How to Switch Phones Without Losing Any Data

Isaac Fernandez

How to Switch Phones

How to Switch Phones

Are you looking to switch phones? Whether you want the newest model, a different carrier, or to swap brands, you probably want to carry over all your information from your old phone to the new one. You might wonder if I can put my SIM card in another phone and transfer your data that way. But it’s not quite that simple. Switching SIM cards between phones is possible, but it usually won’t move all of your messages, photos, music, passwords, and everything else. For that, you’ll need to do a backup. 

The Backup: Keeping Your Contacts, Photos, Apps and More

While your contacts and information used to be stored on SIM cards, most information is now kept in the cloud. If you switch phones, your first step in moving information to your new phone is to turn on the automatic backup feature on your current phone. This will make sure your information is being secure and saved to a virtual data center. You can also manually backup your data to make sure. While iPhones and Androids have their own built-in systems, sites like Dropbox provide storage alternatives.

If you have an iPhone and want to store your information with Apple, the process is easy. Navigate to Settings, then at the top of the menu, click on your Apple ID. From there, you should be able to see your iCloud information and check that your photos, voice memos, notes, contacts, documents, and more are being stored somewhere other than your phone’s hard drive. Before you switch phones, make sure you have enough space on your iCloud account for all your information. 

On an Android, the process is similar. Go into Settings, then System, then Backup to check that your information is being stored with Google. Most common apps, like Spotify and Netflix, already store their data in the cloud, so you shouldn’t have to do anything extra to keep your account up to date.

After you switch phones. when starting up new phone, you will be asked to log in to your iCloud account, your Google account, or you can go to Dropbox or any other online storage site. If you’ve backed up your old phone onto one of these platforms, logging in to your account should bring all the information onto your new device. 

How to Change a SIM Card

How to Change a SIM Card

Backing up a phone with the cloud is easy, but can you switch SIM cards between phones? The answer is yes, usually. Before you go down the rabbit hole, googling “How to transfer SIM cards?” or begging Alexa “Move SIM card to a new phone,” you should know the process is relatively simple. First, find the SIM tray on your phone. It should look like a slim rectangle, with a small hole on one side. Press into the hole with a bent paper clip or the back of an earring. The SIM tray will pop out, and the card will be resting in it.

From there, carefully remove the SIM card from the tray, and put it into your new phone, using the same process. If the card is too big or too small for the new tray, you’ll need to either get a new SIM card or use an adaptor. If you need a SIM adaptor, make sure to choose a reliable brand – a faulty adaptor can ruin your new phone! 

Changing Carriers

Most SIM cards with phones that use LTE can be transferred as long as both phones are unlocked and compatible with the carrier. You can get lost asking, “Can I put my Cricket SIM card in another phone?” or “Can I transfer my Straight Talk SIM card to another phone?” but if you’re not changing carriers, the switch between phones should be painless. If you’re upgrading your phone within your current network, swap out the SIM card using the method above, and log in to your iCloud or Google account on your new phone. If you’ve done a backup on your old phone, all of the data should be transferred over seamlessly. 

SIM cards are related to the carrier who issues them. If you are changing carriers, you will need to request a new SIM card from the new carrier. Before you do so,  make sure your phone is unlocked; otherwise, the new SIM won’t work in it. If you bought your phone at full price directly from the manufacturer, it should be unlocked. If you purchased it from the carrier and are still paying it off, it is likely locked. You can check with your carrier, your contract, or your IMEI number on the phone to find out for sure. The IMEI number can also tell if your phone will be compatible with your new network.

Switching Phone Brands

If you want to switch from Apple to Android, or vice versa, the same question arises: If I put my SIM card in another phone, what will happen? Surprisingly, Androids and iPhones often use the same size SIM card. To swap out SIMs seamlessly, compare the size, making sure the two phones use the same dimensions. If they do, you should be able to change them out. If both phones are unlocked and on the same network, your service should carry over without a problem. 

Changing the SIM card between Apple and Android may be the easiest part of your transition while moving over your data between these two competitors is another story. You’ll need to consult each brand’s official guide or Apple’s Move to IOS app. Apple and Google work off of different backup systems that are purposefully incompatible. In other words, backing up the data is easy, but accessing your backup as a new Android or Apple customer will require consulting with the company directly.


Unless you’re longing for a complete digital detox, you probably want to carry over all your contacts, apps, music, passwords, and the rest of your old phone’s brain into the new model. If you switch phones, using these backup steps and switching SIM cards should make your transition to a new phone easy.

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