Carrying over the complete Health database from your old to a new iPhone used to require restoring the new phone from an iCloud backup or an encrypted backup created in iTunes.

Migrating your Health database without completely restoring the new phone from a backup wasn’t possible unless you resorted to unofficial tricks involving third-party apps.

The problem with such apps is that they don’t support all the assorted data types in Health.

With iOS 11, those worries are a thing of the past as more Apple apps are now able to securely synchronize their data across devices via iCloud, including MessagesSiri and Health.

This removes a significant pain point for anyone looking to retain their Health data as they set up their devices from scratch. Or, maybe you have two iPhones and would like your Health database available and kept in perfect sync on both?

With just a few taps, you can.

With this feature, your complete Health database becomes available after you sign in with your Apple ID on the new phone and flip a switch in Settings. Health syncing is off by default due to the sensitive nature of private medical information.

How to sync Health data across multiple iPhones

1) Launch the Settings app on your device.

2) Tap your profile image with your Apple ID at the top of the screen.

3) Tap iCloud.

4) Slide the switch for Health to the ON position.

Enabling syncing ensures any fitness, medical and related data stored in Health is securely sent, end-to-end encrypted, to iCloud, your Apple Watch activity achievements included.

When you get a new device, reinstall iOS or restore your phone, just enable iCloud for Health in Settings and you’re good to go.

The first time you enable this feature, you might need to wait a little until the Health app has managed to download data and update all of its Health records.

This can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to half an hour or more, depending on the size of your Health database, types of records stored in there and other factors.

TUTORIAL: How to have Siri syncs its brain across devices

Any changes HealthKit apps make to the Health database on one device will be instantly reflected on all your other iPhone and iPod touch devices, and vice versa.

Keep in mind that the Health app is unsupported on iPad.

Congratulations, now you know how to migrate your existing Health database to a new iPhone (even if you set it up as new) without having to restore it from a previously created backup.

How secure is Health sync?

According to Apple, Health data is by default only stored on the device and encrypted with your passcode.

If you choose to store your Health data in iCloud, it’s kept encrypted on Apple’s servers and also gets encrypted as it goes between iCloud and your device.

Health data is included in your iOS device backups when using iCloud Backup or backing up your iPhone in your computer by encrypting your iTunes backup.

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  • Pietro Di Meglio

    Are Apple Watch achievements included? I would like to set up my iPhone X (when I get it) as a new device. I don’t want to loose the limited time only achievements like ‘ring in the new year’.