Hey, do you have any valuable data on your Samsung? If the answer isn’t an automatic yes—consider this question—is there anything you would miss if your phone was lost and you were loaned a replacement? Apps, photos, contacts, conversations, settings?
If you are like the majority of cell phone users, your S6 is deeply embedded in nearly every aspect of your life. Pew Research Center conducted a survey that found 29% of smartphone owners view their phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.” Even if you aren’t quite that devoted, off are your phone contains some valuable assets. Aren’t they worth protecting?
Whether you want to be able to preserve and restore every single feature of your S6 as it is now, or you only care about certain data, we can show you how to backup your Samsung S6. We will also explore the various Android Backup options you can use to accomplish this that fits you best, and give you the choice of storing your treasures in the cloud, on your PC, or on your SD card.
Method 1: Backup and Restore App Data Using Helium (Works on Unrooted Devices)
Does the thought of having to start over in your game send chills down your spine?
Google will back up any app installed from the Google Play Store automatically, unless you have disabled the “Backup my data” option in “Backup and data reset.” You can check this by going into “Settings.”
But, Google only looks after its own. Other third-party apps will not be backed up by Google, such as those installed from Galaxy Apps. If you have not rooted your phone, Helium is one of the best ways to prevent data loss from happening.
1. Install Helium on your S6.
Helium will allow you to backup app data to your SD card, PC, or even DropBox.
2. Install and Run Helium Desktop.
Using your Google Chrome browser, download Helium from the Google Chrome Webstore
Using Google Chrome, click on the link above and add to Chrome Apps. Chrome Apps are located in the upper-left.
3. Setup Helium.
It will suggest that you connect your phone to your computer via USB cable, which is sound advice.
It will ask you if you want to sync your Google account. Press OK and provide your account information if you do.
If you happen to be rooted, all you need to do is grant Helium root access.
4. Check to ensure the connection has been established and that Helium has been enabled.
If you don’t see a green check mark, you may need to set your NSB connection to “PTP.”
Also make sure that the drivers for your device have been installed.
5. When Helium says it’s okay, you can disconnect your Galaxy from your PC.
Keep in mind that your S6 will reset any changes Helium has made anytime you reboot your phone, and then you will need to connect with the Helium desktop software to repeat this process again.
6. Now select the app(s) you wish to backup.
When you tap on the “Backup” button, Helium will allow you to select the location where you would like to save your files.
7. Restore your data.
Swipe right to go to the “Restore and sync” tab. Then select the storage option where your backup is saved.
Method 2: Backup Apps Data Using Titanium Backup (Rooted Devices Only)
Titanium Backup in and of itself is a reason some people root. Find out why.
1. Download, Install, and Run Titanium Backup.
Check “Remember” and allow the app Superuser privileges.
2. Click on the “Backup/Restore” tab.
From there you should see a Menu button.
3. Press the Menu button and select “Batch.”
Note the option to backup “System Data.” This is not a bad idea. It will include your Bookmarks, Wi-Fi settings, etc.
4. Select the “Backup all user apps” option.
5. Click “Run” and inform Titanium about the specifics of your app backup.
You will be asked if you want to kill the active apps or exclude them.
6. Tap the green tick in the upper right to begin backup.
The app will start the backup process and save your files to your SD card.
Depending on the number of apps you have, this could take a while.
Method 3: Backup Contacts
By default, Google will sync your Contacts to the Google server automatically. You can check on this by visiting “Accounts” from the Settings menu. Look at your Google account and ensure that “Contacts” is ticked.
If you want a backup to this backup, you could also export your contacts to the SIM card. Here’s how:
1. Locate and open the “Contacts” app from the Home screen.
2. Select “More” on the upper-right.
3. Choose “Settings.”
You might have to scroll to find it.
4. Find and tap on the “Import/Export Contacts” button.
It is in the first section.
5. Touch “Export.”
A new window will open in which you can select “SIM” card.
6. Select your contacts, and tap on “Done.”
“Done” is located in the right-hand corner.
To learn about more ways to backup your Contacts, try out this article.
Method 4: Backup Photos
If you want to transfer your photos from your Samsung to your computer, all that you need is a connection via USB cable. This may seem tedious though. If you need something else that’s tangible, there’s also your SD card. Honestly, though, setting up automatic backups to Google Drive will save you so much work and heartache. Are you going to transfer each picture immediately when you take them? Auto Backup will. Here’s how to set it up:
1. Download and install the Google Photos app if you don’t already have it.
It is available in the Play Store.
