Can I sync my new phone via a Google account & then use SMSBackupRestore?

Still trying to figure out how to move from an old phone whose battery can’t be charged and is almost dead. The old phone has been synced via Google. But my texts and possibly some of my photos and audio recordings have not been synced.

Can I sync the new phone with the old phone via Google, and then try to figure out how to move my texts via SMSBackupRestore? Or, if I use it to restore on the new phone, would that overwrite any new texts that have arrived in the meantime? Ditto for photos. Tnx for your help.

Hi @gehringer,

If your phone still has any power, the answer to your question is yes. Sync as much as you can. If you think there are text messages missing, then the third-party app is a great way to back them up and move them to the phone. My experience has always been that bringing text messages to the new phone with SMS backup and restore does not result in any duplicate or lost text messages.

I’m not clear on how you were hoping to copy the photos in addition to having already synced them. You’d be more likely to end up with some duplicates than to lose some by manually copying them to the new phone. If you’ve synced them to, then they are not automatically downloaded to the phone, even though they are visible in the Photos app.

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Thank you, Southpaw.

I tried to restore from Google, but (1) it told me it found my tablet backup from yesterday, but not my phone backup. I am assuming this is because when you give it a phone number, it already knows it is restoring from that phone number, so it doesn’t ask.

And (2) in the process of restoring, it asks,

< Verify your phone number

To make sure it’s really you, we’ll send you a code through a text message … and then asks for your phone number. I give it my phone number, but since my phone is not set up, I cannot receive the text.

This seems like a dead end, unless I boot my own phone again and use more of its dying battery power. Is there a way to verify my phone number without having a phone? I’d think it would send to an email address, but it doesn’t (maybe a 2fa issue).

What should I do?


I don’t believe this is the case, as I don’t think Google associates phone numbers with devices. It typically presents all devices on the account that have backed up recently.

I would think that if your old phone is not listed as an option from which you can restore, then either the old phone is using a different Google account than the one you’ve signed into on the new phone, or you’ve never allowed the old phone to back up to Google.

Maybe following these steps from a computer would allow you to see what phones are backed up to your Google account:

Find and manage backups (from Manage & restore your mobile backups in Google Drive - Computer - Google Drive Help)

Important: If you delete a backup, you can’t get it back.

  1. Go to
  2. On the bottom left under “Storage,” click the number.
  3. On the top right, click Backups.
  4. Choose an option:
  • View details about a backup: Right-click the backup and then Preview Preview|autox18.
  • Delete a backup: Right-click the backup and then Delete Backup Remove

Yes, if you have 2-factor authentication set up, then it must send you a text message in order for you to log into the Google account. If you don’t want to turn on the old phone to receive the text message, you can receive that text message by setting up Republic Anywhere on a computer.

Thank you for that information!

Although I could have sworn my photos were backed up, I just opened the Google Drive app on my tablet, the only other device I have it installed on. The only backup it shows is for “This device.” I do have one other Google account, but when I switch to that, there’s not even a Backups option on the menu.

So …

  • Any idea where/how I could have seen my photos backed up if Google backup is not set up on my phone? The backup was about 14 days out of date, as I recall.
  • What now? I suspect that backing up my phone to Google may take a lot of power (and I’m below 20% charge). But, it might not take more power than moving to another phone via Smart Switch … even if I could get both phones to connect to the same wifi, which I have not been able to do. I could also run Smart Switch via a cable (which I have acquired). But it won’t connect, possibly because the charging port is damaged on the old phone.
    Any advice would be appreciated.


< Email address removed for your privacy >

The old phone with a 20% charge… it’s a moto G5+ right?

If so, you can pop in an SD card (up to 128gb) and copy off the data, photos… then, pop the SD card into the Samsung a51 to move it over.

Yes, a G5+.

That certainly evades the troubled charging port, but what app or command would I use to copy everything off? It’s not just the data, photos, contacts, etc., but also the installed apps.


[Personal information redacted from post]

Installed apps don’t back-up off the phone by any of the means you’ve been trying. Apps are restored by redownloading them from the Google Play Store. If the app developer supports Play Store data backups or have account backups, then the app data is also restored.

Thanks again.

Let’s return to my previous question: How do I set up backup to Google on my Republic Moto G5+? I have found this web page, but it says, “the procedure you use to enable the backup may differ depending on whether you use a Pixel phone, a Samsung Galaxy phone, or one from another manufacturer.” Since my battery is already dying and can’t be recharged, I’d like to know the exact procedure so I can go right to it.

And, also, very importantly, I want to be able to trigger a backup immediately. How can I do this?


The backup feature on older Android devices doesn’t really do much?

Do you see your contacts here? and your photos here: ?

If so, the only thing that’s really missing is your texts. Nothing else backs up.

Yes, THAT’s where I saw my photos! They are there, up to date.
I see my contacts too, though somewhat fewer than I thought I had. Still, I can’t put my finger on anyone that is missing.

From an earlier message, it seems that I would need to reinstall all my apps from the Play Store. Figuring out all the passwords and account names might be a challenge … Are passwords covered by Android backup?


[Personal information redacted]

Not usually no. That’s a security measure to keep someone from cloning your phone and having access to bank accounts, email, etc.

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