Transferring data from one Android device to another is a common task many users face when upgrading to a new phone or tablet. With Android’s open ecosystem and cloud storage options, there are several easy methods to move your photos, videos, contacts, apps and other files to a new device in 2024.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the top techniques to transfer Android data using both wired and wireless connections. Whether you want to move files locally between two Android devices or sync everything to the cloud, there are great solutions for beginners and power users alike. Follow along as we break down each step to ensure a smooth data migration.
Preparing for Data Transfer
Before transferring data, it’s important to prepare both your old and new Android devices. Here are some tips to follow:
- Charge Both Devices: Make sure both your old and new Android phones or tablets are fully charged or plugged into a power source. Data transfers can drain battery quickly, so you don’t want the process interrupted if a device dies.
- Connect to Wi-Fi: For wireless data transfers, you will need both devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This allows you to transfer files wirelessly over the local network. Enable Wi-Fi on each device and connect to the same router SSID.
- Free Up Space: Remove unused apps, photos, videos or other data from your old Android to free up storage space. Transferring lots of data from one device to another requires available storage capacity. Delete or back up any non-essential files and apps beforehand.
- Update Android Version: If either of your devices is not updated to the latest Android OS version, check for and install available software updates. This ensures maximum compatibility between devices when transferring data. Newer Android versions include better data migration tools.
- Install Apps: Depending on your transfer method, you may need to install brand-specific apps like Samsung Smart Switch or device-neutral apps like Google Drive on your Android devices. Install and set up any required apps before you get started.
Top Ways to Transfer Data from Android to Android
Now let’s explore the main techniques to transfer contacts, photos, videos, apps, settings and other files from your old Android device to your new phone or tablet.
1. Direct Android to Android Transfer (Wireless)
One of the easiest wireless methods is to transfer data directly between two Android devices over Wi-Fi using the “Send” feature in your Settings menu. Here’s how:
- On both devices, open the Settings app and select “Connected devices.”
- Choose the connection method “Connection preferences” > “Nearby Share” on each phone.
- Make sure both have Nearby Share enabled with visibility set to “All contacts.”
- On the old device, open the files or contacts you want to transfer.
- Tap the “Share” icon and select the new device from the list of available devices.
- Accept the file transfer request on the new phone when prompted.
- Confirm the transfer is complete. Your data will now copy directly from one Android to the other wirelessly.
This direct transfer method works well for sharing individual contacts, photos, videos or other files up to 1GB between modern Android phones. Both devices need to be near each other with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled.
2. Smart Switch Mobile App (Samsung Phones)
If you’re transferring data between two Samsung Galaxy devices, the Smart Switch mobile app provides an easy wireless option. To use:
- Download and install Smart Switch on both your old and new Samsung phones.
- Open the app on each device.
- On the new phone, choose “receive data.” On the old phone, choose “send data.”
- The app provides a step-by-step guide to connect the devices either wirelessly via a generated code or by plugging devices together with an OTG cable.
- Once connected, select the types of data to migrate and tap “Transfer” to begin the process.
Smart Switch seamlessly transfers your contacts, messages, photos, videos, calendar, Samsung account info and phone settings from one Galaxy device to another. The wireless option only works for newer Samsung Android models.
3. Transfer Files with Google Drive
One of the simplest ways to transfer photos, videos, documents or other files is to upload them to Google Drive from your old Android and then install Drive on your new device to access everything in the cloud.
To do this:
- Make sure you’re logged into the same Google account on both devices and have the Google Drive app installed.
- On your old phone, open the Drive app and upload any files you want to transfer by tapping the “+” button.
- Once fully uploaded, open Drive on your new Android and download the files to local storage again.
- You can also navigate right to the Drive website from your new phone browser, sign in, and download files directly without using the app.
This is a fast, over-the-air approach to migrate larger files up to 15GB storage free on Google Drive. Media, documents and other data will be accessible from all your devices instantly.
4. Transfer Files with Shareit App
For local Android to Android transfers without Wi-Fi, try the free Shareit app. Shareit creates a hotspot between devices to share files directly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct.
To use Shareit for data transfer:
- Install and open Shareit on both your old and new Android devices.
- On the old device, select the files to send and tap “Send.”
- Choose the new device from the list of available receivers.
- Accept the file transfer on the new Android phone when prompted.
- Files will be shared peer-to-peer between the devices without any Internet required.
Shareit allows quick short-range file sharing up to 200MB totally free. It works well for transferring data between Androids when wireless networks are unavailable.
5. Transfer Data with a USB Cable
A USB cable provides the fastest wired method to transfer all your data directly from an old Android device to a new one. Different data transfer protocols are available depending on your device’s Android version.
