What happens if I don’t transfer apps and data?

If you get a new Android phone and don’t transfer your apps, contacts, photos, and other data from your old phone, you’ll be starting completely fresh. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll be missing if you don’t transfer your info:


Any apps you downloaded and paid for on your old phone will need to be redownloaded and repurchased on your new device. App data that isn’t synced to the cloud will be lost, including saved game progress, custom settings, logged in accounts, etc. You’ll have to set up the apps from scratch on your new phone.


Your entire contacts list with names, numbers, email addresses, etc will need to be re-added manually on the new phone. Any contacts connected through social media or email accounts can be synced again, but local contacts will be lost.


All text conversations and message history will be gone. Your message threads and individual conversations will not carry over to the new device.

Photos & Videos

Any photos and videos stored locally on your old phone will be lost if you don’t transfer them over. You’ll have to move them manually or redownload any cloud-synced media.

Music & Audio

Music and audio files like playlists, podcasts, ringtones etc will not transfer automatically. Media stored on device will be lost unless you manually move it.


Files like downloads, receipts, screenshots and other documents only on your old device will need to be transferred over or they’ll be lost.

Call logs

Your call history will not carry over to your new phone automatically. You’ll lose access to past call logs and details.

Browser Data

Your browser bookmarks, search history, open tabs and other data will be lost if not transferred. You’ll have to sync this data again if you want it on your new device.

Wi-Fi Networks

You’ll have to rejoin and re-enter the passwords for any WiFi networks your old phone was connected to. No network info transfers automatically.

Account Info

Account info like emails, app logins, and passwords do not carry over. You’ll have to re-enter credentials and set up accounts on your new device.

App Settings

Customized settings for apps will be reset to defaults on your new phone. This includes things like notification settings, color themes, and custom configurations.

Home Screen Layout

Your old phone’s home screen layout, favorite widgets, shortcuts, and wallpaper will not transfer over. Your new home screen will have default layout.


As you can see, not transferring your data to a new phone means having to completely re-setup your device, reconfigure settings, and lose valuable personal data like photos and messages. It’s highly recommended to take the time to do a proper transfer when getting a new phone, otherwise you’ll be stuck starting from scratch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I transfer data to a new Android phone?

There are a few ways to transfer your apps, contacts, photos and other data to a new Android phone:

  • Use your Google account – If you backup data to your Google account, you can restore it on the new phone
  • Use a transfer cable – Connect the old and new phone with a transfer cable to migrate data directly
  • Transfer wirelessly – Use apps like Smart Switch to transfer data wirelessly
  • Sync with cloud storage – Manually upload data and re-download on new phone

What types of data can be transferred to a new phone?

Here are some of the key data types that can be transferred from an old Android phone to a new one:

Data Type Description
Contacts Names, numbers, emails, etc.
Call logs Call history and details
Messages SMS/MMS messages and conversations
Apps Installed applications and associated data
Music Downloaded and locally stored music
Photos Camera photos and videos
Documents Downloads, screenshots, files, etc.

What data should I backup before transferring phones?

Here are some key types of data you should manually backup before transferring phones:

  • Contacts – Export to SIM card or cloud storage
  • Photos/videos – Copy to computer or upload to cloud
  • Music files – Transfer to computer
  • Documents – Save to external hard drive or cloud storage
  • Text messages – Use app to export conversations
  • Call logs – Export call history to cloud or SIM card
  • Browser data – Sync bookmarks, history, open tabs

How can I avoid losing data when switching Android phones?

To prevent losing your personal data when getting a new Android phone, you should:

  • Backup locally stored data like photos and files
  • Make sure apps and data are synced with cloud storage
  • Export contacts and SMS messages before switching devices
  • Use a dedicated transfer service/cable for a direct transfer
  • Log in to the same Google account on your new phone
  • Confirm all important data has transferred after switching devices

What happens if I don’t transfer my SIM card to a new phone?

