How to … transfer your data to a new phone

Got a new phone for Christmas? Here‘s how to set it up

Hands up who got a new phone for Christmas. Now comes a little bit of work: transferring your data. Everything from your contacts to your Whatsapp messages is on your old phone, and if you want to keep absolutely everything, you’ll need to put in some effort. The good news is that most of the data is likely to be in the cloud, making it a little less time consuming.

The golden rule for doing anything like this is back your phone up before you start. There are two very good reasons for this: first of all it can help ensure you get the latest version of the data on your phone; second, if something goes wrong, you can always get your information back.

iOS to iOS

Switching from one iPhone to another is a very simple process. Certain things are already in the cloud, such as your photos (if you use iCloud Photo Library), Touch ID settings, and your iCloud Music Library and App Store content. Music or apps you bought through iTunes can be redownloaded if needed. iCloud backups take a copy of the information held on your phone and store it in the cloud.


If your old device is running iOS 11, you can use it to automatically set up your new device. All you have to do is have your current device turned on and near the new one. A Quick Start screen will appear on your current device, giving you the option to use your Apple ID to set up your new one. Simply follow the onscreen prompts to make your way through the process. It will give you the chance yo restore your apps, data and settings from your last iCloud backup.

If you can’t use quick start, you can still restore your phone from a backup, rather than set it up as a new device, and your important information and files will transfer over. Sign in to iCloud when prompted and you information will download over wifi.

With iTunes backups, you’ll have to redownload iTunes and App Store content, unless you transfer purchases during your backup when prompted. You will also have to resync your music, videos and books you imported to your device through iTunes, and set up Touch ID again. Health, activity and keychain data will only be backed up if you choose encrypted backups.

Once you have the backup sorted, it’s simply a case of telling iCloud (or iTunes) to hand over the backup.

Through iCloud:

Turn on your new device. You should see a “Hello” screen. Follow the on-screen prompts until you reach the wifi screen. Log into your local wifi network and follow prompts until you get to the Apps & Data screen. Tap Restore from iCloud Backup>Next. You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID, and then choose a backup. You may be prompted to sign into iTunes or the App Store. Once you’ve done this, the backup will start to install on your device. Leave it connected to wifi until everything has downloaded and you are happy all your content is there.

Through iTunes:

Switch on the new phone and wait for the “Hello” screen. Follow the on-screen prompts until you reach the Apps & Data screen. Choose Restore from iTunes Backup>Next. Connect your new iPhone to the PC where you backed up your old phone. Open iTunes and click on your device icon. You’ll be shown a screen with the option to restore backup, and shown a list of backups available. Yours will (most likely) be the most recent backup available.

Android to iOS

A short time ago, moving from Android to iOS - or vice versa - was hell. Trying to move everything from contacts to photos was far more complicated than it should have been. But as they are both trying to lure each other’s customers, there’s an app for that. In 2015, Apple introduced a new,app, Move to iOS, that would help to shift Android customers to Apple more quickly and easily.

If your new device is running iOS 9 or newer - we’re up to iOS 11 now - and your Android device is Android 4.0 or newer, you can use the app to move Contacts, Message history. camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts and calendars.

On the Google Play Store, download Move to iOS and install the app on your Android phone. On your iPhone, start from the Hello screen, and follow the prompts until you get to the Apps & Data page. Select Move Data from Android.

On your Android device, open Move to iOS and tap Continue. You’ll be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions. Once you agree to that, you’ll be prompted to tap COntinue on your iOS device, and a Move from Android screen will appear, followed by a code that you must enter on your Android device. Once you’ve entered this code correctly, you’ll get to choose what data you want to move.

iOS to Android

t aIt also works the other way, although it’s not quite as simple with a nice new app to do it all for you.

First and foremost: your contacts. You’ll likely have been using iCloud to keep your contacts synced on your iOS device, but you can transfer them to Google and release them. On a desktop PC or laptop, open and log in with iCloud ID. Choose Contacts, which will open your list of numbers and email addresses saved to your account. Choose All Contacts, and click on the gear icon in the bottom left corner. Choose Select All. Then click the gear icon again, and select Export vCard. All your contacts will now be saved as a VCF file, which you can upload directly to your Google account.

Log into your Google account on your PC. Go to and select Import from the menu on the lefthand side of the screen. Choose the location of the VCF file you saved, and click Import. You will now see a list of contacts in your Google account.

Photos can be backed up using Google Photos, as there are Photos apps for both iOS and Android. You get 15GB of space with a Google account that is shared between all your Google services; accept a little compression on photos though and you can back up unlimited images to your Google account.

Open the Google Photos app. If you have a Gmail account, sign in to the service with that username and password. Clink Menu in the top left corner, then select Settings>Backup & Sync and turn on backup & sync. All your photos will be uploaded to the cloud.

To backup your iTunes music, you will need access to a PC where you have your iTunes account. Download Play Music manager here and install it on your PC. You will need to sign in with your Google ID. During setup, you will be asked where you store your music. Choose iTunes, and select upload all songs and playlists. Once you have it all installed and ready to go, you can upload up to 50,000 songs to your account, which can be accessed on any device, and you can still use your iTunes account if you wish. A

Android to Android

If you are moving to a new Android handset, it can be a relatively simple procedure. Some can start the process over NFC simply by tapping two compatible phones back to back.

But in general, when you start the setup of your new handset, Android will ask if you want to move from another Android phone, and give you the option of specific backups in a drop down menu. That should bring settings, app data and so on over to your new phone.

First things first: make sure backups are enabled on your old phone. Go to Settings>Backup and reset and select Back up my data. That will back up your phone to the cloud.

Contacts and photos are likely to already be saved in your Google account, but if not, you can sync all your contacts on your old phone by going to Settings>Accounts>Google and choose your Gmail account address. Check Sync contacts is checked. You can also force a sync by pressing Sync Now.

Images that are on your phone are probably already saved to Google Photos, but if not, you can set it up easily. If Google Photos isn’t included on your handset, download the app from the Play Store.

Open the Google Photos app and tap the menu icon. Tap Settings>Back up & sync. Turn it on. To do an immediate backup, click Backup & sync>back up all.`This could take a while, depending on how many photos and videos you have.

If all else fails, you can transfer contacts, photos, videos and other content by Bluetooth, although it can be a time consuming project.

Apps that don’t make the cut can be redownloaded from the Play Store, or you can log in on a desktop, go to, log in to your Google account to see what apps you’ve downloaded or bought in the past, and choose which ones you want to install on your new phone. Once your new handset has an internet connection, the download will start automatically.