Here’s how to transfer Android data with a USB cable:
- Connect your new Android phone and old device using the appropriate USB cable.
- Once connected, you may see either a USB connection notification or options to view/transfer files.
- If not, open the Settings menu and tap “Connected devices” to access the direct transfer options.
- Select “USB controlled by” connected device.
- Choose the data types you want to transfer from your old phone.
- Your new device may install device-specific transfer software the first time you connect an old phone. Follow the on-screen instructions to transfer data.
- When finished, unmount the system connection before unplugging the USB cable.
Transferring data directly over USB is reliable and efficient. However, the exact steps depend on your specific Android models and OS versions. With the right cable and setup, you can migrate any data locally in minutes.
6. Transfer via Cloud Storage Services
In addition to Google Drive, various third-party cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Apple’s iCloud enable you to transfer files from Android to Android.
To use cloud storage services:
- Download the appropriate cloud storage app on both your old and new Android device.
- Sign in to the same account on each device.
- On the old phone, upload any files to the cloud that you want to move.
- Open the app on your new Android to sync and download the files again locally.
- Or navigate to the cloud storage platform’s website from your new device to transfer files.
Using popular cloud storage apps is another cable-free option to migrate data over-the-air. As long as you have the storage space, you can transfer unlimited files and access everything on new devices.
7. Transfer via Bluetooth
Bluetooth offers a quick way to wirelessly transfer contacts, photos or other media between Android devices within range (usually up to 30 feet).
Here are the steps to transfer files via Bluetooth:
- Enable Bluetooth on your old and new Android phone or tablet.
- Tap on the file you want to send from the old device and select Bluetooth.
- Choose your new device from the list of available Bluetooth connections.
- Accept the Bluetooth connection request on your new Android to receive the files.
- Bluetooth sends data slowly but requires no cables or Wi-Fi network to connect the devices.
While not as fast or versatile as Wi-Fi transfers, Bluetooth works for small files in a pinch. Make sure to keep both devices close together during the process.
8. Transfer via Android File Transfer App (Mac Users)
If you have an Apple computer, you can utilize the Android File Transfer app to move files between your Android and Mac.
To do this:
- Download and install the Android File Transfer app to your Mac.
- Connect your Android device to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
- Open the Android File Transfer app. You can now drag-and-drop files between your computer and the Android.
- Copy files.
Transferring Specific Data Types
Beyond general file transfers, you may want to move specific Android data like contacts, photos, apps, calendars, and settings to your new phone. Here are some tips for transferring key data types:
- Sync contacts to your Google account so they are stored in the cloud automatically.
- On your new device, add the same Google account to download all contacts.
- You can also transfer contacts locally with your Android’s built-in wireless transfer.
Photos and Videos
- Back up photos/videos to Google Photos to access on new device.
- Use file transfer apps to migrate full resolution photos locally.
- If the app is available on the Play Store, you can just download and reinstall on the new phone.
- Use app backup tools like Samsung Smart Switch to restore app data from old device.
- Sync calendars on your old Android to your Google account.
- Add the same Google account on your new phone to sync calendar events.
- Use Smart Switch or direct phone-to-phone transfer options to copy settings.
- Manually adjust main settings like Wi-Fi networks, ringtones, wallpapers on new device.
Focus on migrating the most important data types for your personalized setup, like messages, browser bookmarks or email accounts.
Tips for Smoother Android Data Transfers
Follow these tips to help ensure a seamless, headache-free transfer when moving data between Android devices:
- Transfer over Wi-Fi for faster wireless data migration versus mobile data.
- Disable auto-sync on cloud accounts temporarily to avoid duplicate data.
- Clear sufficient storage space on the new device for transferred data.
- Keep devices charged during lengthy transfers to prevent shutdown.
- Encrypt the old device before transferring for better security.
- Manually transfer data in batches instead of all at once.
- Use a USB 3.0 cable and USB-C ports for faster wired transfer speeds.
- Restart both devices before and after transferring data to avoid software issues.
Transfer Data to a New Android Phone
If you just unboxed a brand new Android phone, follow this quick start guide to set up and transfer data from your old device:
- Charge your new Android phone fully before beginning.
- Turn on the new phone and complete the initial setup prompts.
- Connect new phone and old device to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Download any data transfer apps required for your method.
- Select files/data to migrate from the old Android.
- Transfer data directly Android-to-Android wirelessly or with a cable.
- Alternatively, upload data to cloud storage like Google Drive to sync.
- Download files and data to the new phone from the cloud.
