You finally have the latest model smartphone, and you’re excited to start using this device. But you don’t want to lose all the information you have stored on your old phone. You have important pictures, phone numbers, email addresses, and notes that you want to keep for as long as possible. What is the best way to transfer these to your new phone?

Keep Your Phone Contacts

In the past, you may have kept a notebook where you wrote down important contacts, which you would then manually reprogram into a new phone. Fortunately, the days of this kind of manual transfer of information are over. You can send information from one smartphone to another easily, even using your laptop or tablet to help if you want.

Here are some of the easiest ways to transfer or sync important information like phone contacts between your old and new devices.

  • Let your phone carrier do it. The most convenient method of syncing contacts between your old device and new phone is to go into a retail store, like AT&T or Verizon, and let the phone carrier do it for you. Loyal customers and new customers alike will receive this service. For example, if you have been a customer of T-Mobile, and you purchase a new smartphone through them, a customer service agent can transfer the contacts out of your old phone into the new device in the store before you even pay for the new phone.

    If you purchase a new phone online, you can also sync the contacts yourself at home. Your phone carrier should provide information in a booklet that is sent to you.

  • Use SIM cards. Nearly every mobile phone has a SIM card, which is a small chip containing information that allows your phone to connect to the mobile network. This tiny device predominantly exists to identify the network your phone can use, and it provides authentication information to the network so you can send data. When you switch phones, you can keep your old SIM card and put it in the new device to retain your original login information with your network.

    SIM cards also have some storage space, allowing you to back up your contact information onto the device and transfer it to a new smartphone. Mobile apps, online login credentials, and numerous photos are more difficult to transfer from more modern mobile phones, so you will not be able to sync everything from one device to another.  

  • Try Bluetooth. This type of network connects your device to other devices, including laptops, gaming systems, and even wireless speakers or earbuds. It is also a great method of rapidly transferring information from one device to another, including your old phone to your new phone.

    The transfer process is not limited to your contacts and some other information either. You can send files, sync email contacts, and even transfer mobile apps through some devices. However, not every type of phone can perform this transfer to another phone, so check your user manual.

  • Access the cloud. As storing information through the internet becomes simpler, many companies are offering cloud storage solutions. You can use a storage solution provided by your phone carrier, Google, iCloud, or Dropbox to transfer information and then sync it to your new phone. Cloud storage through a company like Verizon or Apple will be more specifically set up to sync your old phone’s information with your new device, so the transfer will take minutes.

    Newer devices, like the Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy series, will have a simple way to store and sync this information through their cloud service. Here are the typical steps:

    • Go to Settings.
    • Look for Accounts and Passwords.
    • Choose the Cloud Storage option, like iCloud or Gmail.
    • Choose Contacts.
    • The device will store any information into cloud storage and keep it up to date.
    • When your new device is on and connected to a network, move through these steps to sync your contacts with your new device.
  • Use your email or computer. If you keep a lot of contact information in individual files — like phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, and work information under contacts’ names — you may maintain a detailed address book that you wish to store in multiple locations. Gmail and some other email companies allow you to sync your phone, through the internet or data transfer, to your laptop, tablet, or computer so you can keep a file in multiple locations. This can be downloaded to your desktop as a .csv spreadsheet, along with other format options, depending on your operating system. This file, along with the sync to cloud storage, can then be used to transfer your contacts to a new phone when you get one.

  • Try easy transfers between the same brand of phone. If you have one Android device, the operating system allows for simpler transfer to another Android device. Similarly, iPhones have options for easy transfer between devices.

    On Android phones, look for:

    • Samsung’s Smart Switch
    • Motorola’s Migrate tool
    • Similar app or program from other manufacturers

Follow the instructions after turning on your new phone.

iPhones use the iCloud to transfer data between devices, and syncing to this network is easy once you turn on your new phone.

  • Try an app if transferring between different manufacturers. If you switch from Android to Apple, or vice versa, you may need down download a separate transferring app to make the data sync work. Apple offers Switch to iPhone as an app that can be downloaded from the Google Play store. Google will not transfer your text message history and anything that is locally stored, however, so you will either need to transfer these manually or get help.

Which Is Easiest?

Ultimately, your method of transferring data and syncing contacts is up to you. The simplest method is to have your phone carrier do this for you, but if you have purchased a phone through a third party, bought a refurbished phone, or borrowed a phone from a friend, this will not be an option.

Instead, using networks like Bluetooth or cloud storage options means you do not have to use wires or SIM cards to transfer information from one device to another. This is a simple way for people to keep the information they need.


How to Transfer Contacts to a New Cell Phone. WireFly.

What Is a SIM Card and What Does It Do? (April 26, 2019). Make Use Of.

How to Sync Your Contacts Between All Your Devices: iPhone, Android, and the Web. (February 12, 2018). How-To Geek.

Verizon Cloud – Website – Sync Contacts. Verizon.

How to Transfer Contacts to a New Android Phone. (February 6, 2018). AndroidCentral.

How to Transfer Apps and Data to a New Phone. (April 24, 2019). Reviewed.