How to Set Up Your New iPhone

If you are new to the iPhone or simply need a refresh, this exclusive feature takes you through its key features and functions. With our help, you can set up your iPhone for the first time, including setting up your key security feature the Face ID and your unique Apple ID.

Buttons and Ports On Your iPhone Explained

As a new owner you are going to need to know what’s actually located where on your iPhone? Using this diagram(shown below) we will show you the physical layout of the latest range of iPhones currently on sale, to help familiarise you with the hands on control method.

Setting Up Your iPhone For the First Time

If you’re setting up your new iPhone straight out of the box, follow this guide as we take you through the extremely important first time setup. Learn how to set up all the core functions of your iPhone, from switching it on for the first time to setting up your FaceID security. Whichever model of iPhone you own, with our help you’ll soon be up and running safely and securely.

Inserting your SIM card

To activate your iPhone, you must first insert the Nano-SIM card provided by your mobile phone network provider.  Use a SIM eject tool like the one pictured here, or maybe a straightened paper clip, and insert it into the small hole next to the SIM slot. The tray then pops out as shown. Place the SIM card in the tray (there’s only one way it can go in) and slide the tray back in the slot. Push it in firmly so it snaps into place. Your iPhone should recognise it.

Setting up your eSIM

The dual sim functionality introduced with the 2018 iPhone models, enables users to access two sim cards in one iPhone. Unlike the standard sim card, the eSIM card is built into the phone itself and is accessed via software, with your coverage purchased via mobile networks. By using dual sims you can now access two mobile networks and numbers in one device.

The initial set up of your iPhone

The opening screen shows `Hello’ in different languages. Flick the screen up. Select your language, followed by the country, or region, in which you’re to use the phone. If you already have an iPhone or an iPad running iOS 11 or later handy, you can set up your new iPhone by bringing them together as shown to sign in automatically. If not, tap Set Up Manually. Choose your network from the list, then enter the password supplied with (or printed on) your router. Tap Next, then on the next screen, tap Continue after reading about Data & Privacy.

The next step is setting up your Face ID (or on older iPhones, Touch ID). If you wish to do this now, see the tutorials later in this feature for the relevant step-by-step guides. Choose a six-figure passcode used to unlock your iPhone. Alternatively, tap Passcode Options to add a different type of code; or skip it altogether (not recommended). After setting your passcode, you can transfer data from your other phone (iPhone or Android) or a backup if you wish. If this is your first iPhone, choose the last option.

Enter your Apple ID. This is your email address and password. If you don’t have one, tap the link below the Password field and follow the tutorial on your Apple ID, later in this feature. If you have other recent Apple devices signed into the same Apple ID you just used, you’re sent a verification code. Read it off your other Apple device and type it here. Agree to the T&Cs. You can opt to have your iPhone install updates automatically or, if you’d rather do it yourself, to install them manually. Tap your preferred option and proceed to the next step.

Do you wish to enable Location Services; we suggest you should because, whilst this enables your iPhone to gather data about where you are, it is essential for apps like Find My and Maps. Do you set up Apple Pay now, or later in the Wallet app? If you decide to do it now, follow the on-screen instructions. Naturally, if you don’t want to use it at all, you can ignore this feature. You can now train Siri to recognise your voice. Again, if you want to do it now, follow the on-screen instructions. If not, tap Set Up Later in Settings; you can do it any time you like.

You can now set up Screen Time, a feature that gives you a weekly report on how you use your iPhone. Set it up now, or later as you wish. The next two screens ask if you want to share iPhone Analytics and iCloud Analytics with Apple and its developers. It’s up to you, and you can change your mind in Settings later. Do you wish to use the iPhone’s True Tone Display feature? If you do, the screen brightness adapts to ambient light conditions. Again, you can turn this option on or off in Settings later. Decide whether to use Light Mode or Dark Mode (this is another option you can change later, in Settings). You’re then welcomed to the iPhone and are ready to get started.

How to set up and use your Apple ID

If you don’t already have a working Apple ID, and you didn’t register one while setting up your iPhone, you should do so now. With it you can download applications from the App Store, use FaceTime, buy music and movies from iTunes and use many of the iPhone’s features and services. Without an Apple ID, you won’t come close to getting the most from your iPhone. Open the Settings application from your iPhone’s Home screen and scroll to the top of the screen. Tap the Sign in to your iPhone option right at the top of the list, then in the pop-up window, tap ‘Don’t have an Apple ID or forgot it?’. Tap Create Apple ID in the next window and, when instructed, enter your name in the fields provided. In the next field, Date of Birth, set your date with the wheels, and then tap Next to move on to the next step. Then, you’re asked whether you want to use your current email address (if you have one) for your Apple ID. Tap Do not have an email address? if you want to use the free iCloud address that comes with your Apple ID.

If you choose to use your new iCloud address, you’re asked to complete your email, which ends ‘’. It may take a few tries before you find one that hasn’t already been taken but when you do, accept it by tapping Continue. Now you must choose your password. As stated on the screen, it must be at least eight characters long and include at least one number, one upper case (capital) letter and one lower case letter. Make it something you can easily remember. Apple needs your phone number so you can be contacted, via a call or text message, to confirm your identity. Use the number taken from your SIM card, or tap Use a different number, to choose another number for them to phone or message. Tap Continue.

After tapping Next, you should enter the six-figure verification code that’s just been sent to your device (or given to you in a call, if that was your preferred choice). When you enter the last digit, you automatically proceed to the next step. Agree to the terms and conditions and your iPhone signs into iCloud with your newly created Apple ID. When it’s done, you must enter your iPhone’s passcode, the one you use to unlock it on the lock screen, to complete the sign-in process. When the sign-in process is completed, you’re shown your Apple ID screen. From here, you can tap the initials at the top of the screen to add a photo, tap iTunes & App Store, to set up media and purchases, and set up services like Family Sharing and iCloud.

How to set your Face ID

You probably set up Face ID during the initial setup, but you can add a second face if you wish, or reset it and start again. If your iPhone has a physical Home button, it unfortunately cannot use Face ID. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enter your iPhone’s passcode to continue. Tap Set Up Face ID or Set Up Alternative Appearance, or tap Reset Face ID to start afresh. Position your face within the frame as instructed, then move your head in a circle until the small lines around your face are all green. Tap continue, then repeat for a second scan. Your face is now registered with Face ID. Tap Done to return to the Settings screen, where you can configure your iPhone’s Face ID feature to your own personal requirements.

Congratulations you are now set up and ready to explore your new iPhone.


Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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