Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

How to restore an Android phone from a Google or Samsung backup

Set up your new phone with a tap.

Published onApril 3, 2024

Setting up a new phone from scratch is a tedious process, especially when you have to download and sign in to many apps, set up the phone’s settings, and arrange everything the way you like it. Luckily, Google has made things much easier when you switch from one Android phone to another, even if you no longer have your older device on hand. Here’s how to restore an Android phone from a Google or Samsung backup.


You can restore a new or factory reset Android phone from a Google backup during the setup process. At the Copy apps and data step, tap Next, and select Can't use old device. Sign in to the same Google account, tap on the listed backup, and select the apps and data you want to restore. Keep reading for detailed instructions, including Samsung's more comprehensive backup method.


How to backup your data on your old Android phone

You will have to first back up your data on your old Android phone before restoring it on a new device. There are plenty of ways to back up your device and apps you can use if you want to store your data on the cloud. The easiest option on an Android phone is to you use Google One.

Go to Settings > Google > Manage backup and enable Backup by Google One. Your phone will now automatically back up at regular intervals as long as you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. You can also enable backups over mobile data. But if you’re ready to set up a new device and want to create a current backup, tap Backup now.

You’ll get 15GB of free data with your Google account to backup apps, app data photos, videos, messages, your call history, device settings, and Google account data. In the Backup details section, tap on Google account data to choose the Google apps you want to back up. If you need more data, Google One’s paid plans start at $1.99 per month ($19.99 annually) for 100GB of storage. We also have a list of other options to backup your Android phone.

The Google backup option is available on all Android devices. Some OEMs have their own features to make it easy to switch between two phones from the same brand.

Furthermore, while Google’s backup covers a lot, some apps and games, like WhatsApp, have separate ways to safely upload their contents to Google Drive.

How to restore your Android phone from a Google backup

You can restore a Google backup on an Android phone when setting up a new device or after performing a factory reset. When you turn on the phone, follow these steps

  1. Tap Start and agree to any terms and conditions.
  2. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  3. At the step where you’re asked to Copy apps and data, tap Next, and select Can’t use old device.
  4. Sign in to the same Google account from the previous phone.
  5. Now, the last available backup will show up on the screen.
  6. Select the backup, choose the apps and files you want to restore, and tap Restore.

That’s it! Your device should now automatically restore saved apps, contacts, and messages from Google’s servers. This may take a while, so we recommend plugging in and staying connected to a Wi-Fi network

How to restore a Samsung backup with Smart Switch

If you’re heavily invested in Samsung’s app ecosystem, you will likely benefit from using the company’s backup solution instead of Google’s. This is because Samsung’s Smart Switch app can backup more file types and app data. For example, you can carry over saved passwords, internet browsing history, alarms, and even the contents of your Secure Folder if you previously owned a Samsung device.

Smart Switch supports multiple backup methods and can restore backups from non-Samsung phones and the iPhone. If you’re switching to a new Samsung phone and still have your old device on hand, here’s how to send your data across:

  1. Open the Settings app on your new Samsung phone.
  2. Navigate to Accounts and backup > Bring data from old device
  3. Tap Receive data and select the source device’s operating system. You can bring data from an iPhone or Android phone.
  4. If you’re transferring data from another Android phone, you’ll be prompted to choose between wireless and cable transfer. I’d recommend the latter since it’s more stable but you’ll need a USB C-to-C cable.
  5. Finally, select the data you wish to transfer over. You can skip specific options like Home screen layout or Videos.
  6. Restoring from an iPhone works the same way, but you can also transfer data from iCloud instead. Simply tap “Get data from iCloud instead” and enter your Apple ID credentials in the next step.

Finally, Smart Switch also lets you store backups on your computer or thumb drive for future use. To start the backup process, download the Smart Switch app on your Windows or macOS computer and plug in your phone. Alternatively, connect an external storage drive directly to your device using a USB OTG dongle.

Keep in mind that you can only restore Smart Switch backups to a Samsung phone, so it’s only a good solution if you plan on staying loyal to the Galaxy ecosystem.


You won’t be able to restore your phone to an earlier date beyond when the last backup was created. Google only stores your most recent backup. If you’re facing a bug where you’ve lost your contact list, go to, click the gear icon at the top right corner, and click Undo changes. You can undo changes to your contact list going back 30 days.

Google assumes that the backup is created for the same or newer Android version. You cannot restore data from a Google backup if you’re transferring from a phone that runs Android 13 to one with Android 11.

That depends on how many apps and files you have. The phone will continue to restore your phone in the background while your apps and files are being downloaded.

You might like