I don’t do backups of my Samsung phone often, but when I do backup Samsung has changed the program for it. It happened to me with Kies (I never know which version I should download) and now with Smart switch, Samsung’s latest app to perform this task, for now.
Samsung Smart Switch is a Samsung application that has been with us for a while and that fulfills a double function: transfer the data from your old mobile to your brand new Samsung and do a security copy of your Samsung. For the first purpose it is available on Google Play; for backups, it has a version for Windows and Mac. We will focus on its backup functions.
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What do you need
First of all, you need to install Smart Switch on your PC using the installer for Windows or Mac. Generally the normal thing would be to check the compatibility of Smart Switch with your device, but the official information from Samsung is quite vague. Specifically, the only thing mentioned is “a device Samsung with Android 4.3 or higher“.
The easiest way to check is try it. Both Smart Switch and Kies will complain if your mobile is not compatible with them, and they will mention the other to you. It is not necessary to install Smart Switch on your Samsung mobile.
For the rest, you do not need anything beyond a decent and stable data cable. The backup transfer can be very long and heavy, and you don’t want it to fail due to the cable after half an hour.
1. Connect the phone
Install Smart Switch on your PC and connect your mobile to the PC using the cable. You don’t need to do anything else, as Smart Switch already includes the device drivers and Windows (or Mac) should recognize it after a couple of seconds.
If all goes well, Smart Switch will recognize the phone and will show you his name in a big way. If you want to know more information about it, touch on it to expand its information. Here you will see its model name, Android version, and available and in-use storage.
2. Adjust options
If you’re in a hurry, hit the Backup button and you can go have a coffee while the process finishes. However, I would recommend, at least the first time, that you go through the menu of preferences.
The first tab of the options allows you to choose where the backup will be saved. The default location is fine, although you may want to find a less hidden folder. Also keep in mind that backups can be very large, so choose a drive with enough available space.
The second tab will seem more interesting to you. In it you can choose which elements will be backed up. Here you have to keep in mind that the more items you choose, the more the backup will take up and it will take longer to do it. Also, sometimes the copy can get stuck trying to copy some of the items, in which case it is useful to deselect it.
You don’t need to visit the last tab for the task at hand, but in case you’re curious, this is where you can choose if you want Smart Switch automatically download firmware for your phone by itself, to be able to install it as soon as you connect the mobile.
3. Let’s copy!
Press the Backup button and wait for the process to finish. The duration will depend a lot on whether you also make a copy of the microSD card, how much data it has and its speed. Samsung Smart Switch seems to be faster than Kies in this regard, but a mobile well full of data can take time more than half an hour in completing a backup, so be patient.
Once finished, you will receive a summary of how many elements have been copied from each category and which ones have been ignored, as there was no data to copy (for example, the S Note notes, if you use another application).
A curious fact about Smart Switch is that, unlike Samsung Kies, which generated a huge backup file, it creates a copy respecting all files individual and their routes. That is, in the APPLICATION folder there are all the APKs of the system, and in Photo all the folders with photos, respecting the paths such as DCIM, Pictures, etc.
When it comes to making backups with Smart Switch, you should not trust yourself. Remember this not the same as a Nandroid copy system, but exactly what is specified in the summary window above is copied. The items included in the Smart Switch cover the vast majority of cases, but it never hurts to take a couple of seconds to think if something is missing.
Restore a backup Smart Switch is as easy as creating it. Just hit the Restore button and confirm the action. Smart Switch takes care of the rest.
In Engadget Android | Samsung apps to connect devices, what is each one for?