How To Set Up Your New Android Smartphone Or Tablet


Let’s Get Started

We’ll skip the obvious stuff you’re already doing, like opening the box, charging, and powering your phone. Past the initial self-explanatory part of the setup, you’ll be greeted by Android’s first startup screen, welcoming you to your new device. These screens may look slightly different depending on your phone and carrier (we used a Pixel 7 for this setup process), but everything should be pretty similar.

The first thing your phone will ask you to do is start up a data connection, whether with your cellular connection or a WiFi network. We almost always recommend using a WiFi network here since WiFI is typically a little more reliable and consistently faster than a cellular carrier. Feel free to skip this step and do everything with your cellular data if you have a big enough data plan. Remember that this process might use up a good chunk of data, so be cautious if you’re on a metered data plan.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

If you select a WiFi network, you’ll be prompted to enter the network’s password to connect. Your phone should save this password automatically, though, so you’ll be able to reconnect from here on out quickly.

Restore Date

The next step of the setup process will try and take some of the headaches out of things for you. If you’re coming from a previous smartphone and still have access to that phone, you can connect it to your new phone and drag the data over via a wired connection. This can be incredibly simple, especially if you’re going from an Android phone to another Android phone.

It can also be a little tricky if it’s an iPhone or a phone you don’t have a straight, compatible cable for; sorry to anyone who’s waited this long to upgrade from a phone with a mini USB connector.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

If you can cable things over, great. You can skip a few steps in this process since it’ll bring over your contacts, apps, messages, Google accounts, and more, depending on the phone. If not, don’t worry; we’ll walk you through doing it manually.

Don’t Have An Old Phone To Hand?

Fortunately, even without being able to connect things directly, Google backs up a lot of your data and history to your Google account. The next step will ask you to sign in and authenticate yourself to use your account on your new phone; we’d highly recommend trying to use the same Google account you had before to simplify this process.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

You will have to pass any two-factor authentication steps here, but once you sign in to your Google account, you’ll be prompted to choose a backup to restore data from. You might see multiple backups here, especially if you have multiple devices, so obviously, be mindful of what you pick. Try to grab the most recent one, too.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

These direct backups should restore almost all of your phone’s important data, such as messages, contacts, app data, and settings. This is one of the fastest ways to get started with your new phone, and best of all, it’ll restore in the background while you keep setting things up.

Security

After you choose your backup/restore options, you’ll soon see the screens where you set up device security. This section will differ a bit depending on what sensors your phone has, but generally, you’ll see the initial screen lock options (PIN, password, or pattern) that have been standard on Android for generations, followed by the option to set up biometrics security like a fingerprint or facial recognition.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

We recommend turning some kind of lock screen security on, if nothing else, because some mobile payments and apps won’t work if that security isn’t turned on. But you don’t want people taking liberties with your phone.

The biometrics are a little more optional but incredibly convenient. This process will change depending on your phone’s sensors, but the following steps will walk you through getting your fingerprint or facial scan registered to your phone. Even if you set these up, don’t forget that initial passcode! Your phone will prompt you for the fallback authentication after a device restart, upgrade, or after too many failed biometric attempts.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

The good news is that your device backup and security are the two biggest parts of setting a phone up. The remaining steps are all fairly personalized and simple.

You’ve Got Choices To Make

Google will prompt you if you’d like to allow access to Google Assistant while the phone is locked, so you won’t have to unlock your device just to ask questions or set a timer with your voice. You can also pick and choose your data-sharing preferences and analytics here, and you’ll start to see some of the options that likely depend on your mobile carrier and the extra features and tracking they offer.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

Fortunately, these days, most of the remaining setup process does a decent job of guiding you through, but you will start to see some more device-specific things from here on out. For example, Samsung phones will prompt you to sign in or set up a Samsung account for those Galaxy-specific features. AT&T or Verizon may offer to turn on things like WiFi calling or to download a set of their recommended application for carrier features.

Other devices may ask you to tweak your wallpaper, font choice, backup settings, and more.

You Can Always Change Your Choices

At this point, none of these steps will have a major impact on your smartphone experience, and you can generally change those decisions (like your wallpaper or font) after the fact. Everything’s in an easily accessible spot up front, but nothing is set in stone.

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Image: Talk Android / Jared Peters

But after a few more clicks and next buttons, you should be dropped right into your home screen with your phone ready to go. Depending on the size of your backups, you might be waiting for everything to reinstall for a bit.

In the meantime, you can start downloading apps from the Play Store, sending text messages, browsing the internet, or playing games—time to start enjoying that brand-new phone.





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