2. The Photos app will go into your Google folder by default, or it could also be on your Home screen. Tap on it.
3. Toggle on “Turn on auto backup.”
You can arrive there by clicking on the Menu (the three vertical dots in the top-right corner) and entering “Settings.”
We have written about other options to backup your photos and videos too.
Method 5: Backup and Restore SMS and MMS Messages with Samsung Smart Switch
There—you have it in writing (text)—your boyfriend acting the way he will later say he never does. Or saying things he will deny ever saying.
Hopefully, it’s really loving text messages you are wanting to save, but if you want to make sure they will be around at least as long as he is, try Samsung Smart Switch. You can also use it to transfer or backup contacts, call history, photos, and video files. We are going to discuss backing up data to the SD card, but Smart switch can also be used to transfer data directly between devices or to your PC.
Warning! This will overwrite any current data on your SD card.
1. Download and install the Smart Switch app from Google Play, Galaxy Apps, or the Samsung website.
You will want to install the app directly onto your S6.
2. Run the app and click “More” in the upper-right corner.
“More” is located on the landing screen.
3. Select “Transfer via SD Card.”
Your data, such as contacts, messages, photos, media files, etc. will be listed.
4. Check mark the content you want to save and hit the “Back Up” button to get things started.
Your data will now be transferred to the external SD card.
5. Click on the “Restore” option.
This will cause your phone to enter Recovery Mode.
6. Select the files you wish to retrieve and press “Restore” again.
This is how you can access the data you backed up.
Method 6: Backup and Restore Settings Using Your Samsung Account
You probably already have a Samsung Account. It’s necessary to get into the Galaxy Apps Store. Or, understandably, maybe you resisted.
I always feel a little rebellious when I feel like a manufacturer is trying to be heavy-handed. Sometimes it seems like Google is, what with forcing you to have a Google Account in order to use any Google product. But, sometimes it’s a good thing. And a Samsung Account can be great for configuring backup and to restore, among other things.
1. From Settings, select “Backup and Reset.”
Now look for “Backup my data.”
2. Tap “Backup my data.”
If necessary, sign in or create your Samsung Account.
3. Choose what to backup to Samsung servers.
Here are your Accessibility Settings, clock, and email. Note that this is another way to backup contacts.
4. Toggle the slider to turn Auto Back Up on.
You can also use this feature for your messages and phone log.
5. You can speed things up by tapping on “Back Up Now” if you don’t want to wait.
The button doubles as “Cancel Backup” during the backup process.
6. To restore, touch the “Restore” tab under the Back Up My Data tab.
Now you select which items you want to restore and press “Restore Now.”
Note: While you are at it, this is also where you can fine tune your Google Account backups.
Method 7: Manually Copy Music Files to PC
Samsung Smart Switch also backs up music and photo files, but some would say it’s done in a haphazard manner. For instance, you will lose any date and time attached to a photo and it will simply be identified as being from “today.”
Earlier I dismissed manual backup as being tedious. And it can be, but it is also the method in which you will have the most control. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Connect your S6 to your PC.
Use a USB cable.
2. Your computer should detect your Samsung and treat it like a long-lost pal by assigning it a nickname.
It will probably say something like “Samsung-SM-_ _ _ _.”
3. Find and open your S6.
It should be under “Computer” or “This PC” on Windows or on the desktop on a Mac.
4. All the folders and files on the SD card are at your disposal for you to copy to your PC.
You probably picked up on the fact that most of these backup methods can handle more than just one thing. That being said, it sometimes difficult to find a completely comprehensive backup method. Each can have its strengths and weaknesses.
If you are looking to backup everything, Titanium Backup is probably your best bet. But it won’t work without rooting your Samsung Galaxy S6. Samsung Smart Switch specializes in Samsung devices, though, and is pretty awesome at transferring information between phones. Samsung and Google Accounts were made for their respective apps and settings. And Google has quite a history of investing in the cloud if you are worried about leaving your assets in others’ hands.
And while it would probably be overkill to use all of these methods, redundancy of data is the best defense for life’s risks.
Whether those risks are a toilet your S6 can potentially fall into or a careless party friend, tell us about your favorite method for backup. Or the reasons you may need backup might make good stories as well.