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Why Does Transferring Data to New iPhone Take So Long? (4 Reasons Why and How to Fix Them)

As an iPhone user, I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustration of waiting for your data to transfer from an old device to a new one. It can take hours or even days in some cases! I was so frustrated with this situation that I decided to do some research and testing to figure out why transferring data to a new iPhone takes so long, and how to fix it.

In this blog post, I’ll share with you four common reasons why data transfer takes so long, and how you can easily fix them. Hopefully, this post will help you get your new iPhone up and running quickly and easily.

The stretched-out transfer time could be because the file size you’re moving is too heavy or the internet connection is unstable. It’s also possible that your old phone has other software or hardware issues.

IssuePossible CausesSolutions
Slow Data Transfer to New iPhone1. Heavy Data Load– Filter your apps and files to keep only essential ones.
– Delete duplicate or similar photos, blurry images, and unwanted videos or audio files.
2. Unstable WiFi– Plan ahead and choose a day and time when the Internet speed is the fastest.
– If WiFi is unreliable, consider transferring files via Bluetooth, AirDrop, or a wired connection to a PC.
3. Software-Related Issues– Update the old phone’s operating system (iOS) to the latest version possible.
– Ensure any apps required for file transfer, such as iCloud or third-party file transfer software, are up-to-date.
4. Hardware-Related Issues– Be patient with potential lags and freezes if the old phone has underlying hardware problems.
– Ensure both devices are fully charged or have chargers nearby during the transfer process.
– If you still experience issues or long transfer times, consider contacting Apple Support.

Why Does Transferring Data to New iPhone Take So Long?

Here are some of the likely reasons why data transferring is eating up a lot of your precious minutes.

  1. Heavy Data Load

The file size is a significant factor in determining the time the transfer will take.

In this kind of situation, the best thing to do is to filter your apps and files. See if there are some that you can let go of and leave only the important ones.

So, go ahead and scan your gallery for duplicate or similar photos and delete your least favorite, along with the blurry ones. Take heed of Marie Kondo’s advice and remove all the bulky files that don’t spark joy!

Then, you can do the same for videos and audio files.

If you have too many media files, this process might take a while, but your effort will all be worth it. This method won’t only buy you some time off the transfer process, but it’ll also spare your new iPhone from all that clutter.

  1. Unstable WiFi

When backing up and restoring data via iCloud, running on a fast Internet connection is key, but it’s also crucial for the connection to be stable from start to end.

Imagine leaving the two devices for an hour or so, hoping that it’ll be at least half done when you come back, only to find that the internet got disconnected ten minutes into the transfer!

To avoid this, you can plan ahead and pick a day and time for your file transfer when the Internet speed is the fastest. In case you didn’t know, the ideal time for download speeds is usually Sunday at 8 AM, but you can always gauge the best timeframe in your area.

If the WiFi is too unreliable, you may opt for file transferring via Bluetooth, AirDrop, or a wired connection to a PC.

  1. Software-Related Issues

To make sure the file transfer flows smoothly, update the old phone’s operating system (iOS) to the latest version possible. After all, running on outdated iOS could be causing the bottleneck despite a speedy Internet connection.

To manually update your iOS, follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone, open Settings.
  • Select Software Update under the General tab.
  • Tap Download and Install.
  • Enter your passcode when prompted.
  • Tap Agree and wait until the update is done.
  • Your phone will restart to finish the process.

Once your iOS is updated, you’ll also need to check whether any apps required for the file transfer, such as iCloud or a third-party file transfer software, are also up-to-date.

  1. Hardware-Related Issues

Let’s not rule out the possibility that the old phone may have underlying hardware problems. Odds are, that’s why you’re replacing it in the first place.

If you’ve noticed lags and freezes before, then expect the same during the file transfer.

Even when devices are in their best condition, the transfer could take a few hours, and it would still be considered normal. So, maybe the poor, grizzled phone could use a little patience!

Read more: Why is my iPhone camera getting hot?

How Long Should the Data Transfer Process Take?

If you’re copying downloaded apps as well, the waiting time should be around forty minutes and up to a few hours on average. However, it all comes down to the internet speed and the net size of your data.

To ensure a successful file transfer, see to it that both devices are fully charged, or at least keep the chargers nearby in case you need them.

So, is four hours within the normal range? Pretty much, yes. If you’re not convinced or feel there’s a hiccup with the process, it’s best to contact Apple Support.

Read more: Why does my iPhone battery drain overnight?


Not everyone has the extra few hours to spare, so it’s important for a lot of us that the file transfer takes the least possible time.

That’s why a lot of iPhone users have wondered why transferring data to a new iPhone takes so long. To solve this, you’ll have to get to the bottom of the issue, from a shaky internet connection to extremely large files.

In the end, you might just need to muster all the patience that you can because the shortcut to data transferring hasn’t been discovered just yet!