Friday, March 25, 2016

Transferring LINE to a New Phone

In Japan, the mobile Naver LINE messaging application is very popular and used by almost all smartphone users. It is similar to WhatsApp, but has more features. However, one major problem with LINE is the difficulty of transferring your data to a new phone. The main missing feature is the ability to transfer chat history to a new phone. I recently spent a lot of time trying to do this, so am writing this guide for people who are looking to do the same thing.

Required items

  • New smartphone
  • Old smartphone with LINE installed
  • A few hours both for backing up and importing chat history

Back up chat history

If you're old phone and new phone are rooted, there is a faster way to do this, but please do a web search for this. Here we assume the phone is NOT rooted.
This process needs to be performed for every single chat you would like to back up, so it will take significant time.
Described in the LINE Help Center, but I will detail it here.
  1. Open the LINE app
  2. Open a conversation
  3. Select "Chat Settings"
  4. Select "Backup Chat History"
  5. Repeat this for every single conversation

Copy files to your new phone

Backed up chat history is saved in the LINE_BACKUP folder. Find this folder in your old phone and copy it to your new phone.

Transfer LINE account to the new phone

The issue here is that you will lose access to LINE on your old phone once this process is complete. This is by design of LINE. The process is detailed in the LINE Help Center, but I will write here.
  1. Make sure your LINE account on the old phone is either linked to your Facebook account or registered by email address
  2. Install LINE onto your new phone and log in (do NOT click transfer account yet)
  3. If you are having issues at this step, please see the Troubleshooting section below
  4. LINE will ask for a 2-step authentication to allow the account to be transferred
  5. (Optional) Before transferring the account, you can try to put your old phone into airplane mode (without internet access). After transferring accounts, your old phone will try to delete all of the data the next time you open LINE. If you disconnect your old phone from internet, you can temporarily keep the old LINE data on your old phone.
  6. Transfer the account

Import chat history

We're not done yet! Now, we need to manually import all of the chat history. This is also described in the LINE Help Center.
  1. Create a new message to one of your friends
  2. Go to Chat Settings -> Import Chat History
  3. Repeat for all friends
  4. Done!

Troubleshooting

I ran into a lot of trouble while trying to transfer my LINE account, with messages such as "An error occurred. Please wait a while and try again" or "エラーが発生しました。後ほどまたお試しください" in Japanese. I tried many things such as:
  1. Installing an older version of LINE on my new Android phone (Nexus 6p)
  2. Linking a Facebook account instead of the email address
  3. Changing the language of my new phone to Japanese
However, none of these worked! Luckily, LINE has a Problem Report Form. I told them about my issue there and they contacted me back with the below message in a couple of days. You may need to submit your problem a couple of times (spaced a part by a few days) or use a different web browser, but it worked!
Dear our valued customer,

Thank you for contacting LINE Customer Care.



We have finished looking into the issue, and believe it has been resolved.

Please try carrying over your account again after restarting the device and then reinstalling the app.

Please see the following Help article for detailed instructions on carrying over your account:
https://help.line.me/line/?contentId=20000098

If you see an error message when verifying your phone number saying, “Invalid Phone Number”, please wait 1-2 days and try the process again.

If the process fails again after waiting for the appropriate amount of time, please contact us with the details of the error.



Again, thank you for using our services, and please let us know if you need any additional assistance.


Kind regards,

LINE Customer Care


2 comments:

  1. What if you lost a phone and you want to restore your account,is there any way to do it without losing all your contacts?

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  2. Darkhan, hmm... that depends on LINE's policy. Here is the FAQ for if you lost your phone:
    https://help.line.me/line/ios/categoryId/20000012/3/pc?lang=en

    Since you lost your phone, the only other way to get your contact data back would be through the LINE company's computers. You might need to contact their customer support if you can't find a supported way to do it.

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