This post explains how to transfer data from an Android smartphone to another Android smartphone.
What is the data in a phone that I must backup or transfer?
The source of some typical data to be backuped or transfered is:
- Messenger service messages (e.g. WhatsApp, Signal)
Take into account that some transfer methods may copy the apps but not the user data of the apps itself. Ensure individually that the content of each app is backed up. For example, you need to force a backup of WhatsApp messages by entering in the app.
There are different methods and apps to transfer data from an Android phone to another. Some examples below:
- Android’s Google Drive backup: this is the method provided by Google. It requires a Google account with Google Drive and enough free data on it.
- Samsung’s Smart Switch: it works only with Samsung (both importing and exporting) and Apple iPhone (only exporting) devices.
- Other third-party apps
As all Android users have a Google account, we will use the Android Google Drive backup method.
Steps to transfer data from an Android phone to another
1. Export data from old phone
Turn on your old phone.
Ensure you are connected to a Wi-Fi connection. You need to transfer bulk data from this phone to the cloud, so it is better not to have a mobile data connection.
We are going to backup phone data to Google Drive, so we are able to import this data back on new phone.
First, ensure you are logged with a Google account. You need to have enough free data on your Google Drive account.
Then, go to Settings > System > Backup and enable backup. Force a backup it to start it immediately and wait until it is finished. More info on this link.
You may also want to back up your WhatsApp data. If so, go to WhatsApp > … > Settings > Chats > Chat backup > Click on “Back up” button. Wait until the process is finished.
You may use Google Photos to backup the photos in your mobile phone.
2. Import data to new Android phone
We assume that new Android phone is brand new or it has been performed on it a factory reset.
Turn on phone and start Android setup wizard.
Enter the same Google account credentials as in your old phone.
Connect to Wi-Fi access point. This is necessary to import bulk data from old phone.
There is a step in the setup wizard where it proposes to import data from an old phone.
If it is a Samsung device, it proposes to use Smart Switch. If this is the case, choose option “I don’t have access to the old phone” or similar to force to use the Google Drive import method instead.
Then, a list with all devices where backup has been done (in case there are many) is displayed. Choose the smartphone of choice to import data.
Wait until all data has been imported and previous apps automatically installed through Google Play.
Remember to update your Android version and apps as soon as setup wizard is finished.
When you open WhatsApp and enter your mobile phone, it will automatically import all messages based on your Google Drive data.
Steps to delete backup data from an Android phone to another
This section is about Google Drive backup data from old Android phones or WhatsApp that has become useless.
If you want to delete this data, visit Google Drive from a desktop browser (though you can do this also from the app).
On the list on the left, click on “Storage”
Then choose “Backup” on the top right.
On this list, you can select backup data by device and delete it.
More info on this link.
- “Switch to a new Android phone“; Android Help
- “Manage & restore your mobile backups in Google Drive“; Google Drive Help