Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data

Edited by Jerry Rivers, Alma, Dougie, waseemdewdrop and 29 others

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There are a number of good reasons to reset your Galaxy phone. Whatever the reason you don't want to lose your valuable data. You can do this easily with a soft reset, and it will only require rebooting your Galaxy. It will simply bring you back to a home screen. Yet, if you are having a huge problem with your Samsung mobile device, you may have to perform a Hard Reset which unfortunately will result in losing all of your data. In this case, you must re-install some or all of all apps, unless you do a back-up of all your data. This will require more steps than a soft reset but in most cases, you can still retain your data. The procedure to Hard Reset the Galaxy phone is simple but slightly different.

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The steps will be demonstrated for both types of resets for your Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, S5 Note2, and Note3. The two procedures for the soft reset in which your data is preserved will be presented first. You will be instructed how to perform a backup to save all your files in case you must Hard Reset your Galaxy. There are three different ways to perform the Hard Reset, and each procedure will be given for you to follow.

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A soft reset will just kill all apps that you have going at the time. Any data that is not saved will be gone. Nearly all problems, such as your screen freezing, the Galaxy suddenly operating slowly, or commands cannot be entered, can be remedied with the soft reset. So, all will be okay if there is a problem that pops up with your Galaxy. After this tutorial, you will reset your Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, S5, Note2, or Note3 without losing data.

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Contents
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Soft reset your Samsung Galaxy Using the Power Button

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One of the first options you can use to soft reset your Samsung Galaxy, is as follows:

  1. 1
    Simply press and hold the "Power" button for approximately 20 seconds or until the screen turns off
    .
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  2. 2
    Then, turn your mobile device on again by pushing and holding the "Power" button for a few seconds
    .
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  3. 3
    Alternatively, if you are performing a soft reset on your Samsung Galaxy 3, you will need to press the "Power" button for 3-5 seconds until the phone restarts
    .
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  4. 4
    Wait another 10 seconds and then press and hold the "Power" button to restart it again
    .
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  5. 5
    If this doesn't work, remove the battery for 30 seconds and try again until it works.
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Soft reset your Samsung Galaxy by removal of battery

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The second method involves these few steps:

  1. 1
    Turn off your Samsung device.
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  2. 2
    Remove the back cover.
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  3. 3
    Take out the battery, subscriber identity module (SIM) card, and the Secure Digital (SD) memory card
    .
    Then, wait a few minutes before taking the next step.
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  4. 4
    After you have waited a few minutes, put the SIM, SD card, and the battery back in your Samsung Galaxy.
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  5. 5
    Snap the mobile device cover back in place.
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  6. 6
    You are now ready to turn on your Samsung Galaxy
    .
    Your data will still be intact, and your Galaxy should be fully operable once again.
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  7. 7
    Please note
    :
    The above two ways to Soft Reset your Samsung Galaxy device will not remove any device lock pins or patterns. You will need to perform a hard reset in order to do so. Performing a hard reset will wipe all of your user data. If at all possible, you need to back up your data (if you can) before hand.
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Back-up Your Samsung Galaxy Data Prior to a Hard Reset

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If you have a major problem, and must perform a Hard Reset to get your Galaxy back on track, do not fret. You can still keep all of your data with a data back-up by using the procedure below. By the way, this is also recommended to do a back-up if you ever update your mobile device's software.

