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Back up: How to prepare for your new iPhone

Do this before you unbox your new iPhone.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

If you preordered an iPhone XS ($1,155 at Amazon Marketplace) or XS Max ($1,240 at Amazon Marketplace) -- and you were quick about it -- your new phone will arrive tomorrow. 

But before you unbox your new phone, you'll have to spend a little more time with your current iPhone to back it up and prepare for the transfer of data. This is also a great opportunity to get rid of apps you don't use anymore and clear out the storage. Here's how. 

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Get rid of unused apps

I think we can all relate to downloading an app or game just to check it out, and then never opening it again. Before setting up your new phone, go through the apps on your device and remove any that you no longer use. Each app is only taking up storage space and cluttering up your home screens.

Back up your photo library

Photos and videos are some of the most precious things on your iPhone, so make sure those are backed up. The best way is to use a photo backup service like Apple's iCloud Photo Library or Google Photos.

iCloud is easiest and is built into iOS, but depending on how big your library is, it can cost you money each month for storage. Google Photos is free, as long as you don't mind that it doesn't back up the full-resolution versions of your photos or videos.

Clean out your storage

Open the Settings app, then select General > iPhone Storage (this option will reflect the type of device you are using). Let this setting's page populate, and then try to clear up any excess storage being used by an app. 

For example, if you convinced yourself you were finally going to start listening to Podcasts and downloaded a bunch of episodes, but eventually stopped listening -- you might want to clear those out.

Back up your device

Finally, with storage cleared, apps deleted, and precious memories stored safely off of your device, it's time to back up your iPhone.

The easiest way to do this is to go into Settings and select your name at the very top of the Settings app. Next, go to iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back up now. Make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, and it's a good idea to have your device connected to a charger as well.

Alternatively, you can use iTunes to back up your iOS device with an encrypted backup. This process eliminates the need to enter account passwords if you have to restore or set up a new device down the road. Follow the instructions in this post.

With all of that done, you're ready for your new phone. Once it's set up, check out these 10 hidden features.

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