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Should You Restore Your Data to a New Android Phone or Set It Up From Scratch?
December 22, 2022

Should You Restore Your Data to a New Android Phone or Set It Up From Scratch?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When setting up a new Android phone you have the choice to import your data and settings from your old phone or make a completely fresh start.

If you’ve recently bought a new Android phone, you have two options: either restore your old backed-up data or set up the device from scratch. Both options have their pros and cons.

The correct choice for you will depend on the importance of your old data, the purpose of the new phone, the type of user you are, and other factors. Let’s find out what’s right for you.

Why You Should Restore Data to a New Phone

If you regularly back up everything on your phone, restoring data will get you all your old stuff back including photos, videos, songs, documents, and more when switching to a new one. This way, you don’t have to spend time sorting through all your files and transferring them one by one via a third-party app.

When people buy a new phone, they often also sell their old one. If that’s the case with you too, restoring your data is absolutely crucial. After all, you’re going to factory reset the old phone (i.e. erase all data) before handing it over to the buyer, which means you won’t be able to transfer files afterward.

Speaking of factory reset, it’s an effective solution against common Android phone problems such as crashing apps, flickering screens, or similar. After performing a factory reset, restoring data will ensure you don’t lose any of it and can continue to use your phone like normal.

Furthermore, if you tend to upgrade to a new phone often, say, every year or so, then restoring data is the smart thing to do since you’d otherwise have to bother manually transferring your files every time you switch. The latter is time-consuming and inconvenient.

Lastly, know that not all third-party file transfer apps are reliable, and some even collect your personal data for advertising. So, it’s safer to use the built-in data restoration tool that most Android phones come with. Alternatively, you can just sign in to your Google account, and all your data that’s linked to it will automatically get restored.

Why You Should Set Up a New Phone From Scratch

We saw how restoring data can help, but it’s not always the best approach. For instance, setting up your new Android phone from scratch can help you save a lot of storage space.

If you’re transferring data manually, you can choose to leave out junk files and old media items, and only transfer stuff that’s actually important to you—saving space for new files.

Secondly, some people carry two separate phones, namely for work and personal use. And to keep them both isolated from each other, it’s better to set them up from scratch. That way, you can be more careful not to accidentally restore data from one phone to the other.

Another reason why you might want to avoid automatic data restoration is that it can sometimes reduce the quality of media items. You may find that your photos don’t appear as sharp as they used to since their quality was reduced to shrink their file size and restore them much quicker.

In some cases, network fluctuations while restoring data can result in the loss of some files or in-app data. Manual transfer ensures you can overlook that every file is transferred successfully.

Restoring Old Data Is Easier

Restoring backed-up data usually makes more sense than setting up a phone from scratch. This is because, for most people, a phone is simply a portal to their favorite apps and a tool to access their photos, videos, and contacts.

Also, lack of storage space isn’t as big a problem these days considering that the base model of most modern phones starts at 128GB which is enough space for the average user.

Setting up a new phone from scratch does make sense in certain situations, but it also requires more active participation from your end as a user which is an inconvenience for most people and not worth the time.


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