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  1. 1
    First, on your computer (Windows or mac) go to the Samsung Kies website by clicking on this link
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 59842.jpg
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  2. 2
    If you are a Windows user, scroll down and click on the blue Kies download button.
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 25840.jpg
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  3. 3
    If you are using a Mac, scroll down underneath Windows and click on the blue Smart Switch button (Replaced Samsung Kies).
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  4. 4
    Once downloaded, click or double-click the downloaded file to install Samsung Kies / Smart Switch.
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  5. 5
    Click on the checkbox beside "I accept the terms of the license agreement"
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 21364.jpg
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  6. 6
    Then click the "Next" button
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 17113.jpg
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  7. 7
    Next, click on checkbox beside the Unified Driver Installer and then click on the "Next" button
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 16135.jpg
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  8. 8
    Wait for your computer to finish installing the Unified Drivers and the Samsung Kies / Smart Switch application
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 17929.jpg
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  9. 9
    Once you see the following screen and click on the "Finish" button to launch the program
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 13936.jpg
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  10. 10
    Once Kies loads up on your computer, connect your mobile device to your computer by plugging in a data cable from the Samsung Galaxy socket to your PC's USB port
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 10058.jpg
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  11. 11
    Once the Kies program recognizes your connected device on your PC or Laptop, click on the "Sync" tab at the top
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 74811.jpg
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  12. 12
    From here you can either select what specifically you want to sync by clicking the check boxes beside each option, click on the check box beside "select all items" or "sync automatically when device is connected",
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 85990.jpg
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  13. 13
    Once you have made your selections, or chosen to sync automatically, click on the "Sync" button after
    .
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  14. 14
    Wait for the sync process to finish and back up the selections you made in the step above.
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Hard Reset your Samsung Galaxy Using the Dialer App

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  1. 1
    Hard resetting a Samsung Galaxy can be accomplished in one of three ways from
    :
    Dial Pad, Android operating system (OS), or the Start-up method. Be sure that you have backed up your files as directed above before a Hard Reset. Note: Disable any encrypted data on your SD card before doing this procedure.
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  2. 2
    Hard reset using the dial pad is the best method for most Samsung mobile device owners because it is so user-friendly.
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  3. 3
    On your dial pad type the code (exactly as seen)
    :
    *2767*3855#
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 17648.jpg
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  4. 4
    The Samsung Galaxy will automatically reset.
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Factory Reset your Samsung Galaxy from the Settings App

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To perform a factory reset of your Samsung Galaxy phone, follow these steps (a factory reset will wipe all of your user data):

  1. 1
    From the home screen, tap on the "Apps" button.
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  2. 2
    Locate the "Settings" app and tap on it to open it.
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  3. 3
    Next, tap on "General"
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  4. 4
    Then tap on "Backup and reset"
    .
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  5. 5
    Tap "Factory data reset" to reset all data
    .
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  6. 6
    Then tap on the "Reset Device" button
    .
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  7. 7
    If you are sure you want to proceed, tap on the "Erase everything" button
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 63340.jpg
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  8. 8
    Your Galaxy device will be restored to the original state and the original settings when you bought it
    .
    Once your device finishes and reboots for the first time, you will have to set it up with your Google account, etc.
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Hard Reset your Samsung Galaxy through Android Recovery

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  1. 1
    The third option for the Galaxy Hard Reset is from the "Startup"
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  2. 2
    With your mobile device off, Press and hold the three buttons "Home", "Volume Up", and "Power" buttons together until your Galaxy comes on
    .
    This may take about ten seconds.
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  3. 3
    Release the three buttons
    .
    Your device should boot into the Android Recovery screen.
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  4. 4
    Using the "Volume Up and Down" keys, use the "Volume Down" key and go to "Wipe data/Factory Reset"
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 18270.jpg
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  5. 5
    Press the "Power" button on the right side of the screen.
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  6. 6
    Use the "Volume Down" key to go to "Yes", and press the "Power" button to "Delete all user data"
    .
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 66803.jpg
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  7. 7
    Once all data is deleted, press the "Power" button
    .
    This will restart your Galaxy.
    Reset Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note2, Note3 Without Losing Data 83866.jpg
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Hard Resetting the Galaxy S4

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  1. 1
    At the home screen, tap the "Apps icon" found at the bottom right corner of your screen.
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  2. 2
    Press the "Settings" icon.
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  3. 3
    Press the "Accounts" tab or "General" tab, depending on the layout of your screen.
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  4. 4
    Tap the "Back-up & reset" option.
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  5. 5
    Tap the "Factory data reset" button.
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  6. 6
    Follow any instructions or prompt messages that appear and then tap "Reset device" or "Erase Everything".
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How to Hard Reset a Galaxy S4 if Locked Up

