1. Backup

First, decide what you need. For me, it’s photos, contacts, messages, and some specific app data. You can achieve this by loading up an SD card that you transfer to the new phone, plugging in a USB drive if you have the right adapter cable, or by using a computer, which is what we will do in this guide as fewer phones are including expandable storage these days.

If you are opting for one of the first two options, just replace any “transfer to and from the computer” steps with “transfer to your USB/SD card”.

Connecting Your Phone To a Computer
Connect your phone to a computer via USB, choose the “File transfer” option from the “Charging this device via USB” notification in the pull down menu.

Using your file explorer on your computer, navigate through the file structure of the phone and transfer your photos to your computer. Make sure to look in the “Pictures”, “Download”, “Documents”, and “DCIM” folders. “DCIM” is where the photos you have taken on your device will end up, but anything downloaded or transferred from somewhere else will likely be in the other folders. You could also transfer your photos to a cloud storage solution, but this generally takes longer than a local transfer.

In the contacts app, go into settings and select export. Choose the contacts.vcf file, and you’ll choose where to save it. While the phone is connected to your computer, transfer the file over to the computer.

Aegis, NewPipe, and Notally
These apps have a very similar export function, where you can go into the settings and export a backup file. Aegis will require a password when you import the vault later, so don’t forget it! Get all three of these files onto the computer.

Loop Habit Tracker
This one has a slightly odd way of exporting a backup, in that the only option is to “share” the file. You can share the .csv file via Bluetooth to another device (maybe the new phone), or you can send it to yourself via email or signal (Using the “Note To Self” Contact).

Signal Messages
If you have a new phone entirely, and will have access to both phones when you’re setting up the new one, you can skip this step. If not, read on.

Go into Signal and choose “Chats” in the settings menu. From there, choose “Chat Backups”. Choose a folder for your backups, and it will set up a passphrase to gain access to the encrypted messages. Make sure to take note of the Passphrase! I take a screenshot of the pop up, and transfer the screenshot to the new phone along with the other photos. You will then generate a backup file of all your messages. Get this transferred to the computer as well.

2. Set Up Your New Phone From Backup

Once you have your new phone, flashed or otherwise, connect it to the computer in file transfer mode using the same method as earlier.

Transfer all the backup files to the phone, and the photos if you want them.

If you haven’t swapped the sim card into the new phone, you can do that now.

When opening the contacts app for the first time, you will be greeted with an import button. This option can be found in the settings if it’s not the first time opening the app. Navigate to where you transferred the backup files and open “contacts.vcf”. This will automatically fill your contacts list with your old contacts.

Install The Apps
Next, install all the apps that had data from your old phone. For me, after installing F-Droid and Aurora Store, this is Signal, Aegis Authenticator, NewPipe, Notally, and Loop Habit Tracker. Check Out Our Top Apps For De-Googled Phones

Signal Messages
When first opening the app, choose the “Transfer or restore account” option. If you have a new device and still have access to your old device, choose “Transfer from Android Device” and follow the instructions. If not, you will have created a chat backup earlier. Choose “Restore from backup”, and navigate to that file. Here is where you will need to put in that long passphrase that was generated when you enabled chat backups.

Aegis, NewPipe, Notally, and Habit Tracker
These apps all follow a similar process: navigate to the settings of each app and find the “import” option, find the appropriate file that you transferred earlier, and the app will import all the data from your previous phone.

3. That’s it.

From there, you’re done, everything important from your old phone should have been transferred over, and your new phone should be good to go. If you have any questions, queries or concerns, feel free to contact us.