1. Feldon's Avatar
    So your phone has just been upgraded to Lollipop (5.0 or 5.1), Marshmallow (6.0) or some other build of Android from Samsung modified by your carrier and now your phone is running like a slug. You want to refresh the OS, but there is no comprehensive backup solution for Android like there are for iOS and Microsoft. What do you do?

    To ensure that you have a complete backup of your phone, which will allow you to safely do a Factory Reset, you should create multiple backups:





    • Backup all your text messages with SMS Backup and Restore as the above apps don't always get a complete backup.


    • Backup all your contacts with Export your Contacts as a VCF:
      • Phone Settings -> Contacts -> Import/Export contacts -> Export to device storage -> Confirm export (as .vcf file)


    • Manually backup your Photos, Videos, Wallpapers, and Music:
      • Connect your phone to an open USB port on your PC.
      • Unlock your phone and it will appear in My Computer.
      • If you have a USB3 connection and cable, pull down Notification bar on the phone and click "Connected as a media device". Change this to "USB3 Media Device (MTP)". NOTE: USB3 mode will fall back to USB2 after 5 minutes of inactivity.
      • Backup the DCIM, Movies, Music, Notifications, Ringtones, and any other folders you wish to have a backup of. If you have a microSD card with important data on it, then repeat this process for the "Card".


    • Make screenshots or detailed notes of your Home Screens for icon and widget placement as they will not be preserved!


    WARNING: A Factory Reset will completely and irrevocably destroy all data on your phone. You will not be able to recover messages, photos, etc. from your phone after this point. Do not attempt a factory reset until you have performed the multiple Backup steps above.

    • Power down the phone.
    • Press and hold Volume up, Home and Power buttons at the same time.
    • After the phone vibrates once, release the Power button but keep pressing Home and Volume Up until you see Android System Recovery.
    • Press Volume down until you highlight wipe cache partition.
    • Press Power to select the option.


    • Press Volume down until you highlight wipe data/factory reset.
    • Press Power to select the option.
    • Press Volume down until you highlight Yes -- delete all user data.
    • Press Power to confirm the master reset.
    • After factory reset, Reboot System Now will be selected. Press the Power key to reboot your device.

    You should now restore your backups starting with Samsung Smart Switch until your phone is restored to the condition you want it. You'll need to manually recreate your home screens and widget arrangement as none of this backup software saves those settings.

    Other ways to speed up your phone:

    • Switch from TouchWiz to a third-party alternative such as Nova Launcher or the official Google Now Launcher.
    • Switch from the built-in messages app to a third-party alternative such as Textra.
    • Switch from the Google Photos app to a third-party alternative such as QuickPic.
    04-13-2016 12:29 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Nice writeup, thanks!
    04-14-2016 02:37 AM
  3. can3gxw's Avatar
    This should be made a sticky! Awesome and comprehensive.

    About the contacts though - those should never need be backed up. Why? Because we should ALL be using our Google account to keep those, not the phone... My biggest peeve is that people always post on Facebook or other places "I got a new phone, everyone text me your number!"
    Feldon and B. Diddy like this.
    04-14-2016 07:35 AM
  4. Tech-Newb's Avatar
    Nice guide!

    Posted with ❤Love❤
    04-14-2016 07:53 AM
  5. rokemsokem's Avatar
    If I keep pressing the Power button and Volume Up button while releasing the Home button, it just boots regularly.

    I let go of the Home button and continue to hold Volume Up and Power to enter into System Recovery.

    Also, no option to change to 3.0 even though I have a 3.0 connection and cable. All I have are options for Media Device (MTP) and Camera (PTP). I can't even connect to my computer as an SD card like I could on my old phone. That option is actually one that I want but don't have.

    Anyway. Thanks.
    04-14-2016 08:02 AM
  6. kaicho's Avatar
    Excellent and thanks for posting!
    Feldon likes this.
    04-18-2016 04:45 PM
  7. Rukbat's Avatar
    Also, no option to change to 3.0 even though I have a 3.0 connection and cable. All I have are options for Media Device (MTP) and Camera (PTP).
    That tends to indicate that your computer has no 3.0 ports. You won't get the 3.0 option when connected to a 2.0 port.

    I can't even connect to my computer as an SD card like I could on my old phone. That option is actually one that I want but don't have.
    Not any more - all you have now is MTP or PTP.
    Feldon likes this.
    04-18-2016 05:31 PM
  8. rokemsokem's Avatar
    That tends to indicate that your computer has no 3.0 ports. You won't get the 3.0 option when connected to a 2.0 port.
    Yep. That's what it was. I plugged into my son's laptop and had a 3.0 connection. My desktop doesn't. which is what I was using.

    Not any more - all you have now is MTP or PTP.
    Yeah, I figured out why that is that way. I suppose it makes sense. It was convenient, though.

    Anyway. Thanks.
    04-23-2016 06:45 PM
  9. nwh10's Avatar
    Thanks for this great writeup!

    Would it work just as well to do all the backups before upgrading the phone to a new Android version?
    05-30-2016 10:11 PM
  10. can3gxw's Avatar
    Thanks for this great writeup!

    Would it work just as well to do all the backups before upgrading the phone to a new Android version?
    Yes. When upgrading to a new version (as in 5.0 to 6.0), it is ALWAYS best practice to perform a complete factory reset once the upgrade is complete. This will prevent issues from stray parts of the old version kicking around. So back everything up, run the upgrade, factory reset, then restore.
    05-31-2016 07:42 AM
  11. nwh10's Avatar
    Yes. When upgrading to a new version (as in 5.0 to 6.0), it is ALWAYS best practice to perform a complete factory reset once the upgrade is complete. This will prevent issues from stray parts of the old version kicking around. So back everything up, run the upgrade, factory reset, then restore.
    Thank you! I'm getting the backups done now, ahead of the Verizon 6.0 release.
    05-31-2016 08:29 AM
  12. lgossin's Avatar
    This was very helpful. I could not get Titanium or Helium to work, smart switch and SMS back up worked fine
    Thanks again
    Feldon likes this.
    05-31-2016 12:03 PM

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