Top 5 Things to do When You Get Your iPhone 4S [Setup and Security]

There are a few things you need to do as soon as you get your iPhone 4S out of the box. After you activate it with your cell phone company, you should take the following steps to make sure your iPhone 4S is set up correctly and secure.

I know you want to start playing with your iPhone 4S right away, but if you follow these 5 steps, you’ll have a secure iPhone that is ready to keep going.

iPhone 4S Setup

iPhone 4S Setup

Here are the first 5 things you should do before you start using your iPhone 4S on a regular basis. Once you are done with this short iPhone 4S Setup, you will have a secure iPhone that is backed up to the cloud, syncs wirelessly and is ready to use with Siri, Apple’s new virtual personal assistant.

Setup iCloud

In iOS 5, Apple has added the ability to backup your iPhone’s important files and picture to the cloud. When you setup iCloud, you can send your photos to the cloud and all of your devices with Photo Steam. You can also backup your entire iPhone to the cloud.


iPhone 4S Setup - iCloud
iPhone 4S Setup - iCloud Settings

iCloud also allows you to use the Find My iPhone tool to track down your lost iPhone. After you setup the backup process, your iPhone will backup every time you plug in and connect to WiFi. This means your contacts, apps and files are safe.

Here are more details:

Set Up WiFi Sync

Once you get your iPhone 4S out of the box, you will be ready to start syncing with your computer. Thankfully, you no longer need to plug in to your computer to backup and sync. After you setup WiFi Sync, your iPhone 4S will sync with your computer when it is on the same network, without any connections or actions needed.

iPhone 4S Setup WiFi Sync
iPhone 4S Setup - Start WiFi Sync


This 9 step setup process will only take a few minutes. You need to plug in to iTunes and you’ll need to check the Sync with this device over WiFi checkbox. You should connect to power when syncing as it could drain battery life faster, but this is not a requirement.

WiFi Sync can sync, music, movies, apps and pretty much anything you used to sync with your USB cable. You can still plug in and sync if you need to, which I would recommend if you need to move a lot of large files fast.

Set Up a Passcode

In order to keep others from using your iPhone or to keep a thief from using it to access your saved information, you should setup a Passcode. This process takes a minute, and it will make your iPhone 4S more secure.

iPhone 4S passcode
iPhone 4S Passcode Screen

Follow these directions to set up a Passcode on your iPhone 4S.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Choose Passcode Lock form the right side menu.
  3. Tap turn Passcode on.
  4. Enter a 4 digit Passcode that you will remember, ,but not something as simple as 1234. For help, use the letters to spell out a four letter word.
  5. Enter the Passcode a second time to verify.

You will need to check the erase data box if you want the phone to wipe after 10 failed attempts. This can add security, but I do not check this box. You can use Find My iPhone to do this, and too often I hear of pranks that involve entering the wrong Passcode too many times to cause data loss.

Set Up Relationships

If you plan to use Siri, You should take a few minutes to setup your contact relationships. Once these are setup, you can ask Siri to send a text message to your Wife, Brother, Mother, Son, Daughter…well you get the idea. You can see an example of this in the Siri demo video below.

Open up the contacts area of your iPhone and chose the contact you want to link to. Next, tap Edit. Scroll down until you see relationship. Tap on the arrow, which lets you pick yourself. If you have trouble, Siri will send you to this area when you try to send a text message to a relationship.

(Read: What is Siri?)

This beats saying your family member’s full names when you want to send a short note.

Put in a Case

If you want to get the most for your iPhone 4S when the iPhone 5 is released in 2012, you should put your iPhone 4S in a case right away. There are a number of nice iPhone 4S cases available right now.

iPhone 4S cases
One of many iPhone 4S cases

You should be warned that not all iPhone 4 cases will fit the iPhone 4S, so if you are buying an iPhone 4 case, make sure it fits before you leave the store.

Personally, I am buying a cheap case right now that is thin and offers basic protection, and will look for a nicer case as more become available.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]


  1. I’ve been looking for “Relationship” under the edit view in various contacts, but cannot seem to find it anywhere in the edit screen for a contact like this post suggests. Has anyone else run into this? It can’t possibly be just me that’s having this issue.

      • it will say “related people” once you hit that mother should be the first relationship to pop up. Hit over top of mother and all the relationships should then pop up. From there you can create custom labels or use the given ones. Select the relationship type it should go back to the original screen and there you will place whichever contact you want. 

