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How to set up your new Android phone

Got a new Galaxy, Nexus, HTC or other Android phone or tablet? Here's ten things you need to do when setting up your Android device.

So now you’ve got your sparkling Android device, here are ten things you need to do to help get you started.

1. Create a Google account

When you turn on your Android phone for the first time, make sure you follow the Google account instructions to create a new account. The process takes all but a few minutes to complete. If you already have a Google account, you can log in to it on this screen, and instead simply skip this part of the process. With your Google account you’ll be able to access the Play store and other Google apps.

2. Turn on Wi-Fi

If you are on a strict data plan, you’ll want to enable your Wi-Fi connection as soon as possible, so you don’t go over your data usage. Open up the Settings app on your device and choose the Wi-Fi option from the top of the page. Here you’ll be able to establish a connection to your designated router, and save yourself from going over the limit on your data plan.

3. Check app settings

Certain apps can eat up a lot of your data and battery life without you even knowing. Enter the My Apps section of the Play store and choose an app to go to its settings. Here you can change how often the app updates itself. Set it to once every 24 hours. A lot of the pre-installed apps already on your device can also be disabled via the same menu.

4. Sync your email

Your Android phone is capable of syncing with a wide variety of email clients, but obviously the preferred client is Google’s very own Gmail. Open up the Accounts tab and select your Gmail account. Here you can choose to sync your email over to your new phone. Depending on how many emails you have, this can take a few minutes to complete.

5. Restore your files

Whether you created a backup of your files on your previous device, or recently uploaded all your files to a cloud storage app, one of the first things you should do is restore all your files on your device. Make sure that you have enough room on your device to restore your files, or you may not be able to get them all back without an extra SD card.

6. Secure your phone

Adding a layer of security on your device’s lockscreen can help stop the wrong people from accessing your device. Depending on the model of your device, you’ll have a host of security options you can set. You can set a PIN, create a clever pattern, or even use the face unlock option featured on some phones. To find all the security options available for your smartphone, go to Security within your Settings app.

7. Add your social media contacts

One of the best things about having an Android phone is that it’s so easy to stay connected with everyone. By going to the Accounts tab in your Settings, you can import all the details of your various social media contacts, adding them to your phone’s Contacts page. Make sure you manually select the contacts you want to add, as using the auto-import option could leave you with several duplicates sprawled out across your device.

8. Input owner information

If you lose your phone, you can improve the chance of someone returning it to you by adding some owner information to your lockscreen. In the Security tab within the Settings menu, press on the Owner info option. Here you’ll be able to add things like your email address, or an alternate number for the person who has found your phone to contact you on.

9. Check battery usage

If you’re new to Android, you’ll soon realise that there are a whole host of things that can drain the battery on your device. To check what’s draining your battery the fastest, open up the Battery option in your Settings and take a look at the various apps and device functions that are draining your battery. If you’ve only just turned on your device, chances are that your screen is the biggest problem, and by pressing on the screen percentage, you’ll be able to dim your screen a little.

10. Configure voicemail

As with any phone, you’ll want to create a voicemail message for when you’re unable to take a call. Open up the Phone app, and load the options within it. From here you’ll be able to select the voicemail option and be prompted to create a voicemail message.