Article ID : SX915803 / Last Modified : 14/07/2020

How do I back up, restore or transfer my content using Google's cloud services? (2019-2020 products)

How do I transfer content, e.g. contacts, SMS messages and photos to my new phone? / Which is the easiest way to transfer my data to a new phone? / I bought a new phone and want to transfer content from my old phone. How do I do this? / I want to make sure my data is backed up. How do I do this? / How do I restore backed up data? / How do I migrate my data in an easy way? / How do I transfer, back up and restore my data with Google Drive? / How do I sync data with Google?

    You should always make sure that personal content on your device, e.g. photos, videos, SMS text messages, contacts, and applications are synced or backed up on a regular basis.

    Regular backups: 

    • Ensure content transfers smoothly to another device

    • Allow you to restore content to your current device after a factory data reset

    The recommended solution is to use Google's cloud services: Google account sync, Google Drive, and Google Photos. An alternative method is to use a PC or SD card. 

    Note: It's very important that you remember your:

    • Google account password or any other password that you set when making a backup.
    • Device's screen lock PIN, pattern, or password since this is used for encryption of some data.


    Synchronising data with your Google account

    You can automatically sync data in your Google apps, e.g. calendar and contacts, with your Google account. To access the data on a new device, or on a device which has been reset to its factory settings, simply sign in to your Google account. Start by checking that automatic data sync is enabled, then decide which apps you want to sync with your Google account.

    The following Google apps and data can be automatically synced for each Google account: 

    • Calendar
    • Chrome
    • Contacts
    • Docs
    • Drive
    • Gmail
    • Google Fit data
    • Google News
    • Google Play Movies & TV
    • Keep notes
    • People details
    • Play Games Cloud Save
    • Sheets
    • Slides

    Note: Specific apps that can be automatically synced might differ depending on your device model, Android version, installed apps and settings. 

    To enable automatically sync data

    1. Find and tap Settings → Accounts.
    2. Tap the switch beside Automatically sync data to enable the feature. 

    To automatically sync data for individual apps

    1. Find and tap Settings → Accounts.
    2. Tap the relevant Google account. 
    3. Tap Account sync.
    4. Tap the switches beside different apps to enable or disable automatic sync. 
    5. To sync manually, tap(menu icon) → Sync now


    Backing up, restoring or transferring your data using Google Drive

    Google Drive is a cloud storage app that allows you to upload backups to Google. Your backups are encrypted using your Google account password. For some data, your device's screen lock PIN, pattern, or password is also used for encryption. The backup is then used to restore your data and settings to a device which has been reset to its original factory settings or to transfer your data to a new device. 
    The backup includes: 

    • Apps and app data
    • Call history
    • Contacts
    • Device settings (including Wi-Fi passwords and permissions)
    • Photos and videos
    • SMS text messages

    Note: What is included in the backup might differ depending on your device model, Android version, installed apps and settings. Make sure to check what is applicable for your specific device when you enable the feature.

    To back up data to Google Drive

    1. Find and tap Settings → System → Advanced → Backup.

    2. Tap the switch beside Back up to Google Drive to turn the feature on.
    3. Tap Account, then choose a Google account to use.
    4. Tap OK → DONE.

    To restore or transfer data from Google Drive

    On an Xperia device which has been reset to its original factory settings, or on a new Xperia device:

    1. Turn on your device.
    2. When prompted in the setup guide, connect to a Wi-Fi network.
    3. When prompted in the setup guide to Copy apps & data, tap NEXT.
    4. Tap either A backup from an Android phone or A backup from the cloud. Both options allow you to restore data from Google Drive. 
    5. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your data.

    Note: If you did not restore your backed up data from Google Drive during the setup process, it might still be possible to fix this by tapping the Xperia setup notification in the status bar or at the top of the Settings menu. If the notification is no longer available, you will need to reset your device to its original factory settings and set it up again to restore your data from Google Drive. 


    Backing up and synchronising photos and videos using Google Photos

    Using Google Photos, you can back up and sync photos and videos on your Xperia device and external memory card (SD card) to a Google account. This way all your photos and videos are backed up and secure.

    To activate back up and sync of photos and videos

    If you are using Google Photos for the first time

    1. Make sure that you're signed in on your device with the Google account you want to use for back up and sync.
    2. Find and tap Photos. ​The first time you open the app, a Back up & sync window opens in the lower part of the screen.
    3. Check that the switch to the right of Back up & sync is active.
    4. Check that the shown Google account is the one you want to use for back up and sync, then tap Confirm.

    If you have already used Google Photos

    1. Make sure that you're signed in on your device with the Google account you want to use for back up and sync.
    2. Find and tap Photos
    3. In the upper right corner, tap the cloud icon. When Back up & sync is not active, the cloud icon has an oblique line. 
    4. Tap the switch next to Back up & sync is off to turn the feature on.   
    5. Check that the shown Google account is the one you want to use for back up and sync, then tap Confirm.

    Note: Photos and videos which are stored on your device or SD card will be shown in the Google Photos app on your device, no matter if they are backed up to your Google account or not. Back up & sync must be active for the photos and videos to be backed up to your Google account.