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  1. 1
    Just in case your Galaxy is locked up, with no way to reach menus, you can Hard Reset it.
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  2. 2
    Hold the "Power" button down until the S4 powers off.
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  3. 3
    Should the S4 not turn off, take out the battery for a moment
    .
    Then set it back in place. Keep it turned off.
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  4. 4
    Ensure that the S4 is turned off
    .
    Then, press and hold your "Volume Up" and "Home" buttons. Keep these two buttons pressed, and then press/hold the "Power" button.
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  5. 5
    Once the "Recovery mode" shows up at the upper top corner, release all three buttons.
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  6. 6
    Now, go to the "Recovery Mode" screen, and press the "Volume Up/Down" key to navigate up or down.
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  7. 7
    With the "Power" button you can now choose any application option.
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  8. 8
    The Galaxy S4 should now be reset, and fully optional once again.
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Questions and Answers

How do I soft-reset Note3?

Holding down the power button seems not to work

The official Samsung instructions say that you should follow these steps to soft reset your Note3.

  • Press and hold the power button.
  • Select "Restart"
  • Select "OK"
  • If the above did not work (as in your case), remove and then reinsert the Note3 battery, and then turn your Note3 back on.

See more questions like this: My Note3 is dead but contains all my contacts, any suggestions?

I forgot my password what can I do?

I forgot it, and I don't know how to get it back

First, enter the wrong password up to 20 times. You will be able to enter your Google account information and unlock your phone to change or remove the password you forgot. If you also forgot your Google account information, go here to try to recover it. If you can't recover it, or if you never logged into your Google account in the first place, you will need to perform a Factory Reset. To learn how to perform a Factory Reset, read through this great VisiHow article.

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See more questions like this: Forgot my password but I don't want to reset

When I drive away in my car (away from any WiFi), I lose my internet connectivity. I want to know if I can restore it?

Recently I was at a resort and was having trouble retaining connectivity to their WiFi, so I was patched through to a resort tech support person who helped me do so. In the meantime, I wonder if this changed some settings on my phone that made it difficult to retain internet connectivity because of the entire drive home, I had no access to internet or text messaging apps like Kik. This continued until we arrived home and I was able to access our home WiFi.

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It did not, however, affect my being able to call on my phone or text message through the regular phone app. I have tried: Restarting; shutting down and then booting back up; shutting down, taking the battery out, blowing canned air in the compartment, waiting 10 seconds, then booting back up; shutting down, taking the battery out, taking the SIM card out, then booting back up; using an online tutorial from EE to configure some settings.. I think it was caused by: The WiFi incident described above

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All of the WiFi networks have a small range where you can catch the signal. The range can be even shorter with various obstructions. Therefore, your phone will need to switch to the mobile Internet to keep the connection alive.

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Please follow the instructions in our tutorial. In step 5, check both "Data roaming" and "Use packet data".

If you still do not have the Internet, you will need to see if there is Internet coverage in your area for your specific carrier and if you are signed up to an Internet plan that still has traffic available for you. Both of these questions can be answered only by your carrier.

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See more questions like this: How to transfer data form S2 with broken LCD

Samsung Note2 shut down and does not respond?

This morning I found my dear Samsung Note2 from AT&T, left on charge overnight, shut down and unresponsive. Red charging light is still on. Pushing Power or Home buttons could not bring it back to life. I unplugged cable, removed and reinserted battery back - the red light was gone. When I tried to turn the phone on and push and hold Power button red light came back in, but that was it. No other signs of life in this thing. Any suggestions?

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

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How can I retrieve my photos that are gone?

I made a factory setting on my phone Samsung Galaxy S2, by using this *2767*3855# ( keypad dialing)....all my apps in SD card are there except for my photos are gone. Thank you and more power1

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Can I get data off of my locked Samsung Galaxy S4 if I can't use the screen?

I dropped my phone, and the digitizer broke and I'm getting a new one, but I would like to be able to back up my phone first.

Unfortunately, if your phone is locked and you can't unlock it due to a broken screen, you won't be able to back it up through any service or application. If you logged into a Google and/or Samsung account before your dropped your phone, your contacts, pictures, applications, data, web history, and other settings will be backed up for you to use on your new device. Outside of that, however, since your phone is locked, you will not be able to backup any information with Samsung Kies or any other program or service.

