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Samsung Galaxy S3 Tutorials, How Tos and Tips [backup, restore, safe mode, recovery]

galaxy s3

This post seeks to guide you through backing up your data saved in your Samsung Galaxy S3 as it is always imperative they are kept safe especially if you are planning to do factory reset. Also, I will guide you through booting your phone in safe mode and recovery mode. You need to know these modes as they can help you troubleshoot problems or fix any errors you may encounter.

The procedures I cited here are basic and simple that you don’t need to have advanced knowledge of the Android system to be able to follow them. Click on any of the links below to jump to that tutorial.

How To Backup App Data

The phrase “to backup apps” doesn’t really mean to make a copy of all your apps’ .apks, rather it’s the data that are backed up in the cloud so you can restore them later. The process is pretty straightforward but before you follow the steps below, make sure you are logged in to your Google account.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings and then the Accounts tab.
  3. Tap Backup and reset.
  4. Tap both Backup my data and Backup account options to put a mark in their respective check boxes.
  5. Tap the Back key and then choose Google.
  6. Now tap your Email address.
  7. Select apps you want backed up.
  8. To start the backup process, tap Sync now.

How To Backup Contacts

There are two different ways you can backup your contacts in your Galaxy S3; either you back them up in the cloud or export them to your microSD card. If you prefer to do the first, then you can choose if between your Samsung and Google accounts, however, if it’s the latter you want to do, you just need to have the microSD card mounted on your phone.

Backup Contacts With Samsung / Google Account

  1. From the Home screen, tap Contacts.
  2. Tap the Menu key.
  3. Again, you have two options here: Merge with Google or Merge with Samsung account.
  4. After choosing the account you want to use, tap OK.
  5. Follow further on-screen instructions.

Backup Contacts To SD Card

  1. Make sure your microSD card is mounted to your phone.
  2. From the Home screen, tap Contacts.
  3. Tap the Menu key and choose Import / Export.
  4. Touch Export to SD card.
  5. A prompt will pop up telling you of the name of the contact list. Take note of the name if necessary.
  6. Tap OK.

How To Backup Media Files and Photos

It is easier to backup your files, videos and photos because all you have to do is copy or move them over to the SD card or computer. As long as your files aren’t saved in your phone’s memory, they are safe even if you performed factory reset.

Backup Files To SD Card

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Touch My Files and then All files.
  3. Choose sdcard0.
  4. To selectively copy files, put a mark in the check box next to the files or folders you want copied. If you want to backup everything, hit the Menu key and choose Select All.
  5. After you’ve chosen files you want to copy, tap the Menu icon located at top-right.
  6. Touch Copy if you want to make sure they’re duplicated first or Move if you simply want to move them over.
  7. Tap extSdCard.
  8. Navigate to the directory you want the files saved and tap Paste here.

Backup Files To PC

  1. Connect USB cable to the phone and then to the USB port on your computer.
  2. Touch the status bar on your phone and drag it down, then choose Connected as a media device and then tap Media device.
  3. On your computer, open your phone’s disk drive and choose files or folders you want to backup.
  4. Just drag and drop files and folders to your computer.
  5. Once finished, safely disconnect your phone from your computer.

Backup Files To A Mac

  1. Download and install Samsung KIES for Mac OS.
  2. Connect USB cable to the phone and then to the Mac.
  3. Make sure the device is connected as a media device.
  4. Run KIES.
  5. Inside KIES, click Back up / restore tab, and then Backup tab.
  6. Choose data you want to backup.
  7. Click Backup.
  8. Once finished, safely disconnect the phone from the Mac.

How To Restore App Data

After a factory reset, it is a lot faster to just restore apps you previously installed on your phone than to install them one after another. Of course, you can only restore data you’ve backed up.

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your Google account.
  2. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  3. Choose Settings and then Accounts.
  4. Tap Google and touch your email address.
  5. Now choose which data you want restored.
  6. Tap Sync now.

How To Restore Contacts

You can only restore contacts you’ve backed up. If you lost some of your contacts, they can never be restored using any of these procedures. I cited two ways to back up contacts on a Galaxy S3, so we also have two ways to restore them based on how they were backed up.

Restore Contacts From Samsung / Google Account

  1. You need to be logged in to your Google or Samsung account.
  2. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  3. Choose Settings and tap on the Accounts tab.
  4. Tap Google or Samsung depending on what account you used to backup your contacts.
  5. Tap your email address.
  6. Tap Sync contacts and put a mark on the check box.
  7. Tap Sync now.

Restore Contacts From SD Card

  1. Make sure the microSD card where your contact list was saved is mounted.
  2. From the Home screen, tap the Contacts icon.
  3. Hit the Menu key and touch Import / Export.
  4. Choose Import from SD card.
  5. Tap the account where you want to save the contacts.
  6. Touch Import vCard file. The phone will automatically find any vCard saved in your SD card.
  7. Tap OK.

How To Restore Media Files and Photos

To restore your files, you just have to follow what you did during the backup process only this time the phone or its internal memory is the destination.

Restore Files From SD Card

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap My Files and then tap All Files.
  3. Choose extSdCard.
  4. Navigate to the folder where you saved your files.
  5. Choose files or folders you want to move to your phone’s memory.
  6. Tap the Menu icon at the upper-right corner, then choose Copy.
  7. Choose sdcard0, navigate to the folder you want to drop the files
  8. Tap Move here.

Restore Files From PC

  1. Connect USB cable to the phone and then to the USB port on your computer.
  2. Touch the status bar on your phone and drag it down, then choose Connected as a media device and then tap Media device.
  3. On your computer, navigate to the directory where you saved your files.
  4. Just drag and drop files and folders to your phone’s memory.
  5. Once finished, safely disconnect your phone from your computer.

Restore Files From Mac

  1. Connect USB cable to the phone and then to the Mac.
  2. Make sure the device is connected as a media device.
  3. Run KIES.
  4. Inside KIES, click Back up / restore tab, and then Restore tab.
  5. Choose data you want to copy back to your phone.
  6. Click Restore.
  7. Once finished, safely disconnect the phone from the Mac.

How To Boot In Safe Mode

In Safe Mode, all third-party apps are temporarily disabled leaving only core services and pre-installed apps running. It is very helpful in troubleshooting app-related problems and issues, therefore, it is imperative you know how to boot your Galaxy S3 in this mode.

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. When the Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume Down key until the phone finished restarting.
  5. “Safe Mode” will be displayed on the lower left corner of the screen

How To Boot In Recovery Mode

The Recovery Mode is your phone’s fail safe. If it failed to normally boot in Android system, follow the steps below to boot in recovery. Doing so will give you access to important procedures that can potentially fix problems in your phone. Here’s how you boot to Recovery Mode:

  1. Turn off the phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and Home keys, then hit the Power button.
  3. When the phone vibrates, let go of the Power button but continue holding both Vol Up and Home keys.
  4. After a few seconds, the Android System Recovery screen appears; you can let go of those keys now.
  5. To wipe all caches in your phone, use to Volume Down key to choose ‘wipe cache partition’ or if you want to perform full factory reset, choose ‘‘wipe data / factory reset’.

Connect with us

We are among the very few people who offer free Android support online and we are serious about it. So, feel free to contact us regarding your concerns, questions and problems. You may reach us at [email protected] or post on our Facebook and Google+ pages. I also urge you to visit our Samsung Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting page as it contains more than 500 problems that we’ve addressed over the years.