Getting an iPhone 12 mini or Pro Max? Use this checklist to get ready before it arrives

iPhone 12 orders are starting to arrive. If you're getting a new phone, you should take some time to get your current phone ready. Trust us, you'll thank yourself later.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

The iPhone 12 comes in blue and it looks pretty awesome. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

Orders for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have been slowly trickling in for the last few weeks, and soon the biggest and smallest iPhone 12 models will follow. The iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max start arriving on Friday, Nov. 13. As your delivery date gets closer, do yourself a favor and follow our checklist to prep your current iPhone. 

It'll make setting up the new iPhone 12 so much smoother and save you time and headaches when it comes time to set up your shiny new phone. Doing things like removing single-use apps or getting rid of screenshots you'll never look at again will speed up the entire process. 

Below you'll find a few things you can do to make sure your upgrade process is an easy one. 

Triage your apps and photos -- trust us

This isn't a fun task, I admit, but it's a necessary one. Sit down and go through all of the apps installed on your phone, deleting the apps you no longer use. Then, go through the Photos app and delete all of the random screenshots, photos and videos you don't want to keep. 

Your iPhone will feel less cluttered and you'll free up storage space and, in turn, reduce the amount of space you'll need to back up your phone. Another benefit is that it will take less time to restore your new iPhone when you're setting it up. 


There's an extra step in iOS 14 when deleting an app. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Back up your phone now and before your new iPhone arrives

It's easy to ignore the messages letting you know you're out of iCloud storage space and that your phone is no longer being backed up, but you'll wish you had a backup plan when it comes time to switch phones. 

If you're out of iCloud storage space, you have a few options: pay for more storage, change what gets backed up or use your computer to create a backup. 

We have a guide that walks you through all of those iPhone backup options, along with the pros and cons of each option. 

Don't wait for your new iPhone to show up before tackling backups. If you're like me, you'll get impatient and set up your phone without restoring it, causing headaches and costing you more time in the end. 


The iPhone 12 will surely launch with iOS 14 already installed. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Part of an upgrade program? Check your status

If you're using an upgrade program from Apple or your carrier, it's a good idea to check how many payments you have left before you're eligible to upgrade your iPhone. 

I purchased an iPhone 11 Pro Max on launch day through Apple's upgrade program, and I'm already eligible to upgrade because I've made the required 12 monthly device payments. With the iPhone 12 launching a few weeks later than normal, you may be in the same situation. 

If you bought your phone from a carrier on a payment plan, sign in to your account or call customer support to check your eligibility. If you bought your phone through Apple's upgrade program, you can use the Apple Store app on your phone to check your status. 

Depending on when you upgraded to your current iPhone, you may have to make another payment (or more) before you can upgrade. Knowing what that amount is now will help you budget for the upcoming upgrade. 

Once you get your iPhone 12, there are four different ways to set up your new phone, each with their own pros and cons. Next, dig into these settings to get the most out of your phone. Finally, the iPhone 12 comes with iOS 14, and there are plenty of new and exciting features in the update. My personal favorite so far? The redesigned home screen, complete with widgets.

Watch this: Our in-depth review of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro