Getting started with the iPhone SE

iPhone SE graphics

If you just got your hands on Apple's most recent iPhone, the 4-inch iPhone SE, you're no doubt eager to get started. This guide covers all the basics you need to know so you can hit the ground running with your new iPhone.

Initial Setup

When you first turn on your iPhone SE, you'll be greeted with the iconic Apple logo followed by the multi-language "hello" screen. The iPhone should automatically select your correct language based on your location but you can choose an alternative language if necessary. The same is true for the country or region screen you'll see next.

You will continue to be guided through more setup options including getting your iPhone hooked up to a Wi-Fi network, getting Location Services setup (which you'll need to enable to get the most out of many iPhone apps) and setting up a passcode and Touch ID, which is highly recommended. You can skip some of these options and set them up later but it's much less of a hassle to get them setup on the front end.

You have the option to either set up your new iPhone as a new device or restore from a previous iPhone backup. Since most iPhone buyers are probably upgrading from an older iPhone, the latter option makes the most sense.

You can restore your iPhone from either an iCloud backup or over USB on a computer running iTunes, if you prefer to go old school. If you choose to restore from iCloud, you will just need to enter your iCloud user ID and password to start the process. Either way, restoring from a backup will set your iPhone up with the same apps and settings you had with your old device. Once your iPhone is finished with the restore, you'll be ready to go with your new iPhone SE.

Setting Up As a New Device

If you like the idea of a fresh start, setting your new iPhone up as a new device may be the way to go and if this is your first iPhone purchase, this is your only option. There are a few extra steps to get you setup when going this route but it may be worth the trade off if you had a bunch of old data clogging up storage on your previous iPhone.

Part of the initial setup process is linking your iPhone to an iCloud account. If you have an existing account, you can connect it to your new iPhone and still set it up as a new device. If you are a new Apple convert, you'll need to create a free iCloud account which you will use primarily to purchase apps, music, books and to access all of Apple's other services.

Mail Contacts Calendars

Once you finish the initial setup process, the first thing you'll probably want to do is add your mail, contacts and calendars to your new iPhone. To do this go to the Settings app and then select Mail, Contacts and Calendars. Here, you can choose the provider where your email and other information is hosted. Setting up most major services like Gmail and Outlook is a breeze and all that's required is your log in information. However, if you're connecting to an Exchange account for work, you may need to get with your IT department to get the more intricate details needed to get that set up.

Additional Setup Options

At this point, you're in good shape to get started working on your new iPhone, but here are a few additional things you'll want to set up to get the most out of your purchase.

Apple Pay

You're probably well aware of Apple Pay and setting it up makes purchasing apps and other content and services from Apple easier, and it's also a ton of fun to use at retailers and other places that accept Apple Pay. Many apps have integrated Apple Pay so you can use it to make purchases inside of those applications as well. Apple Pay can be setup by going to the Settings app and then selecting Wallet & Apple Pay.

Apple's iMessage and FaceTime services are great ways to stay connected to your friends and family who also use Apple devices. You can set both services up inside the Settings app. Both Messages and FaceTime have respective tabs inside the Settings app so head to those to get them activated.

You should be all set up and ready to go with your brand new iPhone SE. Now go enjoy using your new device!