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Set up the new Android phone you got for Christmas

The presents are claimed and everyone’s relaxing, so now we’re on to the most important part of the holiday: getting everything working.

Hopefully, Santa brought you that new phone you’ve been craving. If you’re upgrading or switching from iPhone to Android, this is when we switch it on and get things running, but there are a few steps we need to take before digital bliss.

Find out what you need to get your Android up in working order. I’ll walk you through some steps typical of Androids.

First things first

First, you’ll want to take a few minutes to unpack the box and make sure you’ve got all the accessories out. You never know what you might need. You’ll also want to plug your new Android phone in while you go through setup. It’s also smart to make a backup of your old phone before you start your upgrade, just in case.

Android is a little more of a Wild West than Apple devices, so the screens and setup process may be a little different depending on who made your phone. However, the process is pretty much the same, so don’t get stressed if it’s out of order. Every phone manufacturer does things a little differently.

Insert your SIM Card

The SIM card is a tiny little chip about the size of the tip of your little finger that helps your phone connect to the cellular network. If you’re upgrading your phone and want to use your existing carrier and phone number, you’ll need to take out the SIM card from your old phone and put it in the new one.

Check the manual or website for your old phone to figure out where to find it, although it’s usually around the battery. Check the manual or website for your new phone to figure out where the SIM card goes and slide it in.

If you bought your phone online from a carrier, the SIM card may be in the box. If they set up your phone for you at the store, then it may already be installed.

Bonus: How to unlock Android’s secret menu.

Turn your phone on and connect to Wi-Fi

Once the battery is charged and you’ve got the SIM card in, press the power button and let the phone boot up. It may ask you for some preliminary information, but one of the first things you’ll want to do is connect to your home Wi-Fi.

Even if your phone is the latest and greatest and has blazing-fast cellular data, there’s still updates and information your phone needs. Connect it to your home Wi-Fi and save that bandwidth for Netflix or Fortnite. Just find your network name and punch in your password.

Get your data

If you want this to act like a brand new device, select Set up as new. However, you may already have pictures, apps, and contacts you want on your phone. For that, you’ll want to choose Copy your data.

Specific options vary by manufacturer and Android version, but you will usually be able to copy the data wirelessly from your old phone or use that backup you made earlier to copy over the information. Your new phone should walk you through exactly what you need to do. Just follow the prompts on the screen.

Sign in to your Google account

If you used a backup, the phone will already have your information, but you’ll still need to input your password and set up a few security settings. If you’re new to Android, you can use your existing Gmail account, which will tie your phone to your existing Google information. If you’re completely new to the Googleverse, you’ll want to set up an account.

Set up your security options

Different phones can do different things, but one thing they all do is try to protect your information from thieves. This may include facial or fingerprint recognition or even an iris scan—that means your eyeball—to get into it. And there’s always the good old PIN. Use as many as you can, for safety’s sake.

Bonus: How to make your Android fingerprint reader work every time.

Activate your assistants

If you’ve been dreaming of saying “OK, Google … ” and having the world at your fingertips, this is where it begins. There may be other assistants and services you want to set up, but the Google Assistant is the big one. You may have to chat with a bit so it can learn your voice.

Bonus: 5 amazing things you can do with Google Assistant.

Finish the setup process

As stated several times, the specifics of the setup process vary by manufacturer, so there may be additional things to set up and apps you want to download for your specific phone. This may be things like setting up an account on the manufacturer website to get notifications or downloading custom apps to make things just the way you want.

OK, Google, now let’s have some fun …

Learn more ways to use your new Android with Kim’s eBook, “Android for Seniors: Tips and Tricks,” available for Amazon Kindle.

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