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How to setup a new Android smartphone or tablet


If you’re getting new Android device this holiday season, setting it up can be a chore. It’s not as simple as powering the new gadget up and playing your favorite games. There’s quite a bit of setup involved to initialize the device, and the time it takes to setup the Android device varies by brand (e.g. Motorola devices might take longer than Google devices).

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We’ll take you step-by-step on setting up your new Android device for the first time. Hit the break to get started!

Setting up Android

We’re using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0, which is running on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Most devices you’ll get this time of year should have Android 5.1 straight out of the box, but the process is till very similar. The only real differences in the setup are some changes to the design of the UI.

Step 1:


The SIM and microSD tray on the Moto G (2015).

First thing’s first, before even powering your new Android device on, pop-in the SIM card, that is, if this Android device needs access to mobile networks. If you find that your SIM card isn’t the right size, contact your carrier. They’ll walk you through the steps of getting the correct SIM card, though it could take an extra couple of days to get to you. If you know what SIM your phone takes, AT&T and T-Mobile have different sizes listed on their respective online stores, so you could potentially speed up the process by just ordering one from there.

Step 2:

The first screen you'll see when powering on the Galaxy Tab 8.0 for the first time.

The first screen you’ll see when powering on the Galaxy Tab 8.0 for the first time.

Next, power your device on. You can do this by holding the power button down, which is usually found on the top or right hand side of the device. If it isn’t turning on, it likely needs to be on the charger for a couple of hours.

Step 3:


Now you need to hook up to the Wi-Fi, though it isn’t immediately necessary if you have your SIM card in already, as the mobile network should work just fine for setting things up. Either way, you can select your Wi-Fi network from the list of nearby networks, enter your password, and then select OK. You should be successfully hooked up to the Internet.

Step 4:


Here’s where the magic happens. You’ll now need to enter your Google account information (e.g. your email and password). Once entered, and depending on your network connection, authorization could take a few minutes.

Step 5:


Finally, you’re given a selection of Google Services features to enable or disable. Read through and find out which ones you’d like to keep, if any. Or, you can go ahead and just click Next, as these settings can be altered later.


And that’s it! As you can see, it’s a super simple process. While you may have a device that adds a couple of extra steps, everything should be fairly similar. But now, you need to tailor your Android device to your personality! We’ve constructed some great guides over the course of 2015 that take you through the steps of personalizing your device with different launchers, themes, wallpapers, icon packs, and other things. We’ve listed some of our favorites below.

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or if you need some additional help, be sure to leave a comment below!

Related Guides

  • Best Icon Packs [2015]
  • How to Install an Icon Pack
  • Top 5 Launchers for Android
  • How to change notification sounds, ringtones, and set custom ringtones

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