If you don’t move your SIM card from your old Android phone to your new phone, here’s what will happen:

  • You will have a new phone number
  • You’ll need to contact people about your new number
  • You won’t receive texts or calls to your old number
  • Your call history won’t carry over
  • You’ll need to re-establish your contacts
  • You may not have service until you activate the new SIM

Overall, transferring your SIM makes the transition much smoother and prevents you from losing your current phone number.

What to do before switching phones

Before making the switch to a new phone, here are some important steps to take with your old device:

Back up your data

Backup any data that isn’t already synced to the cloud, such as photos, videos, music, documents, etc. You can copy files to a computer or external hard drive.

Export contacts

Export all contacts and save them to an external source like SIM card, computer, or cloud storage.

Log out of accounts

Log out of any sensitive accounts like banking, email, social media, etc. This adds security when switching devices.

Sync app data

If you use any apps that don’t sync data automatically, manually upload the latest data to the cloud.

Charge devices

Make sure both your old and new phones are fully charged before transferring data between them.

Gather accessories

Get any accessories like cases, cables, chargers, headsets etc that you want to use with your new phone.

How to transfer data to a new Android phone

Once you’ve prepped your old phone, here are step-by-step instructions to transfer data:

  1. Select transfer method – cable, wireless, cloud backup, etc.
  2. Backup old phone data to the cloud if possible.
  3. Set up new phone with Google account for easy restoring.
  4. Transfer files locally with cable or wireless transfer app.
  5. Restore cloud-synced data like contacts, photos, apps etc.
  6. Manually move any left-over data that didn’t transfer.
  7. Sync accounts like email, social, banking to new phone.
  8. Configure settings like WiFi, ringtones, wallpaper on new phone.
  9. Insert old SIM card into new phone (optional).
  10. Confirm all necessary data has transferred successfully.

Wireless transfer

For wireless transfer:

  • Download transfer app on both devices.
  • Connect phones to the same WiFi network.
  • Open app and follow prompts to transfer data.
  • May take longer for large transfers.

Transfer cable

For cable transfer:

  • Connect devices with transfer cable.
  • Follow prompt on new phone to import data.
  • Direct physical connection provides fast transfer.
  • Typically works within minutes.

What to do after transferring data

After you’ve transferred your data to the new phone, here are some final steps to take:

Confirm important data transferred

Double check contacts, photos, apps, and other key data made it over successfully.

Set up accounts

Log into any accounts like email, banking, or social media on the new device.

Customize settings

Adjust settings and preferences like wallpaper, ringtones, app configurations, keyboard settings etc.

Organize home screen

Add widgets, shortcuts, custom folders and icons to personalize your new home screen.

Clear old phone

After confirming the transfer, you can reset your old phone to factory settings.

Set up new accessories

Pair any new accessories like Bluetooth earbuds to your new phone.

Common Problems When Transferring Data

Despite best efforts, you may encounter some issues when trying to transfer data to a new Android phone. Here are some troubleshooting tips for common problems:

Transfer getting stuck

  • Restart both devices and try again
  • Ensure reliable WiFi connection
  • Free up storage space on both devices
  • Try a different transfer cable
  • Toggle Airplane mode on/off to reset connections

Data will not transfer

  • Check app permissions
  • Authorize data transfer when prompted
  • Enable sync settings in accounts
  • Verify transfer service supports particular data types
  • Manually transfer un-synced data separately

Transfer taking too long

  • Close unnecessary apps running in background
  • Connect to faster WiFi network
  • Transfer over wired connection instead
  • Transfer smaller batches of data individually

Data corruption

  • Scan both devices for malware
  • Check cables/ports for damage
  • Reboot devices and router if on WiFi
  • Repair or reinstall transfer app
  • Factory reset devices when all else fails


Transferring your apps, contacts, photos and other personal data ensures a smooth transition when getting a new Android phone. Take the time up front to properly migrate your information, customize your settings and confirm everything made it over intact. With a little time and patience, you’ll have your new phone working just the way you want in no time.

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