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How to transfer data to a new Android phone

Set up your new phone with a tap.
By
October 31, 2022

Switching to a new phone is fun and exciting but can be tedious if you have many apps and data to transfer to the new device. Luckily, some excellent cloud storage services around make it quick and easy to transfer files, settings, and app data from an older phone with just a tap. Here’s how to transfer data to a new Android phone.

Read more: The best Android backup apps

QUICK ANSWER

To transfer data to a new Android phone, you will need to first back up the data on your older phone using services like Google One. Go to Settings > Google > Backup and enable Backup by Google One. Select Restore from the cloud during the initial setup process to restore the data on a new phone. Sign in to the same Google account, select the most recent backup, and tap Restore.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to backup your Android data to cloud storage

Backup to Google One

Google has different apps to back up documents, photos, and messages, so the experience is quite fragmented. Instead, you can use Google One, which is more all-encompassing and makes transferring data to a new Android phone a little easier. Google One provides 15GB of free data to backup apps and app data, photos and videos, SMS and MMS messages, call history, device settings, and Google account data. If you need more data, you can always sign up for paid plans that start at $1.99 per month (or $19.99 annually) for 100GB of storage.

To back up your data using Google One, go to Settings > Google > Backup and toggle Backup by Google One. Google One automatically backs up your data at regular intervals. But if you’re ready to transfer data to a new phone and want the most recent backup, Tap Back up now.

You get more control over what Google account you want to back up, including your calendar, contacts, Gmail, Keep notes, tasks, Google Play Books, Movies, and more. Tap Google account data in the Backup details section and select which Google app data you want to back up.

Backup to Google Drive

Google Drive does the trick if you only want to back up and transfer important files from your phone. If you don’t already have the app, you can download it from the Google Play Store. Open the app, tap the + (plus) icon at the bottom right corner, and select Upload. Drive will take you to your phone’s file manager. Long-press on a file to get the option to select multiple files and tap Select at the top right. You can use Google Drive to store all kinds of documents, images, and videos.

Backup to Google Photos

Going even more specific, Google Photos will let you back up photos, videos, screenshots, and other images. Open the Photos app, tap on your profile icon at the top right corner, and go to Photo settings > Back up and sync and toggle it on.

You will have the option to set the upload size. You can save your files at the original quality if you have a Google One plan. If not, the free 15GB of storage might not be enough for all your photos. There’s also the option to pick specific device folders you can backup using Google Photos.

If you’re looking to transfer data to another phone, Google One is your best option. The Google One backup also includes photos, videos, and Drive. Remember that your Google data (free or from a paid plan) is shared across all three apps.

Other cloud backup options

Dropbox UI stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Backing up your data using Google One and other Google apps is best if you’re transferring to a new phone from another brand. However, OEMs have their own backup and cloud storage solutions if your new phone is from the same company. You can use your Samsung, OnePlus, or Xiaomi accounts to back up and transfer data. Using OEM backup options help when it comes to transferring phone data like settings, contacts, messages, apps, and more.

See more: How to backup Samsung devices

You can also use third-party cloud storage services if you only want to back up specific files, photos, videos, and documents. OneDrive, Amazon Photos, and Dropbox are all excellent options, but you will likely require premium plans to get more data. If you don’t want to spend on premium plans, you can split your files across different free cloud storage apps. It’s definitely a hassle, but you won’t pay any money.

Backing up app data

WhatsApp stock photo from Dec 2021 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Google One is great for saving Google app data and a few others, but you’ll have to go through some extra steps for some third-party apps. The good news is that with most apps and games, you can sync the app data with an account. So if you sync your data with a game account, you can restore it on a new phone when you sign in to the same account. Remember that most game apps require that you specifically enable this feature. Make sure that you do this before erasing your old phone.

Your social media apps are similarly linked to an account, so you don’t need to back up any specific app data. Google One and OEM backups might even retain the app login information to make it easier to get into on your new phone. Some messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Signal, have their own backup option, though. Check out our guide on how to back up WhatsApp, and be aware that there are other apps you might need to back up separately.

How to transfer cloud data to a new Android phone

Now that you’ve backed up all your data, it’s time to transfer it to a new phone. You should be able to restore your data as soon as you turn on your new Android phone. Tap Start and follow the prompts to set up your phone. Don’t forget to connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you want to restore data from the cloud, tap Can’t use old device. Sign in to your Google account and select the most recent backup. You can choose what apps, files, and data you want to transfer to the new phone and tap Restore.

If you’ve signed in with the same account, your photos, videos, and files will be available on Google Photos and Google Drive. Sign in to the app account and sync your data on the new phone for games and other apps.

How to create and restore data from a manual backup on your Android phone

If you don’t want to use cloud storage services to transfer data to a new phone, you can do so manually by saving your data on a computer. Check out our guide on how to back up your Android phone to find the step-by-step instructions to back up your Android files on Windows and a Mac. You can restore the files on your new phone by going through the same process but the other way around.


Read more: The best apps to backup your photos on Android

FAQs

Other than general bugs and glitches, you might not be able to restore data from a backup if you are transferring to a phone that runs an older version of Android. Google assumes that you are upgrading, so you won’t be able to restore data from an Android 13 phone to one running Android 11.

If you turn off Google One backup, you might lose your older backups as well. Google will also erase your backup data if you haven’t used your device in 57 days.