How to Transfer Data from One Phone to Another

By: Contributors  | 
Transferring data between phones doesn't require immense technical wizardry. Malorny / Getty Images

You can be forgiven for delaying an upgrade because you can't quite figure out how to transfer data from one phone to another. The thing is, transferring data from your old phone to a new device has never been easier.

If you know your way around a computer, you can do it yourself. Or, failing that, you can always stop by a local mobile phone retailer or electronics store and pay a modest fee. Let's take a closer look at the DIY data transfer process.


Preparing for the Transfer

Don't skip of this part. Proper preparation can be the difference between a quick and easy data transfer and a phone full of corrupted files. What's more, preparing for the transfer isn't too difficult.

Step 1: Charge Your Devices

The first thing you're going to want to do is charge both phones. Data transfer can be a power-intensive process, and the last thing you want is for one of the devices to shut down mid-transfer.


Step 2: Connect to Wi-Fi

A stable Wi-Fi connection is just as important, especially for cloud-based transfers and cloud data backup. So do your best to ensure that you're local connection is secure, reliable, and running smooth.

Step 3: Consider Storage Space

Finally, make sure your new device has enough storage to accommodate all the data you plan on transferring over. Choosing to copy apps, contacts, emails, photos and videos can add up. Which is why most people use this time to decide what to keep, what to delete, and what to back up elsewhere.


Choosing Your Transfer Method

Data can be moved from one phone to another in several ways, each with its own set of advantages. The right method for you depends on the operating systems involved, and your personal preferences.

Rest assured that you can indeed transfer back and forth between a new android phone an iPhone. But again, the transfer method can depend a lot on the devices involved.


Cloud Services

Cloud services like Google Drive for an Android device, iCloud for iPhone users, and OneDrive for Windows phone users are amongst the most popular cloud-based options on the market today. These services back up your data to the cloud, allowing you to transfer data wirelessly with just a few clicks [source: Rosenbaum]. While it is convenient, this method does tend to be slow for large transfers and requires a strong internet connection.

Direct Connection

Those looking for a faster alternative can opt for a direct cable connection. This method often requires a specialized USB cable or a proprietary transfer adapter, like the Smart Switch cable used by Samsung devices [source: Samsung]. You'll have to do a bit of online sleuthing in order to find the appropriate cable, but once you have one in your hands, transferring data is easy.

Third-Party Apps

App stores are full of reliable and trustworthy third-party apps designed for data transfer. These can be particularly useful if you're transferring between phones that use different operating systems. While third-party apps can be flexible, it's important to throughly research the available options and only choose apps that are safe.


Executing the Transfer

Now that you've laid the ground work, it's time to start transferring data. Whether you've chose cloud transferring, or chose to invest in direct connection hardware, this detailed guide will ensure a smooth and successful data migration.

Step 1: Back up Your Data

A step so important that it's worth mentioning twice! Again, before starting your transfer, you're advised to back up your data to a third location [source: Pathak]. This can be done using cloud services, a dedicated backup app, or external storage devices.


Step 2: Begin Migrating Data

To begin the transfer, you're going to want to adhere to the instructions provided to you by the app, cloud service, or operating system. The process can vary slightly, but it mostly involves following a series of on-screen instructions and sitting around.

Step 3: Verify the Transfer

Once the transfer is complete, check through your new device to verify that all of the data from your old phone made it over to your new one. Look through your contacts, photos, messages, apps, and emails, and make note of anything that might be missing.

Step 4: Finalizing the Setup

Now that your data is transferred, you can finish setting up your new device. This includes logging into apps, setting up accounts, and customizing the settings to your liking.


Quick, Easy, and Seamless

Transferring data from one phone to another can seem complex, but it really doesn't have to be. A little bit of preparation and a few trusty apps and tools can get take care of the task smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Whether you prefer user-friendly cloud services or fast and secure direct cable connections, rest assured that you'll be enjoying your new phone, and all your data, in no time.


Frequently Answered Questions

How do I move my phone number to a new phone?
If you're moving to a new phone and you want to keep your phone number, you'll need to contact your current phone service provider and let them know you're moving. They'll be able to transfer your phone number to your new phone.