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What's involved in transferring between WP7 handsets? Obviously I'd like to move as much as possible from the old one with as little hassle as possible. Obviously, I move my SIM over, but what else?

What happens to my SMS message history?

What will Zune do when I plug in a different device? Especially what about my podcasts backlog?

What about calendar/contacts?

I don't have that many apps installed and don't mind reinstalling them from scratch on the new handset but I have just forked out for an annual licence for mapping/satnav app, can that be migrated across?

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In short:

  • SMS history will be gone
  • Settings will be set to default
  • Call history will be gone
  • You will have to add your email/social accounts again
  • If your contacts are saved in Windows Live, or some other mail service (Gmail, Yahoo, etc...) they will be back when you sync that account with the phone.
  • You will need to download your apps again. http://marketplace.windowsphone.com will have a list of them, and a link to get it again
  • If you synced your pictures/videos with zune, you will be able to bring those back.
  • I don't know about mapping/satnav app licence. I would assume it would (do you have key or credentials?) You can always contact their support team and ask.
  • See What can be backed up? for information on what you can backup and restore to a new device

Now for Zune

It will tell you a new device has been plugged in, and will assume it is a guest phone. Go to the settings for the phone (in Zune - the same page where you set up wireless sync) and Change sync relationship. It will walk you through setting it up. You can then bring back your synced data. I think your podcasts will be sent to the phone again as well.

Overall

It is pretty painless. The worst part is installing your apps and settings again, but only because it is tedious.

If you have a developer-unlocked phone (meaning you can install unofficial - not from the marketplace - applications on it) you can try Is there any way to backup my entire phone? for a full backup/restore onto a new phone.

Hopefully this helped you out. If I missed anything, or was unclear let me know

  • There is an app I used called Reinstaller that mitigates some of the tedium in reinstalling your apps – Ben Richards Jun 17 '12 at 9:22
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For the record here's what I found:

Steps involved (in my particular case):

  1. Moved the SIM over, obviously
  2. The new handset invited me to do an email setup (Hotmail). As soon as I'd logged into my existing Hotmail account all my Calendar items and People came straight back (though it seemed as if not all of the profile pics came back - I'm not sure about this but it maybe depended on whether I'd assigned them manually or whether they were lifted from Twitter)
  3. Although all the People came back I had to reapply preferences in People (e.g. override the default sort order)
  4. Rearranged my tiles away from the default and back to how I like them
  5. Had to setup Wifi again
  6. Had to setup non-Hotmail email accounts again, from scratch
  7. Had to reinstall all apps (and the one paid-for app I had, I lost the licence, though admittedly I haven't investigated whether or not I could have it transferred manually)
  8. Office and my OneNote items all came back fine once I'd logged back into Live
  9. Had to reapply password/wallpaper
  10. Podcasts, which were one of the things I worried about, were handled painlessly by Zune. Zune created a second handset and remembered where I was at with all my podcasts. All I had to do was globally select and drag all my podcast subscriptions to the new additional handset graphic in the bottom left hand corner. At which point the new phone received all the unlistened items, and I could pick up listening pretty much seamlessly.

As predicted SMS and Call History were lost.

Admittedly, all this is much as @Joe predicted in his answer, but I thought I'd list the specific details.

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