When migrating from an Android device to a de-googled privacy phone, you'll probably want to transfer your contacts, photos, and other personal data. The most secure way to do this is manually by connecting both phones to a personal computer. It may be tempting to install a third-party app that claims to do it with a few clicks. Avoid this at all costs because you'll likely have to sign-up, give personal information, pay for their "services", or worst of all, your data may be harvested to their servers. Instead transfer your personal data securely at no cost by doing it yourself.
This process describes how to export your contacts to a vCard VCF format and save them to your computer. The VCF format of a vCard is similar to the look and feel of an online business card and is a standard address book format.
Export contacts from Android device to a computer
- Open Contacts app
- Tap the hamburger menu in the upper left corner
- Select Settings > Export > Export to .vcf file
- Name the file and select SAVE
- The file is now saved to your old phone's Downloads folder and we need to move it to your computer. To do this send yourself an email from your phone with the .vcf file attached. And open the email on your computer and save the attachment to your hard drive.
- The selected contacts are then saved to your computer as a .vcf file
Once the .vcf vCard file is on your computer, you need to transfer it to your new phone. The follow instructions describe how to transfer the vCard file using a USB cable connecting your new phone to your computer.
Import contacts to new phone:
- Connect new privacy phone to computer using USB type-C cable
- On the phone, pull down notifications from the top of the display
- Tap Charging this device via USB notification (if you don't see this notification, remove the cable from your phone, reconnect it and try step 2 again)
- Tap again where it says Tap for more options
- Settings > USB Preferences menu opens up. Select File Transfer
- The device should now be recognized by the computer.
- From the computer file manager or Finder, click the device's filesystem called Internal shared storage.
- Copy the contacts .vcf file from your computer into the phone's Download folder.
- On the phone, open Contacts app > hamburger menu > Settings > Import.
- Select the .vcf file from the Download folder. Your contacts are now imported into your new phone's Contacts app.
Transfer your photos using a personal computer
This process involves connecting your old Android device to a computer using a USB cable, followed by connecting the new phone to the same computer and copying the photos over. The steps below are for a Windows computer, but will be similar if you are using Linux or Mac.
Step 1, Transfer photos from Android device to PC:
- Connect the Android to your PC with a USB cable
- Turn the phone on and unlock it
- If asked, to trust the computer in use, select Trust
- On your PC, click on the Start Windows button
- Open the Photos app
- Select Import, then select From a connected device
- Follow the instructions and choose which photos and where you want to import
Step 2, Import photos to new phone:
- Connect your new privacy phone to your PC
- Go to the folder where you saved the photos; Select the photos, right-click and select Copy
- Go to This PC, find the icon representing your phone and click the device's filesystem called Internal shared storage
- Open the folders DCIM > Camera
- Right-click and select Paste
If you use Firefox to sync bookmarks, simply download the Fennec app from F-Droid and sign into your Firefox account on your new phone. The other method is to export bookmarks from your internet browser via an .html file from the Android device, then import the file to your new phone, similar to the process above for contacts. Since there are many browsers, the process may vary significantly.
Transferring Calendars and Tasks
If you only have a few entries in your Android device calendar or tasks, it's best to manually recreate them in the new phone's calendar. However, if you depend on the calendar and have extensive entries, there is no easy way to sync calendar events between phones. There are many guides online that tell you to sync using Google Calendar. But since privacy phones do not contain any Google apps, that method isn't an option. Alternatively, if you are technically inclined, DAVx5 is an open-source app that syncs using CalDAV/CardDAV service to your choice of cloud storage (we recommend Nextcloud or OwnCloud).
Some personal data on your Android device is likely app-specific. Therefore, you'll need to refer to the app's documentation or help files to figure out how to migrate data.
If you purchased a privacy phone from us and still need help migrating your personal data, contact us for assistance and we'll be glad to help.