- Sync important data like contacts and calendars with your Google account.
- Install key apps on the Play Store and sign in to accounts.
- Adjust main settings like wallpaper, ringtones and screen brightness.
- Perform a final manual check to ensure everything transferred correctly.
- Transfer completed! Enjoy your new Android.
Following these best practices helps make switching Android phones as smooth as possible, so you can get right to enjoying the latest features and apps with your data intact.
How to Set Up My Device
Here are some tips for setting up a new Android device:
Set Up Your Google Account
- When you first turn on your Android, you’ll be prompted to sign into or create a Google Account. This links your device to Google services like Gmail, the Play Store, and Google Drive.
- If you’re switching from an old Android, sign into your existing Google Account to transfer over apps and data. Otherwise, create a new account.
Connect to Wi-Fi
- Browse and download apps faster by connecting to Wi-Fi instead of mobile data.
- Go into Settings > Wi-Fi and select your home network. Enter the password when prompted.
- You can also modify settings like auto-reconnect and Wi-Fi sleep policy here.
Customize the Home Screens
- Android allows you to customize your home screens with apps, widgets and wallpapers.
- To add an app shortcut, press and hold on the icon in the app drawer, then drag it onto a home screen.
- For widgets like a clock, calendar, or music player, press and hold on the home screen and select Widgets.
Adjust Common Settings
- Dive into the Settings menu to adjust display brightness, font size, icon layout, sound modes and more.
- Set up your preferred text ringtone, screen lock method, keyboard options, and additional security features here as well.
Download Essential Apps
- Open the Play Store app to search for and download apps you regularly use, like social media, messaging, email, banking, entertainment, and productivity.
- Search for essential app categories or specific apps you want. Tap “Install” to download them to your device.
Set Up Accounts
- Log into your email accounts, social media profiles, cloud storage services and any other accounts so your apps have full functionality.
- Many accounts can be added right from the device Settings or individual apps. Enter your credentials when prompted.
Transfer Data from Old Device
- Use Android’s built-in wireless transfer, Smart Switch, or cloud services to transfer over contacts, photos, videos, notes, calendars and other important data from your old phone.
This covers the key steps to configure settings, sign into accounts, customize the interface and download apps to start using your new Android.
What is the Best App to Transfer Data from Old Android to New Android?
There are a few excellent apps to help transfer data from an old Android device to a new Android device:
- Google Drive – Google’s cloud storage allows you to upload files/photos/videos from your old phone, and then access them again on the new phone by signing into the same Google account. Easy to use and supports large transfers.
- Smart Switch – Samsung’s official transfer app moves data between Samsung phones via wireless or USB connection. Simple transfers for contacts, messages, apps, settings, etc.
- Shareit – Allows local file sharing between Android devices without an internet connection via WiFi Direct. Fast for sharing apps, photos, videos up to 200MB.
- Copy My Data – Transfers data like contacts, SMS, apps between Android devices wirelessly. Free version transfers up to 100MB.
- Syncios – Transfers all major data types between Android phones via USB or WiFi. Paid version, but no data limits.
- Xender – Another peer to peer file transfer app that creates a hotspot to share files without internet. Easy to use with 100MB free limit.
For most users, Google Drive or Smart Switch provide the smoothest experience if you want an over-the-air wireless transfer. For large data transfers, Syncios is one of the top rated USB/wired options. Pick the app that best fits your old and new Android models.
How to Transfer Data from Android to Android via Cable?
Here are the steps to transfer data directly from one Android device to another using a USB cable connection:
Prepare Both Devices
- Charge both devices and make sure you have the appropriate USB cable, often USB-C to USB-C for newer Android models.
- On the new device, move any pre-loaded apps to make more storage room for the data transfer.
- Turn on USB debugging mode on both devices in Settings > Developer Options.
Connect the Phones
- Use your USB cable to connect the old Android device to the new one.
- On the new phone, you may get a USB connection notification. Select “File transfers” or “USB controlled by” connected device.
- A file manager may launch, or you’ll need to open it manually on the new device.
- On the new phone’s file manager, browse the old device’s storage folders and select the data you want to transfer.
- Select and copy over the data folders or files to the matching folders on your new device’s storage.
- Prioritize contacts, photos/videos, audio files and app data. Tap “Paste” to copy them over.
- Move over app APK files to reinstall later. Transferring apps directly often doesn’t work.
- You can also transfer data folders like Downloads, Documents, Messages etc.
- For system settings and signed-in accounts, use wireless options like Smart Switch.
- When done, safely eject the old device before unplugging the USB cable.
