How to migrate from your old Windows Phone to your new Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL

One of the few downsides of getting a new Windows Phone is having to migrate all the apps, games and settings of your old phone to your new. Many will be picking up the new Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL and the process has gotten a lot easier than it used to be.

The process is no longer as cumbersome as it used to be with everything having to be manually reinstalled and set-up. With the Windows Phone Back-up feature, you can create a backup file for all your games, apps, email accounts, settings and text messages that can easily be restored or migrated to your new Windows Phone.

Windows Phone Backup

The steps are straightforward.

  • From your old Windows Phone (in my case the Lumia 830), go to your settings and scroll down to the Update+Backup section of the settings.
  • Here is where you can choose what gets backed up. So you have the most recent file available, go ahead and tap the Apps+Settings and Text Messages to back them up.
  • Images have the option of being backed up to your OneDrive and accessible from your new Windows Phone. Personally, I store my images on my microSD Card and simply move my card from Phone to Phone.

Once you've created a recent backup file for your Apps+Settings and/or Text Messages, go ahead and start the initial set-up for your new Windows Phone. At some point, you will be asked if you would like to restore a previous Windows Phone backup file. All that is needed is to pick your file, tap okay and sit back and relax.

Windows Phone Restoration

The restoration will adjust your new Windows Phone settings to match your old Windows Phone as best as possible. Just keep in mind that some of the settings on your old phone may not transfer over to your Windows 10 phone. The same is possible with your old apps and games.

The reinstallation will take a little time, but it is a lot easier than finding the app in the Windows Phone Store and manually re-install things one app at a time.

Additional Reading

Support and help forums

Want to chat about the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL? Jump into our forums and ask others what they think or get help and advice on your new phone!

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.