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3 ways to transfer data from Android to Android

published on 5 min read
HMD smartphones with Android

Whichever way you decide to move your data, here’s everything you need to know.

Transferring your old data across to your new Android™ is easy to do and quick to sort out. Gone are the days of slow file transfers and complicated processes. Nowadays, you can move files wirelessly using Google or a dedicated app. The good ol’ fashioned cable is still a viable option, too. Here, you’ll learn how each of these works and which one is best for you.

Before you start transferring data

However you choose to transition to your new phone, taking care of these few things first will make the whole job a bit easier.

  • Charge both phones before the transfer
  • Update your old phone so it’s running the latest OS – new updates could improve the transfer process
  • Check that you have all the login details for your apps, if not, you can usually reset them once you’ve made the switch
  • Clear out any old apps that you haven’t used for months
  • Set your screen timeout to max to prevent your phone from locking and stopping the transfer
  • Connect both phones to Wi-Fi

Method 1: Transfer data with Google Drive back-up

Regardless of whether you use this method to transfer your data from one Android phone to another, it is a good idea to start by backing up your old phone to Google Drive anyway. If you use a different method and something goes wrong, nothing will be lost – you’ll still be able to access your data using your backup.

How to transfer files using Google:

  1. On your old device, go to Settings > Systems > Google > Backup > Backup now/Toggle On.
  2. Let the backup run.
  3. Once complete, go through the initial setup on your new phone. When you reach the page about copying apps and data, click ‘Can’t use old phone?’
  4. Select ‘A backup from the cloud’.
  5. Sign in to your Google Account. It will automatically sign you in if you’ve swapped your SIM over. If you haven’t moved your SIM yet, you’ll receive a text message on your old phone to verify it’s you. Enter the code and click ‘Next’.
  6. Choose a backup to restore, enter your passcode, and then select the data you want to restore to your new phone.
  7. Finally, click ‘Restore’ and continue with the rest of the setup process. Don’t forget to insert your SIM into your new phone.

Different phones might have variations of this process, but as long as you know your Google login details, you’ll get the same result. You’ll still be able to transfer the likes of your images, apps, and contacts to your new Android.

How long it takes to switch Android phones depends on how much data you have on your old one. Some people report minutes, others around an hour.

A note about moving your SIM card

It’s up to you whether you move your SIM card to your new phone at the start or end of the process. Some people do it at the end because they may still need to receive calls or messages during the transfer process.

HMD smartphones with Android

Method 2: Transfer data using a cable

This is the quickest way to transfer all your data and is probably the simplest, particularly if you have a lot to move over. Remember, it’s a good idea to first back up your files in Google Drive as described in Method 1.

  1. Go through the setup process of your new phone until you get to the ‘Copying apps and data’ screen. Click ‘Next’ at the bottom right.
  2. Hit ‘Next’ again.
  3. The screen will prompt you to connect your old cable. Use your original USB-C cable and plug it into your old device. Select ‘Next’.
  4. Plug the other end of the cable into your new device.
  5. Click ‘Copy’ on your old device.
  6. Your new phone will show options of what you can copy across. When you’re happy with what you’ve selected, click ‘Copy’.
  7. Complete the rest of the set up and the copying process will begin.
  8. When the copying has finished, disconnect the cable.
  9. Navigate your way through the remaining setup pages, you’ll be able to access your new phone while it completes the process in the background.

What to do if your old phone is broken

If your old phone’s screen is broken, for example, you can select ‘Can’t use old device?’ during the transfer step and it will use the latest stored backup of your phone in the cloud to set up your new device.

Method 3: Transfer data using dedicated transfer apps

If neither of the two previous methods meets your transfer needs, using apps designed to transfer data from Android to Android could be an option.

You might want to use this option if:

  • Your old phone uses a very old OS version of Android
  • You want to use the app as an alternative backup of your phone
  • You use multiple phones or change phones regularly
  • You use different phones across different operating systems
  • You want a more thorough set of options for transferring files across devices

There are many different apps to support transferring from one device to another, and each will have its own way of doing so. The most important point to remember if using this approach is to make sure your data is secure.

The finishing touches

Once you’ve finished setting up your new phone, check that everything’s there. If it isn’t, don’t worry, you can use your backup to restore selected files or start again using a different process.

Be sure to sign in to your apps and accounts and add your debit or credit cards to your digital wallet so you’re ready to go. It’s time to enjoy your new phone!

Google, Android and Google Drive are trademarks of Google LLC.