Backing up my Samsung device

Last modified : Sep 27. 2019

Whether you are organising for your Samsung phone or tablet to be repaired or would like to keep a regular back up saved in the Cloud server or on your computer, it can all can be done easily at home. It is recommended to keep regular back ups of your Samsung device in case your phone or tablet is ever lost, stolen or replaced. Select one of the options below to learn how to back up your device via Smart Switch Phone-to-Phone, Smart Switch PC / Mac, external USB / SD Cards or wirelessly to your Samsung Account or Google Account.

Please ensure you remove an encryptions on your SD card before backing up your Galaxy phone, for more information on removing encryptions check out our page How can I encrypt or decrypt my microSD card?

Different ways to back up your Galaxy Phone or Galaxy Tablet.

Backing up Phone-to-PhoneClick to Expand

Smart Switch makes it easy to transfer contacts, photos, messages and more from your old phone to your new Samsung Galaxy device. 
Before Smart Switching content via phone-to-phone, ensure that your device is compatible, click here for more infrormation.

Please Note: Screenshots were captured from a Galaxy A70 and Galaxy Note9 operating on Android OS Version 9.0 (Pie), settings and steps may vary depending on your Galaxy devices and Android OS Version.

1 Using the device you would like to transfer your content from, launch Smart Switch

Latest Galaxy devices already have Smart Switch pre-installed however if you have uninstalled the app or if you are unable to locate the application within your apps tray, you can easily download from the Google PlayStore.

Launch Smart Switch
2 Allow the following Permissions
Allow permissions
3 Tap on Send data
tap on send data
4 Choose how you would like to transfer your data
Choose how you would like to transfer your data
5 Using a USB connector or OTG adaptor and cable to connect the two devices. Plug the OTG adaptor into your new phone.
Connecting older device with new device via cable
6 On the receiving / new device, select Smart Switch
Select Smart Switch
7 Tap on Receive data
Tap on Receive data
8 Allow the two devices to connect and load all possible files to transfer.
Old device & new device connected
9 Select the files you would like to transfer over, then tap on Transfer
Choose what to bring across, then tap on transfer
10 Allow the transfer to reach 100%. When advised, you will be able to disconnect the old Galaxy device to the new Galaxy device.
Organising your stuff
11 Once the transfer is complete, tap on Done and remove any connected cables.
Transfer complete
Backing up to a PC / MacClick to Expand

If you don't want your information to be saved on a cloud based server, you can easily back up your Galaxy Tab or Galaxy phone through Smart Switch PC/Mac. All you'll need to back up your Galaxy device is a USB data cable, computer and the latest Smart Switch version downloaded to your computer. 

Please Note: The following content can't be saved through Smart Switch - draft or failed messages, calendar events from synced accounts, apps that can't be transferred due to security or compatibility issues (Samsung Pay, Voice recorder, Galaxy Wearable, Calculator) and default wallpaper or theme store wallpapers.

 

The types of data you can back up will depend on your device. The steps provided below may differ slightly depending on your Galaxy device. 

Smart Switch PC/Mac will back up the following information;

  • Contacts
  • SMS Messages
  • Call logs
  • Photos - bmp, wbmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff
  • Videos - mpg, mpeg, avi, divx, svi, wmv, asf, pyv, mp4, m4v, 3gp, rm, rmvb, mov, mkv, skm, k3g, flv, swf
  • Music - mp3, wma, wav, pya, ogg, m4a, aac, 3ga, flac, smp, dcf, mid, midi, amr, qcp, imy
  • Documents - pdf, ppt, doc, docx, pptx, xls, xlsx, hwp, csv, txt, xml
  • Calendar events
  • Samsung Notes
  • AR Emojis
  • Clock
  • Voice memos
  • Home Screen settings
  • Network Settings

Check out the full list of compatible Galaxy Devices that can be backed up through Smart Switch PC. 

1 Launch Smart Switch on your computer.

Haven't downloaded Smart Switch to your computer yet, you can install the program here.

2 Connect your Galaxy smartphone or Galaxy Tab to your computer with its USB cable. Make sure you unlock your device before connecting to your PC otherwise you will not be able to begin the data backup.

Ensure you are using genuine Samsung approved data cables to successfully back up your data.

3 Tap Allow on your Galaxy device.
tap Allow on Galaxy device
4 On your computer click Backup
click backup on your computer
5 Allow the backup to reach 100%.

Ensure you do not unplug the cable until after the backup has been successfully completed.
allow backup to reach 100%
6 Once the backup is complete, click OK the disconnect your Galaxy device from your computer as normal.
click ok once the backup is complete
Backing up to an SD card or USB Flash DriveClick to Expand

If you don't want your information to be saved on a cloud based server, or if you don't have a computer handy, you can back up your data to your microSD card or USB flash drive, all you'll need to do is download Smart Switch on your Galaxy phone or tablet. If you are planning on backing up your data to a USB, ensure you have a OTG adapter handy.

