Now that Samsung has issued a global recall for all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold, owners will need to take their phone back for a replacement, or even a different device completely. Here we’ll be explaining how to backup and save everything off of your phone, then reset and erase it so you’re ready for the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
Considering most owners just switched to the Galaxy Note 7, we’re assuming you already know how to save or transfer important information. Things like contacts, text messages, photos and video, music, apps and more. Thankfully between Google services and Samsung, everything will be extremely easy to backup.
This week Samsung kicked off an official Product Replacement Program for the Galaxy Note 7 recall, which carriers and retail stores will be participating in. We’re still waiting for the final details, but most likely owners will be able to walk into a carrier store and get a new Note 7, or buy something else like a Galaxy S7 Edge, iPhone 6s Plus and more. Before you do that though, you’ll want to backup the Note and then erase all personal information. Read on to find out how.
Backing up an Android smartphone or tablet is extremely easy, and the operating system does most of it for you already. However, we’ll still go through each step to make sure owners don’t lose any contacts, texts, photos, music and more.
First up is contacts, email, calendar and things of that sort. Then we’ll get into everything else. By default everyone likely has a Gmail and Google account, which will sync and backup almost everything of importance to the cloud. Just like when you got the Note 7 and signed into your Google account, everything instantly transfers in a matter of seconds.
Our link above goes over absolutely everything you need to know about backing up your Galaxy Note 7. Follow those steps to use Google Backup, save photos, music and more. Another excellent option is Samsung SmartSwitch, which we’ll explain in a moment.
First up we want to make sure the default backup options are all enabled and syncing to Google’s cloud. This is enabled out of the box, so most likely almost everything on your Note 7 is already saved. Owners can use Google or Samsung, or both, as well as manually save photos and media.
Head into Settings > Accounts > Backup & reset and make sure the second list of options under “Google Account” are turned on. Now hit back, select “Accounts” and you’ll see everything Google has saved for you. The list typically includes app data, calendar, Chrome, contacts, docs, drive, Gmail, movies, music, and more. Owners can even hit the three dots in the top right, then select Sync Now. That’s it, and everything has been saved in the cloud.
Now, when you get the new Galaxy Note 7 or another device just sign into Gmail and everything will transfer over. Nothing will be lost.
Samsung has their own backup solution similar to Google’s, but it has even more options and even saves things like text messages and your call log/history. As long as you have a Samsung account, this same Settings > Accounts > Backup & reset area has Samsung at the top. Tap “Back up my data” and turn on Auto Backup. At the bottom is another option to initiate a backup right now, which we’d recommend all owners do. Samsung will save everything to the cloud for you. Phone, clock and alarms, home screen icons and layout, apps, settings, text and picture messages, music, documents and more.
This works the same way as Google’s auto backup feature, and puts everything in the cloud for an easy restore once you get a new Samsung device. Once this process is done all owners need to do is navigate to the same settings menu on a new phone, sign in, and restore information to a new device. It shouldn’t take too long, and is a painless experience. We like that it restores icons and layout to the homescreen as well.
Save Photos & Music
Any photos, video or music that may be on the phone can easily be backed up and saved as well. Simply connect the Galaxy Note 7 to your computer and click/drag any content you’d like to keep, and put it in a folder. Then drag it back into the new Galaxy Note 7 when it gets replaced.
However, Google Photos is probably the easiest method for saving photos. It will backup every photo or video on your device to the cloud. This can then be accessed from nearly any device. Download Google Photos (if you haven’t already) and open the app and run setup. It will sync and save everything on the Note 7, just make sure you do this over a WiFi connection. The same thing can be done with Google Music, for any music that may be on your device. That said, most use a microSD card, so don’t worry about this. Just put your microSD card in your new Note 7, and you’re all done.
Samsung Smart Switch
If you’re going to replace the Galaxy Note 7 with another Note 7, or another Samsung device, using the companies own “Smart Switch” service is absolutely the easiest and best method. Download it here. Smart Switch is pre-installed on the Note 7, and can be used to transfer to another Samsung, an iPhone, or right to a computer or the cloud. This saves literally everything and anything on your phone.
Most owners probably used Smart Switch to transfer from an old phone to the Note 7, and you can do the same thing with the new one. Either at a carrier store on replacement day, or ahead of time by saving it to your desktop computer.
Click the link above and download Samsung Smart Switch for whatever process is easier for you. They have an app for Android and iOS, a version for PC or Mac, and even for other devices.
We’d recommend downloading the desktop version and using the cable and adapter that came in the Note 7 box. Simply run the program, plug in the cable, and follow the easy instructions. It will save everything to your computer. Then, when you get a new Galaxy Note 7 (or other Samsung smartphone) plug it in and put everything back. It takes a few hours at most, so hit transfer and come back later. It does everything for you, and works amazingly well. It even transfers microSD data too, although owners can just throw the SD card in their new phone if they’d like. It’s always a good idea to have an extra backup though.
Erase & Reset Your Galaxy Note 7
Now that you’ve saved everything off of the Galaxy Note 7, owners will want to do what’s called a “Factory Data Reset” to wipe out everything on the phone. This will erase everything on your device, and return it to the factory out of the box state the day you got it. This will ensure information, photos, contacts, and other things won’t fall into the wrong hands.
We’re returning the Note 7 to carrier stores and Samsung, so this isn’t a big concern, but we’d still recommend all owners erase their device. Better safe than sorry.
Make sure you’ve backed up everything off of your Note 7, or transferred it to a new phone using our steps above or the help of a carrier store employee, then erase your Galaxy Note 7.
Head into Settings > Accounts > Backup & reset > and scroll down to Factory Data Reset. From here look at the list and at the bottom click “Reset Device”. This will take a few minutes and will completely erase your Galaxy Note 7.
Now the phone is like new again and ready to be returned to Samsung or your carrier for the recall process. Samsung confirmed they will allow users to switch out their Galaxy Note 7 for a new one that doesn’t have a defective battery, or allow owners to get something like the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 instead. Choose what’s right for you, get a new phone, and restore everything we saved above using any of the methods detailed.
Again, make sure to use caution and save anything of importance before doing the reset, or even take your device into a carrier store like Verizon or AT&T and have an employee help with the process. They can ensure everything has been transferred to a new phone, and do the reset for you. If you have any other questions let us know in the comment section below.