How to back up your Samsung Android phone to PC

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 5, 2012
Backup, Google Android

Creating regular back ups of your smartphone, in my case the Samsung Galaxy Note II, is an essential task for a number of reasons. You first have a safe copy of the data on another device that you can not only restore on the phone the data was originally backed up from, but also on other phones and even software applications. It also means that you still have access to data such as contacts, messages or your calendar even if your phone gets damaged or stolen.

Kies is the official Samsung software to handle this task. It can be used for other purposes as well, like updating the firmware of your Android phone or synchronizing data whenever the phone is connected to the PC via cable connection or wireless connection.

Back up your Samsung Android phone

The first thing that you need is the Samsung Kies software. You can download the program from the official Samsung website where versions for Microsoft Windows PCs and Apple Macintosh systems are offered.

The program picks up phone connections to the PC or Mac automatically and lists them under Connected Devices in the interface. You can use that option to browse data like music, contacts or photos on the phone directly without having to transfer the data first.

backup samsung android smartphone

To backup the phone select the phone from the list of devices connected to the PC. You should see four tabs on the right which handle various phone related features.

  • Basic information displays the free and used memory of the phone, the installed and latest firmware and options to enable automatic synchronization of date, transfers of back up date from non Samsung phones to the smartphone or tablet, and whether photos should be optimized automatically for device transfers.
  • Sync displays the information and data that you can synchronize with the PC or Mac. Personal information include contacts, the schedule and to do list. Note that you cannot sync other data like messages for instance.
  • Import and export enables you to transfer data from the PC to the device, data that is on a device to the PC, or date from one Android device to another directly.
  • Back up and restore is the feature we are looking for. Here you can select the Android items that you want to back up to the PC.

samsung android backup

The following items can be backed up to the PC:

  1. Contacts
  2. Schedule
  3. To do
  4. Messages
  5. S Note
  6. Call log
  7. Music
  8. Photos
  9. Videos
  10. Miscellaneous content files
  11. Preferences and ringtones
  12. Network settings and bookmarks
  13. Email account information

Click on the back up button on the screen once you have made the selection. A small overlay window pops up that displays the progress of the backup. Note that the processing time depends on a number of factors, including the used storage on the phone, the data connection between PC and Android device, and the PC itself. Make sure you keep the phone connected to the computer during the backup to avoid that the process is interrupted.

samsung phone backup

Restore a previously created backup

To restore a previously created backup click on the restore button on the same tab. Note that all existing date on the phone will be replaced by the backup and that running apps may be forcefully closed by the process.

You are then asked to select the backup that you want to restore. All backups found in the default location are automatically displayed, but you can load other backups with a click on the find file button here. It is recommended to compare date and time if you have multiple backups to make sure the correct backup is restored.

You can then select the items that you want to restore. You can restore all of them or only select items.

Things to consider

Samsung Kies can't be configured to create automatic backups of the Android device whenever it is connected to the PC.. The only backup-like feature that is automatic is the synchronization option, but that cannot be used to sync all data that is on the phone.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. jasray said on February 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    What to do when recovery is necessary if drive is encrypted?

    Note: If you encrypt the drive, you may not make use of the recovery disc that you can create using EaseUs.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      You need to gain access to TrueCrypt to make available the contents. If you have another Windows machine, you can extract the backup, move it to a USB Flash drive, and restore the backup using this unencrypted version.

  2. Karl J. Gephart said on February 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I assume EaseUS Todo Backup Free will allow me to create a VHD or ISO so that, after using my system bootup disk, will allow me to recover my files quickly and easily. Windows restore is so slow.

  3. GK said on February 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Use Encrypting File System and just copy the files. Backup your EFS key certificate.

  4. Maelish said on February 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I have great success with Crashplan. It has a feature that allows you to backup to another computer that could be on the same network or across the country. Best of all, that feature isn’t tied to the regular Crashplan subscription. So it’s a win-win for me.

  5. Noel said on February 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Martin, this is a great tip. I use it quite often, but lately I am looking into softwares that would offer me one click back up of certain folders on my HDD, but copy as it is, instead of XML or other format.

    I used a program in the past that backed up everything ‘nicely’ in XML format and when it was time to restore, I could not restore a single file, since then I am using Syncback to back up files ‘as is’, but clicking 10 different profiles is pain, one click would be better, any suggestion?

    FBackup offers such option but for only one time back up. For incremental back ups, you got to pay up.

  6. Norman said on February 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    There is this other solution too. It gets things dne quicker. Just pointing it out. Its called Rollback Rx. Naturally its useful only when the underlying hardware is healthy. Say incase you were infected by a virus or were caught unaware because a file was accidently deleted. Rollback offers 256 bit AES which is really all you need unless ofcourse a fanatic terrorist is after your data. Periodic physical backup are just as necessary.

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