Jim Fisher

In the early days of smartphones, you had to possess fairly advanced knowledge to perform your own smartphone backups or restore data to a new phone. After restoration, you had to spend the rest of the day re-downloading and signing into your apps such as Facebook and Snapchat, reset your various ringtones, and move your app shortcuts to your home screen. Things are so much more simple now, yet clients still ask me on a daily basis how to move their data from one phone to another.

For Android users, the great news is that it’s likely that your phone is already backed up to the cloud. You can easily check that by opening your settings, then scrolling down to a heading that includes “backup.” On my Samsung, it’s under “backup and restore.” On other brands, it may be worded differently. Once you’re in that area, look for “Google Drive.” Click that and all will be revealed. Google generously offers 15GB of free backup space for your phone. If you’ve exceeded that amount, you will have to either delete stuff from your phone or pay for more storage. You can purchase 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month. You can also give family members 100GB of storage at no extra charge.

Once your stuff is safely backed up, you can rest easy knowing that you can move your stuff to a new phone if it becomes necessary. When you turn on your new Android for the first time, you will be asked to enter to Gmail username and password. The phone will then ask if you wish to restore your old data. The process may take hours to complete if you have lots of data.

iPhone users have a similar feature in iCloud but Apple is much more stingy with its cloud storage. iPhone users only receive 5GB of iCloud storage. If you have more than 5GB of stuff on your phone your stuff is not being backed up and bad things will happen if you drop your phone into the ocean. You can purchase 50GB of additional storage for $0.99 per month and share that storage with 5 family members. To check the backup status, simply go to Settings, then click “iCloud,”

If you’re trading your iPhone for another iPhone, Apple makes it really easy to transfer everything. You simply turn on your new phone, enter your Apple ID and password, and the new phone will ask if you want to transfer your stuff from your old phone through an easy and clever process of QR codes and BlueTooth.

The bottom line is that backing up and restoring your phone is a breeze compared to the old days of manual backups. Your first priority is to make sure your phone is, in fact, backing up, long before you drop it into the ocean so get on that right away.

Jim Fisher owns Excel Computer Services in Florence. Reach him at www.ExcelAL.com