 

The content that will be saved to your SD card or USB through Smart Switch are shown below;

  • Calls & Contacts 
  • Messages
  • Apps
  • Settings
  • Home screen
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Documents

 

Please Note:The following content can't be saved through Smart Switch - draft or failed messages, calendar events from synced accounts, apps that can't be transferred due to security or compatibility issues (Samsung Pay, Voice recorder, Galaxy Wearable, Calculator) and default wallpaper or theme store wallpapers.

1 Launch the Smart Switch app on your Galaxy smartphone or Tablet.

The Smart Switch app is pre-installed on most Samsung devices; it's normally used to transfer content between two phones, however if you do not have this downloaded to your device you can install it directly through the Google PlayStore.
2 Insert your SD card or OTG adapter connected with your selected USB Flash Drive.
3 Tap on the Blue Memory Card icon on the top right of the screen.
Tap blue memory card icon
4 Select Back up
select back up button
5 Tap on the content you would like backed up then select the blue arrow key to begin the backup process.
choose what you would like to backup then tap back up
6 Allow the backup to reach 100% then tap Done once complete
copying your stuff
tap done once download is complete
7 Once you are ready to remove the USB drive or SD Card simply swipe down on your screen to access your quick settings menu > tap unmount on the external storage then safely remove from your device.
unmounting SD card or USB drive
Backing up WirelesslyClick to Expand

Backing up wirelessly means your data will always be backed up to a cloud server. If you have aSamsung Account or Google Account, you will be able to back up content such as your photos and videos, contacts, calendar events, text messages, app data and device settings. All you'll need to back up your data wirelessly is your Galaxy device, an internet connection and your Samsung and / or Google Account logged into the device.


Back up via your Samsung Account

Please Note: As of June 1, 2019, any users who create or recreate a Samsung account will be provided with basic storage of 5GB. To Users who created a Samsung account on or before May 31, 2019, basic storage of 15GB will continue to be provided notwithstanding this change to the Services. Files larger than 1GB can't be backed up to your Samsung Account. 

1 Launch your Settings > Accounts & Backup

Haven't created your Samsung Account yet check out our page How do I create a Samsung account? for step-by-step instructions.

2 Select Backup and Restore
3 Under Samsung Account select Back up data
under samsung account select back up data
4 Tap on the content you would like to be backed up then select Back up
select data you would like to backup then tap back up

Please Note: Data that be backed up wirelessly through your Samsung Account will depend on your Galaxy device and Android OS Version. Content that can be downloaded to your Cloud server will also depend on the Cloud storage availability.

5 Once the back up is complete, tap Done

Back up via your Google Account

Content that can be backed up to your Google Account may vary depending on the device, software and Cloud storage available.

1 Launch your Settings > Accounts & Backup
2 Select Backup and Restore
3 Toggle on Back up my data then select Google Account
Toggle on back up my data then select Google Account
4 Tap on Back up now to back up your add data, call history, contacts, device settings and SMS text messages to your Google Drive Account.
Back up now to backup content to Google Drive

Check out our page Syncing your contacts to your Google Account for step-by-step instructions.

5 Once the back up is complete, tap Done
Back up Photos to your Google PhotosClick to Expand

With the use of Google Photos, you can safely store your photos and videos, which can be automatically backed up. You can easily access your photos and videos, anywhere & anytime.

1 Head into Google Photos
Launch Google Photos
2 Tap Allow to the pop up permissions
Tap allow to the pop up permissions
3 Toggle on Backup & Sync then tap Confirm
Toggle on Backup & Sync then tap Confirm

Depending on the setting you select, your photos and videos may only be backed up over a Wi-Fi connection. If you choose to back up and sync your photos and videos over mobile data, charges may apply.

4 The back up will automatically download your photos and videos saved in your Gallery
Backing up content in the Gallery
5 Once the back up is complete, you will be notified within the Google Photos app
Back up complete
6 If you decide that you would also like to backup your photos and videos via Mobile Data as well, tap the 3 lines.
select 3 lines
7 Select Settings
tap on settings
8 Tap on Backup & Sync
select backup & sync
9 Under mobile data toggle on Photos and Videos
Under Mobile data toggle on photos and videos
Device that won't turn onClick to Expand

There's not too much that anyone can do about a phone or tablet that won't power on or is damaged to the point of not being able to use it. The best thing we can recommend is logging into your respective Google and Samsung accounts on a computer or another device to see what, if any, information has already synced. 

 

If you are able to turn your device on but the screen is unresponsive to touch you may be able to save some data by inserting an OTG adapter with a connected mouse to your Galaxy device. Once you have connected the mouse to your device bring up a pointer on the screen so that you can navigate through the Smart Switch app to back up to an SD card or force a sync of your Google Account and Samsung Account. Alternatively, if you have an internet connection, you can sign into Find My Mobile and back up your phone to your Samsung Cloud Account.

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