A proud owner of a new Nokia Lumia phone? This guide will help you transfer essential data from your current phone such as your contacts, photos, and calendar events to the Nokia Lumia.
We will take a look at two ways this can be done: using a Windows PC as a conduit, or directly from your old phone to the Nokia Lumia.
You have two options in order to sync your personal data from your older phone to the Nokia Lumia. The first path to do this is through a PC client and will sync your personal data to the cloud; the Nokia Lumia will then download the data from the cloud. This path requires that you currently own an older Nokia device.
The second path is using just the two phones, no mediator needed; the data will be transferred directly from one phone to the other.
We will explore both options, since these two paths are not mutually exclusive: You might want to do both to ensure that your personal data also has a home on the cloud, apart from being transferred to the Nokia Lumia.
What you will need to get started
Apart from the phones in question, you will need the following:
- If you are coming from an older Nokia phone, download the Nokia Suite (http://www.nokia.com/global/support/nokia-suite/)
- If you had a non-Nokia phone, you will need an app. See ‘Syncing data from iPhone, Blackberry, or Android to the Nokia Lumia’ for more
- In either cases, you will need a Microsoft account first
Step 0: Setting up your Microsoft account
Skip this step, if you already have a Microsoft account setup. Your Microsoft account (erstwhile Windows Live ID/Hotmail account) is a one-stop pass to access everything Microsoft. If you are an Xbox Live user, then you already have one of these; ditto if you use services such as Hotmail (now Outlook.com). For Windows Phone 8 devices, the Microsoft account is used to access the Store (where the apps reside).
Setting up is simple, follow these steps on your Nokia Lumia phone:
- Unlock your phone to access the home screen
- Flick left from the home screen to access the app screen
- Scroll down to find the Settings app, it should have a gear icon next to it
- Find the ‘email + accounts’ entry under Settings, tap on it
- Click on ‘add an account’ to add a Microsoft account
Follow the on-screen prompts to add a Microsoft account.
Now that you have a Microsoft account setup, we have the two options that we spoke of. Once again, you can take both routes if you have a Nokia Symbian device. Let’s start with the cloud setup.
Using SkyDrive to backup and sync your contacts from an older Nokia phone
If you are coming to the Nokia Lumia from an older Nokia Symbian phone, then this is the way to go. First, if you don’t already have it, download the Nokia Suite (http://www.nokia.com/global/support/nokia-suite/), then set it up and launch it. You will need a Nokia account to do so. This is a two-stage process: first, you will copy your phone’s data to SkyDrive; then you will sign in with your Microsoft account on your Nokia Lumia phone to access the copied content.
Once you have the Nokia Suite started, follow these steps:
- Click on Tools > Upload to Skydrive
- Click on Start
- In the next screen you can choose the data you wish to sync to the cloud. NOTE: you can only copy photos which are in these formats: jpg, gif, png
- Before you can start the sync, the Nokia Suite will ask you to grant it permission to access your SkyDrive account. This will require you to sign in to your Microsoft account. Please do so and then click on Yes in the next screen
- That’s pretty much that. The Nokia Suite will now transfer your personal data to SkyDrive
- Once done, you have finished the first stage of this sync process
Your contacts will now be stored in the SkyDrive Phonebook. Your photos will be saved to an album named after your old phone (E5-00, in my case).
To complete the process, log in to your Microsoft account on your Nokia Lumia if you haven’t already (see Step 0). If you had logged in earlier, your data should start syncing with your Nokia Lumia phone through SkyDrive, give it some time…
This process has synced your photos, contacts and calendar entries, but what about your SMS messages, you ask? Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward way to sync your messages to the Nokia Lumia using the Nokia Suite; at least as of this writing. But fret not, the second option will also allow you to upload your SMSes!
Syncing data from iPhone, Blackberry, or Android to the Nokia Lumia
You should consider this route if:
- You want to transfer your data from an iPhone, an Android, or a Blackberry
- You want to transfer your contacts and SMS messages
This method uses an app on the Nokia Lumia phone. The app wont’ transfer your calendar entries or your photos currently; although, the latter is hinted at in a future release of the app.
Let’s get started, follow these steps:
- On your Nokia Lumia phone click on the Store icon to access the apps marketplace
- Click on ‘Apps from Nokia’
- Scroll down to find the app called ‘Transfer my Data’; it’s a free app from Nokia
- Tap on it, download it
- Tap the Nokia Lumia’s home button
- Swipe left to access the app screen. Scroll down to find the Transfer my Data app. Tap to launch
- To transfer SMS messages and contacts from your old phone to the Nokia Lumia, you will need to enable Bluetooth on both phones
- Tap Continue in the Transfer my Data app, the next screen will prompt you to turn on your Bluetooth if it isn’t on
- Meanwhile, turn on the Bluetooth on your other phone and make sure the phone is discoverable
- Once Bluetooth is turned on, the Nokia Lumia will search for your other phone and will ask you to pair the two. Follow the on-screen prompts on both phones to set up the pairing
- Tap on your older phone to start the transfer process
- You can transfer your contacts and text messages
- The next screen will show you the transfer progress. Depending on the data being transferred, this can take several minutes. Keep the phones close to each other and let them complete the process
- All done! You will find your contacts under the Nokia Lumia phone’s People Hub and your text messages under the Messaging app
It’s really strange that the Nokia Lumia doesn’t sync with the older Nokia Suite – that would’ve eliminated the need to juggle two different apps, across different platforms. Nevertheless, this is how things are, and all said and done, it’s not very difficult to get data from the older Nokias to the Nokia Lumia series of phone.
To conclude: (1) you can transfer your contacts, calendar and photos using a combination of Nokia Suite and SkyDrive (assuming you are coming to the Nokia Lumia from an older Nokia phone). (2) you can transfer your contacts and text messages using a native Nokia Lumia app, over Bluetooth (assuming you are coming to the Nokia Lumia from a non-Nokia phone).