How to Set Up Your New Android Phone


Depending on the new Android phone you have chosen, you might get an option to copy data from your old device directly. This is usually done via Wi-Fi, but sometimes you can connect the two phones with a cable. A cable is by far the fastest and easiest way to copy your old data (especially photos and videos), so we recommend you do it if given the option. 

If you don’t get the option to copy data directly, or you’d prefer not to, you will want another method of copying your precious photos and videos. Whether your old phone is an Android or an iPhone, your best bet is to use Google’s cloud-based service, Google Photos, which comes preinstalled on Android devices. It’s also the place your photos are automatically saved every time you back up your photos on an Android phone. (If you find yourself running out of room in your Google account too often, check out our guide for how to free up space.) 

If you’re not already using Google Photos, that’s OK. Pick up your old phone, and back up all your photos to the Google Photos cloud by opening the app and tapping on your small round user icon in the upper right. Select Back up now and wait for the photos to sync. Your photos should then be available to browse and download on your new Android phone—as well as the web, and any iOS device where you’ve downloaded the Google Photos app.  

Update System and Apps

Screenshot: Google via Simon Hill

To stay secure and take advantage of all the latest features, you need your software to be up to date. Take a look in Settings, System, and tap System update to ensure you have the latest available version of Android. You should also open up the Play Store app, tap your profile picture at the top right, choose Manage apps and device. If any of your apps need updates you can simply tap Update all under Updates available.

Adding Other Accounts and Setting Preferences

Screenshot: Google via Simon Hill

Once you’ve synced all the data that’s available from your Google account, you’ll want to link some of your other accounts to your phone for seamless integration down the line. Just head to Settings, Accounts (or Passwords & accounts), select Add account, and enter your info for Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Skype, and whatever else you use on the regular. (You can also just open each app and sign in.)


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