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tl;dr: I've migrated my system to other phone dozens of times in the past and everything always worked like a charm. But migration was always between Androids of the same same version.

Now, I've tried to do the same from Android 7.0 down to 6.0 and process failed -- only Google account was migrated. Is this due to system version differences? Is there any workaround?


I've been migrating my phones for years, using both options:

  • use Nearby app and Bluetooth to physically migrate data,
  • start clean, login to account and select a backup to be restored.

The second approach was used by me most of the times and worked always until now.

For every of such migrate, everything was migrated, including installed apps and their configuration, phone's and Google account's settings, files (media) etc. etc.

This time I wanted to migrate Lenovo Moto G (Android 7.1) down to Lenovo Moto E3 (Android 6.0) and this failed nearly completely, using both methods.

Nearly, because phone manage to migrate my Google account, i.e. I have access to my emails, etc.

But:

  • I don't have my manager, Nova (and all other self-installed apps), and must install it manually,
  • I have all the applications that were disabled on old phone and must disable them again,
  • I don't have my files so manual copy process between devices is needed,
  • All system settings are set to default not to "mine".

To summarize, entire phone looks, works and feels like it would be a factory-reset Android with just my account recreated. Since I had to provide my password (as I'd when not migrating anything and freshly-starting) then the good question could be, what was actually migrated?

I must admit that this is my first time, when I'm trying to migrate phone data and settings between two Androids with different version number. Both phones started with Android 6.0, Moto G was upgraded in the meantime to Android 7.1 while Moto E3 stayed without upgrade.

Is this some kind of bug (that I can try to workaround) or is it a normal behavior (that Android is unable to migrate anything except Google account between two system versions)?

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    Some applications have to be completely rebuilt for newer Android version, most don't however... It's probably a storage scheme change that's causing an issue, Example.. it's trying to migrate a file from a folder data/example that doesn't exist on android 6.0.. I used a backup a restore software called 3C Toolbox that had a fairly good backward compatibly for my migrations but it required root access to restore the data – Gadget Guru Mar 29 '18 at 22:56

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