How to Transfer Data From Your Phone to Another

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Have you just bought a new phone? You may need to transfer data from your phone to another one. Possibly from the old phone to the new one. There could even be an emergency case of having downloaded a file from the internet to your phone. And as such, you need to send it to someone else’s phone (or tablet). A third case may simply require that you transfer important files from your phone to that of a friend or loved one who needs it. 

It may take some time depending on the method you choose. But of necessity, it must be done. Also, note that it is far easier and faster to transfer files and app data between two phones using the same operating system. That is, from Android to Android, or iOS to iOS. Nevertheless, we shall be covering the available phone data transfer methods available on both Android and iOS devices in this article.   

transfer data from your phone to another

Ways to Transfer Data from Your Phone to Another

Using Bluetooth and/or Wi-fi

Bluetooth is a special wireless connection technology that employs radio frequencies and over a short distance. It is secure as well. The vast majority of modern smartphones have in-built Bluetooth functionality. You will usually find the symbol in the pull-down ribbon menu at the top of your phone. 

bluetooth symbol to transfer phone data

On the other hand, wi-fi (wireless fidelity) is another wireless connection technology that makes use of radio waves with longer coverage than Bluetooth. So two digital devices (phone, tablet, computer) may be able to connect directly to one another through Wi-Fi. Wi-fi can also be used to connect to the internet on a nearby wireless network.

Wi-fi symbol to transfer phone data

Android to Android Transfer of Data by Bluetooth

  • Switch on the Bluetooth symbol in the menu at the top of your phone by clicking it (it lights up immediately). Or, you open Settings > Connected Devices > Pair new devices to turn on your Bluetooth by default. 
  • Ensure also that the Bluetooth symbol is turned on in the other phone as well.
  • Position both phones to be physically close to one another. Each phone will search for the Bluetooth signal of nearby devices, including your phone. 
  • Once the two phones can detect each other, a connection will be established. 
  • Check the option named “Available devices”. The name of the other phone will appear (along with other visible devices using Bluetooth nearby). Click the name of the other phone to connect to it.
  • Each of the two phones will request a key (which should be displayed on the screen). Type in similar keys on both phones to pair them up.
  • On a later date, you may wish to pair both phones/devices. Again, position the two phones close to each other. Then you simply click the name of the other phone under the “Paired devices” option. Your phone will ask for a confirmation, then you click “Accept”. 
  • You may also use an alternative method by clicking Settings > Google > Devices and sharing > Nearby Share. This feature also uses Bluetooth connectivity to send and receive data between Android phones.

Android to Android Transfer of Data by Wi-fi

Ensure both Android phones are well charged (or connected to a steady power supply). Switch on the Wi-Fi symbol in the pull-down ribbon menu at the top of each phone. Then perform the following:

  • You should start the procedure with a Google Drive backup of your phone data (so that your data may not be lost in case of failed transfer).
  • Connect each of the two phones to the nearest Wi-Fi network. 
  • You are advised to sign out of RCS (Rich Communication Service) on your phone’s Messages app on the old/source phone. 

You can do that by opening the Messages app. Then select More options > Settings > Chat features > Enable chat features to switch on/off the toggle button. 

{If you cannot see “Chat features”, you should see “RCS chats”. Select that option.}

  • You can now safely go to Settings > Google > Settings for Google Apps > Google Contacts Sync > Also sync device contacts

Then select Automatic Backup & sync device contacts.

iOS to iOS Transfer of Data by Wi-fi & Bluetooth

Apple makes use of a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless transfer using the feature called Quick Start. To activate the Quick Start feature, you must turn on both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on both your iPhone and the other iOS device. Having done that, do the following: 

  • Position the two iPhones or iOS devices close to one another. You may receive on-screen prompts to set up any of the devices/phones. Follow the instructions.
  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to the nearby Wi-Fi network. If the Wi-Fi is not available, switch on your mobile network. 
  • You may be requested to set up either Touch ID or Face ID. Follow the instructions.
  • You should receive an on-screen prompt on how you wish to transfer the data. There are two options. You can choose to do “direct transfer” from the previous device (you must wait for the transfer to be completed). Or, you choose to download from iCloud, in which case your data and apps can download in the background (while you use your new iPhone/device). Complete the iCloud transfer by selecting Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back up Now.
  • Finally, ensure that both iOS phones/devices remain connected to constant power supply until the data transfer is complete.  

Using Third-party Apps 

You can (and should) use the well-known cloud backup apps on both Android and iOS phones to safely transfer data from phone to phone. These are the popular Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. This method comes with safe storage of all your old/source phone’s data. And you can easily recover all your data at any time in the future.

Besides this, there are also a number of powerful third-party file transfer apps. You can download them from the Google Play store or Apple Store. They include MobileTrans, TrebleShot, SHAREit, AirDroid, Zapya, Zender, EasyShare, Send Anywhere, Filemail, and a host of others. However, this method works best when both phones use the same file transfer app.

Using NFC (Near Field Communication)

NFC consists of a set of short-range wireless signals that can connect two devices within 4 cm distance of each other. It is otherwise called “Android Beam”. NFC can be used to transfer files (documents, photos, videos, and more) between two Android devices (such as smartwatches, cameras, headphones, and mobile phones). Or between an NFC tag and an Android device. And it works on both Android and iOS smartphones. NFC has become increasingly useful for actions such as:

  • contactless payments using your phone
  • two-factor authentication of apps on your phone
  • storing of digital keys to unlock doors
  • accept ATM cards, mobile payments, and NFC payments on your phone
  • digital drivers licenses
  • control electronic devices in the home or office (with the aid of NFC tags)

However, a lot of modern Android phones (with Android 10 and above) are reported to no longer use NFC for phone data transfer. Rather, it has been replaced with Nearby Share (Android) and AirDrop (iOS).  

NFC Transfer of Data on Android

Check and ensure that both devices involved are NFC-enabled. You can proceed to do the following:

  • Check the pull-down ribbon menu on top of your Android phone to locate and click the NFC symbol. Just in case you don’t see it there, open the Settings app on your Android phone. Then select Connected devices > Connected Preferences > NFC to switch on/off the toggle button.
NFC symbol to transfer phone data
  • Thereafter, just switch on the NFC feature on both devices.
  • Open your phone screen to display the file, web page or document you want to share.
  • Tap the back of your phone/device against the back of the other NFC-enabled device.
  • You may need to touch your own phone’s screen. Once the two devices connect, you should feel your device vibrate, or hear a sound. It’s that simple.

NFC Transfer of Data on iOS

First, you have to activate the NFC Background Tag Reading on your iPhone. It is located in the Control Center. For iPhone 7 phones and above, automatic NFC Background Tag Reading ability is available.  

  • For iPhone 7 & 8, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center. For iPhone X, swipe down the top-right hand corner of the phone screen to reveal the Control Center. You will find the NFC Tag Reader symbol there, so you can switch it on. 

And if the NFC symbol is not visible in the Control Center, open Settings > Control Center > More controls > NFC Tag Reader and select it. 

  • Thereafter, you can move your iPhone close to an NFC tag (a device using NFC) or NFC-enabled device. You will see a notification on your screen to indicate that an NFC-enabled device has been detected. Just tap the notification, and follow the instructions.

In-built Phone Data Transfer Apps

Some modern smartphones come with their own in-built phone data transfer apps. There are the likes of Samsung’s Smart Switch and LG’s Mobile Switch which were created for their own phone brands.

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