    • Just speak with Siri and tell her ”  John Doe is my son”  – she will set up the relationship for you.  (Obviously use your own name )

    • you can all just put your mom and dad under ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ and say call mom or dad and then dont worry about it

  2. i used itunes to back up my new 4s from my old 4 and dont seem to have the siri app, or the find me app?

  3. If you want the most of your iPhone you should put it in a case … Realy?
    Actually if you appreciate its design you should not. 

    The culture of people spending there lives on couches shrink wrapped in plastic is a sad one, lets not reenforce that, and just enjoy the award wining deign of Jonathan Ive before we buy the next phone that will replace the current one in less then 6 months.

    Contemporary cell phones are disposable items that consist of some industrial plastic and cheep electronics made in China. Its not the crown jewels or a barbie doll that needs dressing up in cute plastic outfits. Its a everyday item, like your keys and your wallet. Lets not get into worshiping them to much. What we really appreciate is there funktionalety and what we pay for is the service and the research that goes into it.

    /// G

    • Well, when one drops a device and it breaks because there was nothing to absorb the impact one begins to think again about the usefulness of a case. We wear shoes on our feet and helmets on our head and tend to be pleased with that preventative measure.

    • He’s talking about MONEY. If your want the most MONEY out of your phone if you trade it in. Get off your soapbox and learn about context clues :)

    • You really sound like a complete moron. Most people don’t use cases because they treasure their phone & “worship” it… We use them to protect them & make them last longer, because they’re expensive. Not everyone buys a new iPhone every 6 months buddy.

    • well you’re obviously not a very active person or apparently don’t have that much of a life where it is possible to “drop” your iPhone, anyhow STFU and happy screen replacements to you friend :)

  4. I cannot connect my iPhone 4s to a linksys e3000 wifi router.  I see teh router and am entering the password correctly.  The message I receive is “cannot join the network”.  The phone connects to all other wifi routers I have tried.  Is there a setting I must change on the Linksys router?

  5. I have a dial up connection >.< I know, that's pathetic, but I'm getting the Iphone 4S for Christmas and was wondering if it takes downloading or a long prepossessing time when you set up with Itunes? Also how new of an Itunes does the 4S require?

    • how the hell do you still have dial up but somehow you’re getting the iphone 4s…? something just doesn’t line up here.

  6. Im trying to setup a passcode lock on my iphone 4s but it’s not showing up in the settings under auto-lock. Anyone can help?

  7. @ Tiana OMG: If you have a relatively new computer you should really invest in a router so that you can have a wireless network. Itunes setup I would guess will work with “dial-up” but will probably be incredibly slow. For what its worth good luck..

  8. reply to the complete retard about phone cases i work as a builder so i have dust and grit in my pockets if i put my i phone in my pocket with no protection it would get clooged in dust and my sockets wont work and it will be scrathed so the 1080p will be ruined i now have a proper millitary case on it with rubber and plastic on it as i dont want to ruin a good phone for the sake of the looks at £180 a screen im sure everybody can see where im goiung with this u sad sad person u pay good money for electronis you dont realy wana destroy them exuce my french but you are a complete and utter mongol get a life you sad patheticFUCKING GIMP sorry everybody but people like that realy get my back up as for the phone find it works great except siri not finding certain things in th united kingdom but that aside find it a great tool for a builder some of the apps have actually saved me time and money ie the roof calculator i will deffinately get another when my upgrade is due

    • Where the fuck did you learn how to spell? Being a BUILDER? You’re a Joke and don’t deserve an iPhone. Speaking of which why do you need one? So you can play angry birds while you’re on the crapper?

  9. Unless you are some salt-of-the-earth builder, I can see no reason to have a case. Its made to resist scratches and damage from every day use. I’ve never used a case and in 4 years I’ve broken a screen once through having it in my back packed and sitting on a concrete edge of a seat… something no case would have stopped.

  10. the first time i had synced songs from itunes to my iphone 4s its fine but the second time i done it it deleted all of my songs i had on my iphone and put the new songs on there?? how can i stop it from doing that? i just want to be able to sync any songs anythime with out it deleting the old songs. please help??

  11. my iphone keeps saying my passwords don”t match,but i have tried to change my apple password and it won”t let me,what do i do?

  12. Hi, I just bought an Iphone4s in Switzerland and I figure to pût most of it but when I Côme to thé use of Siri I speak English and it shows m’y words on another language. CAN you help me on how to change that please? Thank you

  13. All i did was punch in ‘things my iphone 4s can do’ into google and get some half witted domestic about cases. Fuck me, are you guys for real. Get a fuckin life all of you and do what you fuckin want with YOUR iphone. I know I will. No wonder we need the COALLITION OF THE WILLING.

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