iPhone switcheroo
July 11, 2022 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Mr Jane and I would like to swap our iPhones. X and SE. Is it as simple as just swapping the SIMs? We share a phone plan.
posted by sarajane to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Switching the sims will switch your phone number but not all your other stuff (apps, lockscreen photo, old imessages, etc.).

Probably what you want to do is back up both phones, wipe them, swap the sims, then restore from backup.
posted by mskyle at 1:39 PM on July 11, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Nope, you need to back both to itunes, then restore each other's save.
posted by kschang at 1:50 PM on July 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you have individual iCloud accounts and have your phones set up to automatically back up to those, then factory reset the phones, swap the SIMs and then sign back into iCloud and everything should re-install/re-configure.
posted by parm at 1:57 PM on July 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you use 2 factor authentication on any apps or use an Authenticator on your phone to access financial accounts, you might need to disable 2fa temporarily and reactivate after your switch. They typically won’t work after switching phones.
posted by vivzan at 2:21 PM on July 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you have Verizon you may get dinged for two activation charges.
posted by fedward at 2:22 PM on July 11, 2022

Best answer: I'm pretty sure you only get an activation charge on verizon for activating a new line. Just swapping SIM cards shouldn't cause an activation charge.

What I would do if I were you:
1) Turn off Find My Phone on both phones
2) Make sure texts, calendar, contacts have iCloud sync turned on on both phones
3) Run backups on both phones
4) Swap the SIM cards
5) Factory Reset the newer phone
6) Use the older phone to setup the newer phone
7) Factory Reset the older phone
8) Use the iCloud backup to restore it
9) Make sure Find My Phone is back on on both phones if you want it

You shouldn't need iTunes and if you only have iCloud space to backup one of the two phones, you should be ok with just the newer one backed up, and let the newer one just pull off the older one. If you have a work MFA or something on your phone it may need to be reset and sometimes this is easier if you unenroll before you factory and re-enroll after.
posted by cmm at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

If you have access to both your new and old iPhones at the same time, you can extremely easily transfer everything over by putting the phones next to each other.
posted by General Malaise at 6:45 PM on July 11, 2022

Best answer: As a person who's wiped and restored their iPhone far too many times:

- backups may not include your photos; the Photos app on my Mac does this completely separately from iTunes, I don't know how it works on Windows; iCloud backup may not include them either
- encrypting your local backups with a password means that "sensitive" information will be backed up, like logins and passwords; however, some apps will simply refuse to backup information regardless (like Google Authenticator)
posted by meowzilla at 9:30 PM on July 11, 2022

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