Mobile Phones

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, or feature phones.

How can I backup my text messages from an old phone?

Episode 1558

Jeanine from Santa Barbara, CA

Jeanine, wants to know how to retrieve text messages from an old phone. Leo says that there are several ways. Sometimes, they are stored up in the cloud with your carrier. You can ask the technician at the phone store to transfer all the data over. There are also apps that will enable you to do it, including Android apps. SMS Backup and Restore. Put it on the old phone and it will backup all the messages to the cloud. Then you can restore them to the new phone. Samsung also has it's own called SmartSwitch.

Why do apps open up when I start up Bluetooth?

Smartphone and computer

Episode 1557

Tom from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When Tom turns Bluetooth on after having been turned off for awhile, tons of apps start opening up on his phone. What's happening? Leo says that backgrounded apps automatically terminate after a short period. Leo recommends letting the phone manage his apps for him. He doesn't need a third party app to kill them — he should just let the phone do it.

Can I use Google Voice with my old phones?

Old phone

Episode 1557

Paul from San Diego, CA

Paul is getting ready to cut the cable on his telephone service and he's moved his number to Google Voice. But how can he get his phones to work with Google voice? Leo says that phone numbers are portable, and as such, his home phone number can be ported to Google Voice. And then he can have his mobile phone ring when his number gets called. Up to 5 different phones can do that.

What should I know before buying a used phone?

Smartphone and laptop

Episode 1557

Mark from Tampa, FL

Mark bought a phone on eBay and wants to know if it will work with his carrier. Leo says that it may, but it depends on the radio frequencies it supports and whether or not the phone has been locked to the carrier or not. You can get the carrier unlock it, and they should do it as long as it is in good standing. He'll also need to make sure the phone isn't carrier locked.

How can I unlock a used iPhone?

Episode 1556

Jake from Jacksonville, FL

Jake bought a new phone on eBay, but he can't activate it because it says he owes money to AT&T — but he's never used it with AT&T. Leo says it's probably the carrier that has flagged the IMEI of that phone and locked it out. Leo advises contacting eBay and getting his money back. He should give the seller a bad review as well. Of course, he could pay the bill. But who wants to do that? This is why you don't buy phones on eBay.

How can I get data off an old phone?

S7

Episode 1554

Noah from Van Nuys, CA

Noah's girlfriend lost her smartphone, but they found it and the screen is shot. The phone still works, but they'd like to get the contacts off. Leo says they can connect it to a computer and use the Android File Transfer app on a Mac, or use it as a hard drive on a PC. The PC will read the phone as a hard drive and then they can hunt around and find all the data. She should look in the Android Data folder, check "SD0", copy all of it to the hard drive, and then root around.