How to transfer stuff from your old phone to your new Moto X using Motorola Migrate


The Moto X has plenty of cool features, but one feature that doesn’t get as much buzz is Motorola Migrate. Motorola developed this application to make it easy for you to transfer text messages, call history, SIM contacts, pictures, video, and music from your old phone to your brand new Moto X. It works wirelessly and is quite easy to setup. Hit the break to get started.

[Scroll down if you want to skip the written part and watch the tutorial video]

Motorola Migrate comes preinstalled on the Moto X, but you will need to download and install it on your old phone via the Play Store. As long as you have Android 2.2 or higher, it should work on any phone.

Open the “Migrate” app on your Moto X and make sure that it says the following under Migrate: “Don’t want to start from scratch? Copy your stuff from your old phone to this one.” If it doesn’t say this, then it thinks your Moto X is the old phone. Hit the three dot menu and tap on settings. Under “Choose Mode” it should say “Transfer data TO this device.” Tap on that and you should be all set. Now tap Next and Next again. You should see a QR code on the screen.

Now start the “Migrate” app on your old phone and tap on Start. The “Scan to connect” screen will now appear. Just hold your phone over the QR code that is on the Moto X display. Once it locks in, the transfer process will begin. You can go about your other business on either phone, but they should be kept within 20 feet of each other. If you’re having difficulty pairing the devices with the QR code, then you can opt for NFC. Hit the three dot (or menu key) on the old device and tap settings. Under “Choose connection method” you should see “Switch to NFC.” Tap that and you will now be able to pair the devices by touching their backs (make sure NFC is turned on for both devices). Once the “Touch to Beam” prompt is shown on both devices, tap the Moto X screen. After a few seconds the transfer will begin.

If you’re wondering if you can select what types of stuff you want to transfer, the answer is no. Motorola Migrate will transfer everything from the categories I mentioned above. It could take some time, especially if you have a lot of photos and videos on your old phone.

I put together a tutorial video showing you how Motorola Migrate works. You can also check out our other Moto X guides by clicking here.


About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • Jabfam

    Good article to transfer stuff from old android to the new moto x phone. To transfer sms, mms, contacts etc from old iPhone to moto x, you can download a program called Backuptrans iPhone to Android Transfer. Transferring data easily on computer.

  • GC

    Migrate takes FOREVER to do…it would be so much easier with a SIM card…..

  • disappointed

    Sadly I’ve done this 3 times now and contacts do not get moved to moto x. ATT keeps instead pushing me to use some service of theirs to migrate contacts.

  • Bob Bigellow

    It worked OK for me, but all of my photos and videos were reordered. Now, all videos show FIRST, then PHOTOS. So, if I swipe to the left in camera mode to see the gallery, I have to swipe through all of my videos before I can even get to the most recent photo. Newer photos and videos taken with the device show in the right order, but not the ones migrated over. Bummed.

  • M.

    Do I have to put the SIM card in the old mobile phone or in the new one?

  • frank

    Thanks very much for this video, it has saved me a lot of my time.

  • sspprd

    What about a Nokia phone which does not have Android, QR code scanning or NFC. Is it possible to transfer data from that to Moto X?

  • basso

    I have installed migrate a few hours ago but I can’t receive txt or calls , they still go to the old phone , all the other info has transfered .

  • Steven Scott

    thanks, I was on the phone with Moto-laysia I mean Motorola for over half an hour. These instructions should be on their website, and you should be payed a million (malaysian) dollars.

  • Dennis Smith

    how come both phones want to transfer and not receive.

  • Samuel Pioske

    So will Moto Migrate transfer my Music & Pictures that are on my Moto Atrix HD’s SD chip ? to my new moto X Thanks Sam

  • P James

    I have a Motorola Droid 3 and a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD. The software doesn’t support sending stuff TO the Razr Maxx HD. Dissapointed :( There is NO switch option in the … menu. I’ve got text messages I need to migrate. Too bad Motorola built in these handcuffs. It would be so easy to just detect Motorola handset and let it do it’s thing. Why they locked it to certain models doesn’t make sense.

  • Felix Pring

    At first, I was so delighted to find something that could transfer my 750 contacts from my old Nokia 6300 onto my new Moto G XT1068. It seemed so straightforward; set up a bluetooth pairing, Migrate sent an application, presumably Symbian, onto the Nokia which I ran, and all the contacts appeared on my Moto G and Google account… until I looked in detail.
    Several contacts were missed but there is no indication of which ones, ONLY telephone numbers were transferred, all the addresses, emails, notes, birthdays, types of number (home, work, mobile) etc were ignored. Somehow Migrate managed to not transfer my most important numbers as I discovered when I had to urgently contact my sister the next day.
    This software is not fit for purpose and Motorola should be ashamed of issuing it.
    An eight year old could have written a better application.
    I now have to go through and manually compare each contact on both the new phone and the old one. By the time I finish, it’ll be time to upgrade again.

  • tiffany Minnesota

    Do I need to have Sim cards in both phones before using NFC transfer?

  • Lata Kalwani

    how to transfer text memo from samsung to motorola e

  • rs

    This program sucks, if your camera is broken (normal if you are changing your phone) you can’t take a pic of the QR code 0/10 would not recommend

  • JoeW6558

    I just tried to Migrate (through my wireless network) from a Moto G to a Moto E LTE and it said it was successful….but it was not! I don’t see a single contact on my new phone, what a waste. I’ve tried it several time and the result is always the same. I even tried it in Bluetooth mode which took much longer, but still the same result.
    Maybe they should TEST these programs before the put them on peoples phones…just a thought. I found a few other programs that don’t work as advertised.

  • Sandeep Kulkarni

    hello, I have tried transfer the data with Motorola migrate application, I am unable to scan the QR Code through old phone to new phone. can you please suggest what is the alternative procedure to bypass QR code scanning to transfer the data. Sandeep