I have an iPhone6 that I am trying to pair with an iPhone12 as part of transferring the apps and settings. Both are on the same wifi network and both are able to see each other on Bluetooth.

However I get the message Pairing Unsuccessful:

Pairing Unsuccessful

Make sure "my-iphone" is turned on, in range, and is ready to pair"

where "my-iphone" has the name of the other iphone for both of the devices. Both of the iPhones are also able to pair with other bluetooth devices such as headsets. Thus the pairing problem is specific to pairing with another iPhone and not more general.

So why are they apparently not "ready to pair" with each other?

  • 1
    Honest question... do iPhones ever pair with each other? The problem is, of course, the iP6, which can't run an iOS late enough to support the modern phone-to-phone migration path. You can't just back up the iP6 and restore the backup to the iP12? Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 17:00
  • @MarcWilson The iPhone6 to iPhone6 app-copy procedure worked for me -on this phone. It appears to be an iPhone6 to iPhone12 issue. The fear I have for the "restore backup" is that the instructions say to completely erase the target iPhone. I'm not going to do that: i want just the Apps and settings restored, not lose the currently installed O/S Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 17:03
  • 2
    you will not loose the OS, it‘s not part of the backup.
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 17:24
  • You never have been able to pair two phones - each wants to be 'master'. This seems part of the same issue as apple.stackexchange.com/questions/464104/… which makes things a little confusing. You are going to get a lot of duplicate information.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 17:30
  • How exactly are you trying to pair them?
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


I reset the phone and was preparing to restore from backup.. but then the two iPhones connected during the setup stage. It is finalizing now after the facial recognition phase on the iPhone12. So that's .. interesting .. not sure why they recognize each other only during the iPhone12's setup stage.

  • 1
    because it's not a pairing, it's a specific structure to enable migration, using both bluetooth & wifi. It's easier with newer phones, where you get a shifting pattern of dots you just point the new phone's camera at to initiate the setup.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 16:56
  • ok that makes sense Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 23:05

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