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Samsung Galaxy S5: Effectively Backup / Restore Your Apps, Contacts, Pictures [Complete Guide]

By: Harold Hisona | Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Apps, contacts, music, videos and pictures are among the most important data you need to backup if you're planning to perform Factory Reset on your new Samsung Galaxy S5. Of course, there's always a hassle in backing up things you saved in your phone especially if you've already acquired a lot of them after months of use. In fact, that is actually one of the reasons why many owners refuse to do factory reset.



I understand them. I, myself, don't want to go through that hassle that's why I don't save important data in my phones so that when they act up like crazy, I can immediately hit some buttons to reset them.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S5: Safe Mode, Wipe Cache Partition, Factory Reset [Complete Guide]

In this post, I will walk you through in backing up your data. Now, click on any of the links below to begin:


How To Backup Apps Data On Galaxy S5


Your phone came with pre-installed apps. These are the ones that cannot be uninstalled as long as you keep the stock firmware on your device. Those you've downloaded from the Google Play Store are considered third-party apps and you can uninstall them anytime you want.

When you perform full factory reset, all third-party apps will be deleted that is why it is imperative you know how to back them up. Please note that 'backup apps' means backing up data and not the apps. Here's how...
  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings.
  3. When inside the Settings page, scroll down to 'USER AND BACKUP' section.
  4. Tap Backup and reset.
  5. Make sure you are logged in to your Google account and tap Backup account.
  6. Tap Backup my data.
That's it. Your apps data have already been backed up and you can restore them whenever you want by simply logging in to your Google account.

How To Backup Contacts On Galaxy S5


Our main concern here are contacts that are locally stored or saved in your phone. We don't need to worry about contacts that are saved in your Google or Samsung account because unless you lost your access to those accounts, you can access them anytime. There are two ways you can backup contacts that are saved in your phone and that's what I'm going to cite here.

Merging contacts with Samsung or Google accounts
  1. From the Home screen, hit Contacts.
  2. Touch the Settings icon.
  3. Now, tap Merge contacts.
  4. Choose between Samsung and Google account.
  5. Tap OK to begin merging contacts.
If you want, you can merge your contacts with both accounts to be sure.

Exporting contacts to SD card

The other option is to backup your contacts to your microSD card contained in a .vcf file, which is the universal format for data containing contacts. Once you've exported your data into a .vcf file, you can import them to other phones or your computer.
  1. From the Home screen, tap Apps.
  2. Hit the Settings icon.
  3. Under the 'APPLICATION' section, find and tap Contacts.
  4. Tap Import / Export option.
  5. Tap Export to SD card
  6. You will be prompted: 'Your contacts will be exported to: /storage/extSdCard/Contacts_**.vcf.'
  7. Tap OK to confirm the export.
After you hit OK, a message will flash at the top of the screen telling you contacts will be exported.

How To Backup Your Files, Videos and Pictures


Backing up your files, music, ringtones, videos and pictures that are stored in your phone's storage is easy whether you use a computer or just your phone.

Backup Files To SD Card

If you have a spacious microSD card mounted on your phone, you can back everything up without plugging the phone to a computer. Here's how…
  1. Mount your microSD card to your computer if you haven't mounted it yet.
  2. From the Home screen, tap Apps.
  3. Find and tap My Files.
  4. Scroll to 'LOCAL STORAGE' section and then tap Device storage.
  5. Hit the Menu icon at the top-right corner to expand the drop-down menu.
  6. Touch Select.
  7. Now locate the folders of files you want to backup. Videos and pictures are usually saved in DCIM folder.
  8. Mark the checkbox to the left of files or folders you want to copy.
  9. Hit the Menu icon again and choose Copy.
  10. Tap SD card.
  11. You may tap the desired folder you want the files copied and tap Paste here.
Backup Files Using A PC

As long as you have all necessary drivers installed on your PC, the backup process will be just plug-and-play and copy-paste.
  1. Using the original USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
  2. If the phone wasn't detected, touch the Status bar and drag it down.
  3. Tap Connected as a media device.
  4. Mark the Media device (MTP) check box.
  5. A window will pop up on your PC, click Open device to view files.
  6. There are two storage devices detected by the computer, Card, which refers to the microSD card, and Phone, the internal storage of your device. It is in the latter that you can find files you want to backup. You can copy them to your computer or to the microSD card.
  7. Copy and paste the files you want backed up.
  8. When finished, safely disconnect from your PC.
Backup Files Using Mac

It is recommended you download and install Samsung KIES for Mac before you proceed with the backup process. Once finished, follow the steps below:
  1. Using the original USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
  2. If necessary, touch the Status bar and drag it down.
  3. Tap Connected as a media device.
  4. Mark the Media device (MTP) check box.
  5. On your computer, launch KIES.
  6. Once the interface is open, click the Back up / restore tab, then click the Backup tab.
  7. Mark the check boxes beside Music, Photo and Select all items.
  8. Click Backup.
  9. Safely disconnect your phone from your computer when finished.

