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How To Set Up Your New Android Phone (2023)

Set up security features like the device unlock passcode and the fingerprint unlocking feature, if your phone offers it. You may get the option to set up Google Pay and some other perks, depending on your phone. Lastly, you can decide if you want to use Google Assistant and set up voice commands if you do.

Restoring Your Backup

Screenshot: Google via Simon Hill

Signing in to your Google account makes it easy to set up a new phone. Things like contacts, calendars, and text messages that are tied to your Google account—whether you stashed them there from the web or your old phone—can flow onto your new device after you log in. You can choose what you want to restore from your most recent backup. Treat it as an opportunity to scan your app list and ditch any old apps or games you no longer use.

Depending on your new Android phone, you may be able to copy data from your old device directly. While you can do this via Wi-Fi, connecting the two phones with a cable is the fastest and easiest way to copy your old data (especially photos and videos), so we recommend doing that if you’re given the option. 

If you don’t get the option to copy data directly or prefer not to, you’ll need 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 where your pictures get saved when 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 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, your software must be up to date. Look in Settings and System, and then tap System update to ensure you have the latest available version of Android. You should also open the Play Store app, tap your profile picture at the top right, and 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.)