If you just purchased a new iPhone, congratulations on selecting an awesome device. Both the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s are exceptional choices and feature iOS 7, featuring a number of exciting new features and advancements. Our extensive iOS 7 Review and Guide is a great starting point and you’ll want to bookmark our iOS 7 how-to guides. The first step is helping you setup your new iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s. Buckle in and let’s get going.

Setup iPhone 5c

What You’ll Need

  • iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s
  • Compatible SIM card or service. In the U.S., you’ll need service with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint

First Steps

If you purchased an iPhone 5c, peel the plastic from the top and bottom. This will allow you to pop the device out of the packaging. Take your new iOS device and peel back the plastic to reveal the dark, sullen display that is about to be populate your eyeballs with retina.

Getting Around Your New iPhone

At the top left, is the Ring/Vibrate switch. This silences your iPhone or enables the ringer. Just below that switch are your volume up/down buttons. As we move to the bottom, you’ll see a 3.5mm headphone jack. You can use any standard pair of headphones. In the center is Lightning Connection, which is flanked by a single speaker and a microphone. Supplied with your iPhone is a USB to Lightning cable. This can be used to either connect to your computer (Mac/PC) or to the included power adapter to charge your device. On the right side, you’ll see a tiny hole. Both of these new phones use a nanoSIM card. If you are switching from an older phone, it’s not likely that your existing SIM card will fit. Starting with the iPhone 5 in September, 2012, Apple adopted the nanoSIM. It’s smaller than the standard and microSIM cards. With everything in place, it’s time to power on this bad boy. The button on the top right is the power button. It also doubles as the sleep/wake button. Only in rare cases, will you ever turn off your iPhone. With the particulars out of the way, let’s get you up and running. You can choose to setup your phone with our without a computer.

Setting Up Your iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s Without A Computer

Press and hold the sleep/wake button to power on your new phone. You’ll be greeted by the ‘Hello’ screen. Slide your finger from left to right to unlock.


Choose a Wi-Fi network

If you are home or at work, you can select your local Wi-Fi network. If it is protected, you’ll need to enter the proper password.

Wi-Fi setup

Location Services

Your iPhone 5c/5s has built-in GPS and a Maps app that provides turn-by-turn navigation. The new Photos app categorizes your photos based on ‘moments’ which are derived from your location. With your iPhone can find a local eatery, see what’s playing at the nearby theater and more. All of these great things require you ‘Enable Location Services’. Hopefully, I’ve done a good job selling this feature. If not just select ‘Disable Location Services’ and we’ll move on to the next step.

Location services

Apple ID

If there is one thing that is center to your iOS experience, yes I’m including iPads also, it’s your Apple ID. Your Apple ID is used for purchasing apps, music, movies and we’re also going to use it to setup iCloud. Caution: In the past, families would share a single Apple ID. This allowed them to share apps and sync to one family computer. This can cause all sorts of problems and it’s advised that you use your own, individual Apple ID. If you don’t have one, select ‘Create a Free Apple ID’. When you’re done, everyone join me in Signing In With Your Apple ID.

Apple ID setup

There are terms and conditions. Basically, we all agree to sign our life away to Apple. My best advice here is to press ‘Agree’. Unless of course you want to spend the next 2-years of your wireless contract reading legalese.

Apple will then set up your Apple ID, even if it’s an existing one, it goes through the same process.


Yet another big decision. Damn you Apple, I just want to make phone calls or surf the web. So what is iCloud? It’s Apple’s cloud service that can provide you with a number of awesome features. The most important being regular and free backups of your new iPhone. The only limitation being photos, which is limited to your last 1,000 photos. This is an easy fix, but requires you pay a yearly fee for additional iCloud storage. If you have another iOS device, say an iPad, iCloud will keep your Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari bookmarks, Notes and Passbook information in sync. If this wasn’t enough, you can also enable Find My iPhone, an invaluable free service that can help locate a lost or stolen iPhone. Should you say ‘Yes’ to iCloud. Yes and that’s a resounding YES!

iCloud setup

Find My iPhone

You’ll want to select ‘Use Find My iPhone’. Let’s say that you leave your iPhone 5c in a taxi cab or worse yet, a thief grabs your gold iPhone 5s from you. Both horrible scenarios. If you don’t have a passcode, they’ll be able to access all of your data.

Find my iPhone

From any Mac/PC or iOS device (with the free Find My iPhone installed), you can do the following:
• Locate your iPhone on a map. Actual live data which can be shared with law enforcement.
• You can remotely erase your iPhone
• You place a custom message. “Hey, I lost my iPhone, but call me at 555-1212 for a reward.”

In iOS 7, Apple added greater security. In the past, someone who found your iPhone could restore it to its factory default stage. Basically, it became their iPhone. Now, iOS 7 requires a passcode to disable Find My iPhone. Apple 1- Thiefs: 0. Again, it’s completely free. Once you proceed, your iPhone will update iCloud settings.

That’s it! Not only did you setup your iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, but you’ve got it backed up to iCloud, enabled Find My iPhone and now we are at the most important part of this guide.

Have fun!

Editor’s note: Need help with your iPhone? We have forums setup for iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s owners. Registration is free and you can get helpful advice from our community of experts.