With the right cable and setup, USB transfers provide fast, direct Android to Android data migration. Make sure to enable USB debugging and transfer data selectively for best results.
How do I Transfer Everything from my Old Phone to my New Phone without Wi-Fi?
Here are a few ways to transfer all your data from an old phone to a new phone without using Wi-Fi:
- Use a USB cable – Connect both phones directly with a USB-C to USB-C cable. On the new phone, choose the option to view files on the old phone. Then copy over photos, videos, music, documents, etc.
- Bluetooth – You can transfer files like photos, videos, and music from the old phone to the new phone wirelessly via Bluetooth. The transfer speed is slower than USB but doesn’t require internet.
- Transfer apps via microSD card – Save your app APK files to an SD card from the old phone. Insert the card into the new phone and install the apps. Transfer app data folders.
- Transfer contacts via SIM card – Save all your contacts to the SIM card in the old phone. Insert the SIM into the new phone to import everything.
- Shareit app – Install Shareit on both phones. It creates a hotspot to wirelessly transfer files without internet up to 100MB.
- Manually sync data – Sync calendars, contacts etc. to accounts like Google to later add on the new phone. Re-download media stored on clouds.
- Transfer SMS via email – Forward SMS text conversations as attachments to yourself via email to view on new phone.
- Use a cloud storage service – Upload all your files/photos to a cloud service like Google Drive from the old phone. Download onto the new phone.
With the right apps and some manual syncing, you can migrate the bulk of your data between phones without Wi-Fi or mobile data. It just takes more time and steps versus over-the-air transfers.
How to Switch to a New Android Device
Here are some tips for switching to a new Android device:
- Back up your data – Backup your contacts, photos, videos, music etc. You can use Google Drive or a USB cable to transfer files to a computer.
- Sign into your Google account – Sign into your existing Google account on the new device to restore your contacts, emails, calendar events, and play store apps.
- Download essential apps – Go to Google Playstore and download apps you use regularly like social media, messaging, and productivity apps. Install must-have apps.
- Transfer local data – Use a transfer cable or Bluetooth to move files like music, photos, videos from old device to new device. There are also transfer apps like Shareit.
- Sync accounts – Log into accounts like Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter to sync emails, contacts, calendars and settings.
- Customize settings – Adjust preferences like display, keyboard, app permissions, and gestures to personalize your device. Set default apps.
- Review privacy & security – Check app permissions, lock screen, fingerprint sensor and other security features. Erase old device to protect your data.
- Remove unnecessary apps – Uninstall unused default apps to free up space. Disable auto-installing carrier bloatware.
- Set up Wi-Fi, Bluetooth – Connect to home Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices like headphones or speakers that you use regularly.
- Explore new features – Check for any new capabilities like elevated cameras, gaming tools, multi-window modes to leverage your new phone.
Take time to fully configure your new device for a smooth transition. Transferring data and personalizing key settings helps you pick up right where you left off.
How to Transfer from Android to Android with MobileTrans?
Here are the steps to transfer data from an old Android phone to a new Android phone using MobileTrans:
- Install and open the MobileTrans app on your computer.
- Connect your old Android phone to the computer using a USB cable and allow USB debugging if prompted.
- On MobileTrans, select “Phone to Phone Transfer” and click your old phone model. Click “Start” to begin.
- MobileTrans will analyze the data on your old device. Deselect any data you don’t want to transfer.
- Connect your new Android phone to the computer. MobileTrans will recognize it.
- Click “Start Transfer” once both phones are connected. MobileTrans will transfer your selected data to the new phone.
- On the new phone, you may need to manually restore some transferred data from the MobileTrans folder, like your contacts and SMS messages.
Key things to transfer:
- Contacts and text messages
- Call logs
- Photos, videos, audio files
- Apps and app data
MobileTrans provides an easy way to transfer almost all your data from an old Android device to a new Android device securely using your computer. The free trial lets you transfer up to 500MB.
How to Transfer Data from Android to Android with Gmail or Messaging App
Here are a few ways to transfer data from one Android device to another using Gmail or your messaging app:
- Photos & Videos – Open the photos/videos on your old device and attach them in an email to yourself. Open the email on your new device and save the attachments.
- Contacts – Export contacts from your old phone as a CSV file. Email the file to yourself and import it on the new phone.
- Documents – Email documents like PDFs, Word files, spreadsheets as attachments from old device to new device.
Using Messaging Apps:
- Photos/Videos – Open a chat with yourself or a trusted contact. Attach photos and videos to send from old phone. Save them on new phone.
- Audio Files – Use WhatsApp to send audio files like voice notes and music from your old device to your new phone.
