Switching to a new phone is fun and exciting but can be tedious if you have many apps and a lot of data to transfer over to the new device. Luckily, some excellent cloud storage services can 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.
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 > All services > Backup and enable Backup by Google One. When setting up the new phone, select Restore from the cloud. Sign in to the same Google account, select the most recent backup, and tap Restore.
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Editor’s note: We’ve assembled these instructions using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14. Some menus may be different depending on your device and software version.
How to backup your Android data to cloud storage
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
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. It can also transfer settings and other elements from your phone, so it’s quite convenient.
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.
How to enable Backup by Google One:
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go into Google.
- Tap on the All services tab.
- Hit Backup.
- Enable Backup by Google One.
- Scroll down and select Google Account data.
- Enable everything you want to backup.
- Go back to the Backup options and tap on Back up now.
Now, you can restore these backups whenever you are setting up a new phone, as long as you’re using the same Google account. You get the option to do this during the initial set-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. Then, follow the steps below to manually upload any files you want to store.
How to upload files to Google Drive:
- Launch Google Drive.
- Tap on the + New button.
- Select Upload.
- Long-press on a file to get the option to select multiple files and tap Select at the top right. If you want to upload a single file, just tap on it.
Backup to Google Photos
Going even more specific, Google Photos will let you back up photos, videos, screenshots, and other images.
How to backup in Google Photos:
- Launch Google Photos.
- Tap on your profile icon, in the top-right corner.
- Select Photos settings.
- Go into Backup.
- Toggle on Backup.
- Scroll down and you can select the Backup quality, Mobile data usage, and more.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
How to restore Google One backup on a new device:
- Tap Start and go through the Android initial set-up process.
- Connect to a Wi-Fi network, as restoring the backup will use a lot of data.
- When you get the Copy apps & data page, press Next.
- Select Can’t use old device.
- Sign into your Google account. Make sure it’s the same one you used for the backup.
- Select the 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. This can be done 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.
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.