Moving from one phone to another can be as traumatic as changing schools or moving to a new city. To make the transition less painful, you can use Google One to back up and restore Android.
What is Google One?
Every Google account includes 15 GB of storage shared across Gmail, Google Drive, and Photos. According to Google, the only files that don’t consume your free space are “Shared with Me” items and photos or videos backed up in Storage saver quality or Express quality before June 1, 2021. Any media you purchase on Google Play doesn’t use your free space either.
You can get additional Google One storage if you pay a monthly or annual fee. As of 2023, you can increase the storage capacity from 100 GB all the way up to 30 TB. Other benefits include customer support, family sharing (up to six people), Google Store benefits, hotel discounts, and Google’s VPN.
You can download and install the Google One app from Google Play for free. However, when you open the app, you’re prompted to select a subscription. You can’t use this app if you want to stick with the free 15 GB plan.
How to Back Up Your Android Device Using Google One
After installation, the first time you launch Google One app, it prompts you with three toggles to back up “Device Data,” “Multimedia Messages,” “Photos and Videos,” and to “Back Up Using Cellular Data.” Enable these to suit your preferences. Google One enables the “Device Data” option by default.
The app loads with the Home tab open by default. Let’s go to the “Backup” card.
Here, you’ll see all the things that will be backed up. If you’re ready to save your phone’s media in its current state, go to “Manage Backup” and select “Back Up Now.”
Remember that Google One doesn’t back up any media sent through the phone manufacturer’s texting app automatically. You have to save any attached media manually to Google Photos, which is included if you enable the “Photos and Videos” backup option.
However, if you use Google’s Messages app as your default messaging client, Google One will back up everything automatically.
Restore Your Device Using Google One
If you’re moving from an old phone or replacing a damaged unit, Android’s setup process already includes a restore option that works pretty well. You’ll be prompted to connect your old device with a USB cable or restore from an automatic backup.
Sadly, this is now the only option you have for restoring an Android device. Previous versions of this guide included steps for using a “Restore From Your Backup” feature. However, it has since been removed from Google One. There are other options for restoring apps and games, transferring contacts, and copying music to new devices.