Have you gotten a new phone? Here’s how to transfer data without a hitch.
When it comes time to upgrade your Android phone, you’ll want to ensure that all of your data is safely transferred. Fortunately, Google makes it extremely simple to transfer your texts, call logs, contacts, music, and photos to your new phone.
Backing up data on an old Android phone
Before you switch to your new phone, make sure that all relevant data on your old phone is backed up to the cloud. Google automatically backs up contacts, call logs, texts, and settings — including Do Not Disturb settings — to Google Drive, so you can restore all of that data to your new phone simply by logging in with your Google account during initial setup.
Best of all, the data that Google automatically backs up does not count against your 15GB free Google Drive storage quota, so you won’t run out of space. Call history, app data, contacts, device, and home screen settings, and text messages are all backed up. So, before switching to a new phone, check to see if this data is already in the cloud.
Note: I’m using a OnePlus phone as an example, but the steps outlined below will work for any of the best Android phones running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher. To find the option, search for backup in the settings search bar.
- Select Settings from the Quick Settings menu or one of your apps.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Navigate to the System menu.
- Select Backup.
- Make sure the Back up to Google Drive toggle is turned on.
- Select Back up now to sync the phone’s most recent data with Google Drive.
Pro tip: Check contacts.google.com to see if all of your previous phone contacts have been migrated to your Google account. The contacts you see on this page are the ones that will appear on your new phone.
After you’ve backed up your data, you can begin setting up your new phone. But first, let’s make sure your photos and videos are being backed up to Google Photos.
How to Get Photos and Videos on Your New Android Phone
Google Photos is an excellent service for storing photos and videos. It automatically backups up data, has granular sharing controls, and uses on-device machine learning to group faces. You can save your photos and videos in Original quality — the original resolution — or High quality, which retains the same level of detail while reducing file size.
This is a good option to consider because Photos no longer offers unlimited uploads; once you run out of storage, you must purchase a Google One plan. That being said, it is the best way to back up your Android phone’s photos and videos. You’ll be able to access your photos and videos from your new phone and the web because the data is backed up to the cloud. If you haven’t already, here’s how to get started with Photos.
- Launch Google Photos on your smartphone.
- In the upper-right corner of the screen, tap your profile picture.
- Go to the Photos settings.
- Choose Backup & Sync.
- Make sure the Backup & sync toggle is turned on.
- Make sure the Backup mode is set to High quality.
That’s the end of it. After you’ve safely backed up your photos and videos to Google Photos, you can begin setting up your new phone.
How to Restore Your Android Phone’s Data and Settings
You’ve unpacked your new phone and are eager to get started. There are a few methods for restoring data from an older device, and I’ll highlight the one that has worked best for me over the years (I switch phones every two weeks, so I know what I’m talking about).
You’ll need your old phone for this, so don’t erase the data just yet. Now is the time to transfer the SIM card to the new phone. Let’s get this party started.
- On the welcome page, select your device language and press the Start button.
- Sign in to your home Wi-Fi network.
- On the Copy apps & data screen, press Next to begin migrating data from your old phone.
- Connect your old phone with a USB-C to USB-C cable and then tap Next on your new phone.
- Connect the other Type-C connector to your new phone.
- Click Next once more.
Simply select everything you want to migrate from your old phone to your new one and follow the instructions. Android has evolved to the point where it logs into your Google account and transfers all of your saved Wi-Fi passwords. You won’t need to enter two-factor authentication or anything because this is a direct data transfer method.
That’s the end of it. When the setup is complete and you reach the home screen, you’ll notice the Play Store running in the background and restoring data from your old phone. This can take up to an hour depending on the amount of content installed on your old phone and your internet connection, so you can leave it running while you configure the rest of your new phone’s settings.
If something fails to copy correctly, you can restore your files and data from your cloud backups. However, this method usually works flawlessly.
Make life easier with the Samsung Smart Switch
We have some good news if your new phone is a Samsung Galaxy phone. Samsung’s proprietary app, Smart Switch, simplifies everything just as much as Google’s new data copying process. You can transfer all of your data from your old Galaxy phone to your new Galaxy phone in almost the same way by using the Samsung Smart Switch app.
Samsung Smart Switch is pre-installed on all Samsung phones.