- Contacts – Share contacts individually or as a .vcf file to your own chat or email and access on new device.
- Location Data – Email a Google Maps link to yourself from somewhere you want to remember. Open on new phone to see the spot.
While not ideal for large transfers, using free tools like Gmail and messaging apps provides a quick way to send yourself key files from your old Android to your new phone.
How to Transfer Data from Android to Android Using Google Account
Here are some tips on how to transfer data from an old Android device to a new Android device using your Google account:
- Export contacts from old phone and save as .vcf file.
- On new phone, open Contacts app > Import to import .vcf file.
- Sync contacts on old phone with Google account.
- Sign in to same Google account on new phone to sync contacts.
Photos & Videos
- Backup photos/videos to Google Photos on old device.
- On new device, sign in to same Google account and access synced content.
- Apps downloaded from Google Play will appear in your library on new device when signed into your Google account. Just need to redownload them.
- For apps not on Google Play, back up APK files and transfer via cloud or cable.
- Upload files from old device to Google Drive.
- On new device, sign in to Google Drive to access transferred files.
Calendars & Emails
- Sync old device calendars and emails to Google account.
- Sign in on new device to sync same calendars/emails.
Leveraging your Google account makes it easy to wirelessly transfer key data like contacts, photos, apps and calendars to a new Android device.
How to Transfer Data from Android to Android via Specific Device App
Here are some tips on using device-specific apps to transfer data from an old Android phone to a new Android phone:
Samsung Smart Switch
- On both devices, download Smart Switch from the Play Store or Galaxy Store.
- On the new phone, select “Receive data”. On old phone, select “Send data”.
- Connect both phones via cable or wirelessly to transfer contacts, photos, videos, settings, etc.
- Download the Motorola Migrate app on both the old and new Motorola phones.
- Select “This is my old phone” on the old device and “This is my new phone” on the new device.
- Use a cable to connect phones and Migrate will transfer data over.
- Oppo’s ShareMe app lets you transfer data between Oppo phones wirelessly.
- Scan QR code on new phone in ShareMe on old phone or vice versa to connect devices.
- Select content like contacts, messages, photos to migrate.
LG Mobile Switch
- Allows data transfer between LG smartphones via wireless network connection.
- On the new phone, select “Receive from another phone”. On the old phone, select “Send to another phone”.
- Follow prompts to transfer data wirelessly between devices.
- Huawei’s backup app creates backup on old phone and restores it on new Huawei phone.
- You can choose to back up contacts, messages, call logs, settings, photos, videos, etc.
- On new phone, restore backup from old phone via Restore tab in app.
Use your device manufacturer’s dedicated transfer app for a smooth migration between same-brand Android phones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about transferring data between Android devices:
What is the easiest way to transfer data to a new Android phone?
The easiest way is to use a direct wireless data transfer between the two Androids using your device’s built-in “Send” file sharing feature in Settings. This allows you to beam over contacts, photos, videos and other files wirelessly over Wi-Fi.
Can I transfer data from Android to iPhone?
Yes, you can transfer data from an Android phone to an iPhone. Key options include moving contacts/calendars to iCloud, uploading photos/videos to Google Photos, and using transfer apps like Move to iOS to migrate locally between devices.
How long does it take to transfer data to a new Android phone?
It depends on the amount of data and transfer method used. Direct wireless transfers can take 10-20 minutes for several gigabytes of data. Wired USB transfers usually take 5-15 minutes. Cloud uploads/downloads depend on your connection speed.
What types of data can be transferred between Android phones?
You can transfer contacts, text messages, call logs, photos, videos, music, documents, app data, calendars, settings and more between Android phones. Some options allow you to migrate absolutely everything.
Can I transfer data from an old Android phone to a new one with a different brand?
Yes, it is generally possible to transfer data between two different brand Android phones, like Samsung to Motorola. Certain manufacturer-specific transfer apps may not work cross-brand, but device-neutral wireless transfers or the cloud allow you to migrate data across any Android devices.
Moving your apps, photos, contacts and other irreplaceable data to a new Android phone doesn’t have to be stressful. With so many cable-free cloud storage and wireless transfer options, you can easily migrate your accounts, files and settings to continue right where you left off.
Whether you want to transfer locally Android-to-Android or rely on cloud services like Google Drive, make sure to use the method that best fits your data types, old and new device models, and how much time/patience you have.
By following the steps provided above for your specific transfer situation, you can achieve a smooth transition within an hour, without any headaches or data loss anxiety. Just go slowly, prepare both devices properly, and turn to online support if you encounter any hiccups along the way.