhone will go to the other one.

If you have a Mac computer, you will discover that there is a Message app as well. In another word, Apple allows users to send and receive messages on Mac. Plus, you can sync these messages from Mac to iPhone as well. All you need to do is simple setup tips.

Start the Message app on Mac, head to "Preferences" > "Accounts", tap "Sign In" and input the Apple ID and password that attached on your iPhone. If you use another Apple ID on Mac, hit "Sign Out" and resign in the right one. Then check the box in front of each phone number and email address you tend to use. It is important to match the same items showing up in the Start new conversations from area on your iPhone.

When you send and receive several chats on Mac, go to the Account screen, tick the checkbox of Enable Messages on iCloud, and once click the Sync Now button, messages will transfer to iPhone immediately.

Way 2: Transfer text messages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud

Unfortunately, you cannot use the method above to transfer text messages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud. The only way to transfer text messages from iPhone to iPhone is iCloud backup. And the whole workflow is below.

Step 1. On the previous iPhone, go to Settings-> iCloud-> Backup, turn on the option iCloud Backup (iCloud won't turn on?) and tap on the Back Up Now button. If your iPhone is in a Wi-Fi network, the process will initiate immediately.

It usually takes half an hour to several hours to back up an iPhone to iCloud. And during the process, you need to make sure your iPhone is online.

Step 2. When it is done, turn on the target iPhone. If it is not a new device, you have to perform factory reset. Otherwise, skip to next step directly. Run the Settings app on your iPhone, head to General-> Reset and select Erase all Content and Settings. Wait for your iPhone to restart and display the welcome screen as a new iPhone.

Step 3. Follow the onscreen assistant to set up your iPhone and enter your Wi-Fi credential when prompted. When you see the Apps & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup.

Step 4. Sign in your Apple ID and password that you used to back up the previous iPhone, and then tap Next to move on. On the backup screen, select the latest backup file to initiate transferring text messages from iPhone to new iPhone.

Part 2: Transfer messages to new iPhone with iTunes

As said before, iTunes was released by Apple aiming to backup and restore iOS devices, purchase content and manage iOS data. Of course, you can use it to transfer messages to new iPhone. When it comes to a used iPhone, iTunes will overwrite and delete existing data on it. If you are ready, let's start the procedure.

How to transfer messages from old iPhone to iTunes backup

Step 1. Link your old iPhone to your computer using Apple Lightning cable. Open iTunes, wait for your device is discovered and then hit the "iPhone" button at upper left part.

Note: To avoid bugs, such as iPhone not show in iTunes, you'd better update to the latest version of iTunes. Go to the "Help" menu on Windows or "iTunes" menu on Mac, and click the "Check to Update" button.

Connect iPhone to iTunes

Step 2. Locate to the left hand column and head to the "Summary" tab, scroll down to the "Backups" area on right side, select the "This computer" option and then click the "Back Up Now" button. Then iTunes will initiate creating a backup for all data on your iPhone, including iMessages, SMS and MMS.


Step 3. Wait for the process to finish, remove the old iPhone from your computer. Now, you have two options to transfer messages from iTunes backup to another iPhone. Choose the proper one based on your situations.

How to transfer messages new iPhone with iTunes

Step 1. Turn on your new iPhone and drop the necessary information, such as preference language. When you reach the "Apps & Data" screen, tap on "Restore from iTunes Backup".

Restore from iTunes backup files

Step 2. Next, hook up the new iPhone to the computer and open the latest version of iTunes. After it detects the new iPhone, iTunes will take you to the "Welcome to your new iPhone" window.

Setup New iPhone

Step 3. Select the "Restore from this backup" option, unfold the download menu next and select the latest backup. Once click the "Continue" button, the messages and other data in the backup will go to your new iPhone.

Transfer messages to new iPhone

How to transfer messages to a used iPhone via iTunes

Step 1. Connect the target iPhone to iTunes using the original USB cable. Locate to the "Backups" section in the "Summary" tab.

Step 2. Hit the "Restore Backup" button and choose the latest iTunes backup. Then hit the "Restore" button to start extracting messages and other data from the backup and save them to the target iPhone.

If you have some important information on the target iPhone, you should back up it first.

Transfer message via iTunes

Part 3: Sync text messages from iPhone to iPad with Apeaksoft iPhone Transfer

Many people do not like to transfer data between iOS devices with iCloud/iTunes, partly because it is a bit complicated. Is there any way to sync text messages from iPhone to iPad or another iPhone immediately? Apeaksoft iPhone Transfer is the answer you are looking for. Its key features include:

1. One-click transfer. This iPhone transferring software is able to sync text messages from iPhone to iPad in one click.

2. Backup messages to computer. You can back up messages from iPhone to computer before sync them to another iOS device.

3. Selectively sync. It has the capacity to display all messages, including iMessages, SMS and MMS on previous iPhone and let you to select specific ones to save to iPad.

4. No damage on existing data. The biggest advantage is to combine the messages to current data on your iPhone. And it does not damage existing data on both iOS devices.

5. Faster and safer. It uses USB cable to transfer files between iDevices, which is quicker and safer.

6. Higher compatibility. The iPhone Transfer supports all iOS devices, including iPhone 15/14/13/12/11/XS/XR/X/8/7/6/6s/5s/5c/5 and iPad Pro/Air/Mini or earlier generations.

7. And it has two versions, one for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP and the other one for Mac OS.

In a word, it is one of the best options to transfer messages from iPhone to iPad quickly.

How to sync text messages from iPhone to iPad with iPhone Transfer

To help you understand the procedure, we use an iPhone 7 as the source device and iPad Pro as the target device.

Step 1. Connect both iOS devices to iPhone Transfer

Get the iPhone Transfer application installed on your computer. And plug in both iPhone 5 and iPad Pro to the computer with Apple's USB cables. Launch the application to let it detect your devices automatically.

Connect iPhone

Step 2. Preview messages on iPhone 7

Click the iPhone 7's name on left sidebar and select the "SMS" options under it. Then all text messages on your iPhone 7 will show up on right detail window. Now, you can preview and back up iPhone messages to computer, or delete unwanted messages from your iPhone.

Preview message

Step 3. Transfer messages from iPhone to iPad

To sync text messages from iPhone to iPad, select all desired messages by checking the boxes. Then locate to the top ribbon, unfold the "Export to" menu and select "Export to [iPad's name]". After selected text messages go to your iPad, remove your iPhone 7 and iPad Pro from your computer.

Transfer iPhone to iPad

Part 4: Comparison between 3 methods to transfer messages to new iPhone

Now, you might grasp three simple methods to transfer messages to new iPhone or iPad. How to get the best on in different situations? You can find the answer in this part.

iCloudiTunesApeaksoft iPhone Transfer
Do not need computer or extra devicesDo not need internet connectionSync all text messages from iPhone to iPhone in one click
Need Wi-Fi networkRely on USB connectionUse USB cables
5GB free storage for each accountFree to download from Apple websiteFree trial available
Take much longer timeNo limit on the amount of messagesNo restriction on the number of messages
Excellent on syncing iMessagesErase existing data on target iOS deviceSupport iMessages, SMS, MMS
Cannot transfer text messages seperatelyTransfer all messages along with other data at one timeSelectively messages transfer


Based on the tutorial above, you might understand how to transfer messages from iPhone to iPad or another iPhone. As you can see, iCloud and iTunes are official services feasible on migrating messages between iOS devices. But they have different usages. On the other hand, Apeaksoft iPhone Transfer is a versatile tool to complete this task under different situations. Now, you can make a better decision and sync text messages to new iPhone using your favorite method.

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