How to set up a new phone

Don’t pay a retailer hundreds of dollars to set up your new phone – it’s easy when you know how.

20nov how to set up a new phone hero

Some retailers charge hundreds of dollars to transfer all your data to a new phone, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide.

There are four main scenarios: Apple-to-Apple, Android-to-Android, and going between the two. We’ll walk you through all of them.

Before you start

Preparation is half the battle:

  • Leave your SIM card in your old phone until the set-up is complete (in case you need to get a code via text message or any other two-step verification method).
  • Note down any logins and passwords you need, including your WiFi, Google and/or Apple accounts.
  • You will have to log in to any apps that require it as your details will not be transferred. A password manager application can help with this.
  • The main thing to note is that you need to back up your current phone online before starting on your new one. This is a good thing to do regularly anyway, in case you lose or break your phone.

Apple to Apple

This is the simplest transfer process and brings across all your information, including text messages.

  1. Turn on your new iPhone and follow the on-screen instructions to start.
  2. When prompted, bring your old iPhone close to your new one and the transfer process will start.
  3. Follow the prompts as they show up to bring across the information and settings from your old phone.
  4. It can take a while, so remember to keep the phones close to each other during the transfer. Note: your new phone may need to do a software update as part of the set-up.
  5. All the apps from your old phone will re-download to your new one.

Android to Android

Screenshots showing the Android set up process

Depending on brand, your new phone may have a bespoke transfer app that can connect your phones and transfer data between them. For example, Oppo uses one called “Clone Phone” while Samsung has “Smart Switch”. The apps sometimes work with Apple devices as well.

You can either use the app or follow the same steps as for Apple to Android and use Google Drive (either will transfer your data). However, the bespoke app is more likely to bring over your text messages as well.

Depending on how the phone works, your old apps may automatically download or you may need to find them in the app store.

Apple to Android

This will transfer all your contacts, photos, videos and calendar events. It won’t transfer text messages or data from other apps.

  1. First, download the Google Drive app to your iPhone.
  2. Log in with the Google Account you’ll use on your new phone.
  3. In the settings menu, select “backup”.
  4. Choose all the things you want to back up and then press the “start backup” button. (It may take a while depending on how much you’re backing up).
  5. Turn on your new phone and go through the set-up instructions.
  6. As you go through the process it might ask you again if you’re switching from iPhone. This will download the information you have in iCloud. You can do this as well, but it will mostly replicate the Google Drive back-up.
  7. Once you’ve finished going through the set-up, you’ll find all your photos in the Google Photos app, contacts in the Contacts app and calendar events in the Calendar app.

Android to Apple

This will transfer your Google data, including your contacts, photos, videos and calendar events, from your Android phone to your new iPhone.

  1. On your old phone, download the Move To iOS app from the Google Play store.
  2. Turn on the iPhone and start the set-up.
  3. Choose “set up manually”.
  4. Follow the steps through and add in your details.
  5. When you reach the “Apps & Data” page, choose “Move Data from Android”.
  6. On your old phone, open the Move to iOS app and allow it access to all of your files (it can’t transfer them if you don’t).
  7. Your new iPhone will generate a code to enter into your old Android. When you do this, your Android phone will connect to a WiFi network generated by the iPhone.
  8. On your Android, select the information you want to transfer and then press start.
  9. After the transfer, finalise set-up on your new Apple device.
  10. Once you sign in with your Apple ID (or create a new one), the phone will download any free apps you had on your Android. You will need to repurchase any paid apps.

Stay in the know

Keep up-to-date with Consumer's latest news, investigations and product and service reviews, plus join the Consumer panel with invitations to take part in surveys.

Member comments

Get access to comment

Jacqueline d.
22 Nov 2020
2degrees

I've bought my last two phones from 2 degrees Wellington. In both cases, the staff transferred my information while I waited for no charge. And they answered my questions about set-up details.

Lawrence Cartmell
22 Nov 2020
iPhone to iPhone transfer.

Having recently transferred data from an older iPhone to newer iPhone twice recently, a useful piece of information at the start of the process is to switch both phones off, get the new phone started to the point where it tells you to hold it close to the old phone and then switch on the old phone. The Bluetooth (which must be on in the old phone) recognition process seems to work best when this is done.