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We asked, you told us: Here's what you do when you get a new phone

Do you prefer to start fresh with a new phone or copy all your data from the old device? Here's how you voted.

Published onApril 13, 2021

Upgrading to a new smartphone is one of life’s little pleasures, as you get to grips with your shiny new device. But regardless of whether you’re getting a budget phone or a flagship device, we all have to go through the setup process.

There are two approaches to this process, namely copying all your data from your old phone or simply starting fresh. We asked you which approach you prefer and here’s how you voted.

What do you do when you get a new phone?


We asked this question on April 7 2021, and a total of 2,662 votes were cast as of writing. Just under 60% of respondents say they copy all the data from their old phone to their new phone, making this the dominant approach by polled readers.

The desire to have the new phone be exactly like the old device, a ton of installed apps, and the presence of sideloaded apps are some of the reasons cited by readers for copying data from the old phone.

There are loads of readers who prefer to start fresh though, as just over 40% voted this way. Comments suggest that being able to restore data from the cloud is a major reason to skip copying data from an old phone.


  • jdrch: I typically have over 200 apps installed so copying is the way to go.
  • Painfully_Candid: I keep everything on the cloud. As soon as I login, pretty much everything starts coming back. I can toss my phone in the lake and not worry about losing a thing.
  • Nachein: I used to start fresh, but now switching from galaxy s to another s, i think i prefer smart switch and have all my stuff quickly
  • Albin: I want each new phone or tablet to be just like the last one, starting with setting up the launcher / app drawers exactly the same, and install the apps I know I like. Not interested in floundering around in any OEM’s “experience”.
  • Stanley Kubrick: I can understand wanting to copy settings, data, etc. However, seeing that it’s still going to take several hours to get things the way you want them…might as well start fresh. I have seen first hand too many bugs come over when someone with less than adequate technical knowledge just let’s Google install everything that supposedly was backed up from their previous phone.
  • Patrick Mac: I like to side load apps. I also like to preserve data for most apps like Widgets, Launchers, games etc so yes I like to copy from my old phone or a back up (not the cloud). This is the main reason I like Android. With Android 11 I see they are starting to restrict access to the data folder and that’s a bummer.
  • Kanaka Bhaswara Prabhata: fresh for me, i have all important things on cloud already, and for apps i think with starting fresh i can install something that i really need

Thank you for voting in this poll and for leaving comments. How do you think Google can improve the setup process for Android phones? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

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