How To Restore App Backups To Galaxy S5


As I mentioned, only data are backed up using the backup method I cited earlier. The apps will be downloaded automatically once you synced your Google account. Depending on the number of apps you backed up and the speed of your internet connection, the restore process may take several minutes to few hours as apps will be downloaded one after the other and their previous settings applied.
  1. Log in to your Samsung and/or Google accounts first. 
  2. From the Home screen, tap Apps.
  3. Find and tap Settings.
  4. Scroll to 'USER AND BACKUP' section, and then tap Backup and reset.
  5. Mark the check box next to Automatic restore.
That's it! As long as your Galaxy S5 is connected to either Wi-Fi or mobile network and has an active internet connection, everything will be smooth.

How To Restore Contacts To Galaxy S5


I cited two Contacts backup methods earlier so I will also cite two ways to restore them based on the same methods I used to back them up.

Sync Contacts From Samsung and/or Google Accounts

Restoring contacts backed up to either your Google or Samsung account is as easy as backing them up because you just have to log in to your account and turn sync for contacts.
  1. Log in to your Samsung and/or Google accounts first. 
  2. From the Home screen, tap Apps.
  3. Find and tap Settings.
  4. Scroll to 'USER AND BACKUP' section, and then tap Accounts.
  5. Tap Google or Samsung depending on which account you used to backup your contacts.
  6. Tap your email address.
  7. Mark the Sync contacts check box.
  8. Hit Sync now.
Import Contacts From SD Card

To restore your contacts from your SD card, you simply have to follow the same steps as you exported.
  1. From the Home screen, tap Apps.
  2. Hit the Settings icon.
  3. Under the 'APPLICATION' section, find and tap Contacts.
  4. Tap Import / Export option.
  5. Tap Import from SD card.
  6. The phone will automatically detect .vcf files and import contacts.

How To Restore Your Files, Videos and Pictures


I cited three different ways to backup your important files: using your SD card, PC and Mac. I will walk you through restoring them back to your phone based on methods I cited to back the up.

Restore Files From SD Card

When you backup data, you copy files from your phone's memory to your microSD card. To restore them, do the opposite.
  1. From the Home screen, tap Apps.
  2. Find and tap My Files, and then All files.
  3. Tap SD card.
  4. Tap the Menu icon and choose Select.
  5. Mark the check boxes of files or folders you want to restore.
  6. Hit the Menu icon again and this time choose Move.
  7. Select Device storage, then tap Move here.
All files are saved in the main directory of your phone's storage and from there, you can move them to their designated folders.

Restore Files Using A PC

Backed up data stored in your PC can easily be transferred back to your phone by following the same steps
  1. Using the original USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
  2. If the phone wasn't detected, touch the Status bar and drag it down.
  3. Tap Connected as a media device.
  4. Mark the Media device (MTP) check box.
  5. A window will pop up on your PC, click Open device to view files.
  6. Navigate to the folder where you saved your files. Select and copy them to the storage device labeled as 'Phone'. 
  7. When finished, safely disconnect from your PC.
Restore Files Using Mac

Restoring files and data backed up on your Mac using KIES is straightforward.
  1. Using the original USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
  2. If necessary, touch the Status bar and drag it down.
  3. Tap Connected as a media device.
  4. Mark the Media device (MTP) check box.
  5. On your computer, launch KIES.
  6. Once the interface is open, click the Back up / restore tab, then click the Restore tab.
  7. Mark the check boxes beside Music, Photo and Select all items.
  8. Click Restore.
  9. Safely disconnect your phone from your computer when finished.
That's pretty much it!

How to contact me


Having troubles with your phone? Feel free to contact me at harold@droidista.com and I will do my best to help you find a solution. Make sure you provide all necessary information like your phone model, Android version (especially if you suspect your firmware has issues), app in question (for app-specific problems), etc. I receive a lot of emails every single day so I may not be able to respond to your concerns immediately. If you want, you can join the Smartphone Support community I created solely for this purpose. I often stay on that page everyday so there is a big chance you'll catch if you posted your concerns there.


 

Need Help?

There are three easy ways to get help:
1. email me at harold@droidista.com
2. join the Smartphone Support community where I often hang out
3. talk to me through the chat widget at the lower-right corner of this page or by visiting this page.


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