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See more questions like this: I want to remove all of the personal data from my Samsung Galaxy S3 but I want to make sure the phone number is still intact after the reset. How can I do this

Help please! Note3 major system crash?

Hi, my Note3 updated last week to Lollipop, no problems until now. A few hours ago it died I charged it up and when I started it, numerous apps are missing, and numerous more aren't working such has messages, several error messages pop up, such as Google play music has stopped, messages have stopped, Galaxy apps has stopped, etc. I can't access the play store, it crashes before I open it

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Help should I reset or buy a battery?

My Galaxy 4 is shutting off and restarting, only staying on for 30 seconds or so. I've read several things and some have even said it could be I just need a new battery. However, I'm impatient and don't want to order one online and have to wait for it to be shipped. Also can I possible reset it without my SIM card being in it or is my stuff not actually on my SIM but on my phone?

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The most common reason is either software or the battery. To start with the fastest and simplest solution, reset your Galaxy S4. Sometimes, restarting and shutting down are caused by disabled system applications or bad applications. This can be easily "cured" by hard-resetting your phone. Just follow the "How to Hard Reset your Samsung Galaxy" section in the article. Keeping or taking out your SIM card does not matter: the card only serves as a proxy between you and the cell phone carrier and stores some basic data that will not be affected by any resets.

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If that did not work, open the back cover and see if the battery contacts touch to contacts of the phone. You may want to prop the battery contacts right against the phone contacts with a piece of folded paper or eraser by putting it into the gaps where the battery is loose.

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Other causes are

  • overheating: do not operate your device in the sun with a resource-consuming game running;
  • faulty firmware: if you flashed a custom ROM onto your device, reflash it with the original one;
  • faulty hardware: if nothing above helped, bring your device to a Samsung service center.
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See more questions like this: I dropped my Samsung Galaxy S2. The screen is black and does not display any commands that can be seen. However I know the power is on, because this morning the alarm went off on the phone and I used the USB cord and saw the battery has 87% life. Please h

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How do I restore lost apps after Hard Reset?

I had to hard set my phone, and lost all my apps, can I recover them? I don't remember all the apps I had on there.They were saved to the cloud supposedly

After you have completed the setup process for your newly-reset device, go to the Google Play Store, tap the upper-left corner, and tap My Apps. From there you can view and install all the apps you've ever purchased or downloaded under that account.

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See more questions like this: Hi I've restored my Note2. I backed it up to Dropbox but when I restarted it I lost all my numbers. please, can you help

Backing up prior to new phone?

Is this the best step-by-step process for backing up all files, apps, contacts on a Samsung Galaxy 3 prior to getting a new phone? http://visihow.com/Reset_Samsung_Galaxy_S2,_S3,_S4,_Note2,_Note3_Without_Losing_Data. I have tried: Just want the information - step by step. I think it was caused by: No Problem, just need to back up

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Retrieving data from Galaxy S4 with ADB disabled?

My screen is not responding on my Galaxy S4, so I cannot enter the pattern to unlock it. When I connect it to my computer it won't read the phone because the screen is still locked. PLEASE HELP! Thank you!

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Android is giving error messages and not booting up?

Hi Jerry, Thank you. I have this issue. My phone crashed and I restarted. After restarting the phone, I am continuously getting messages "Unfortunately ------ has stopped working". The phone goes to blank screen and nothing shows up. I removed the battery once and tried but it is same. I suspect that Android OS has a major issue. Can you help me to get out of this problem? Thank you again!. I have tried: I removed the battery and tried restarting the phone. I think it was caused by: Android OS

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See more questions like this: How to get rid of or fix the "inconsistent system uid" error?

Resetting S3 and using auto back up?

Hello, I want to reset my phone as it is constantly freezing. First I need to back up my data and therefore download Samsung Kies. However, I'm unsure which one to download. Did the Samsung S3 come BEFORE or AFTER the Galaxy Note3 as this is the criteria? I have no idea. Also, will I need to reinstall all my apps one at a time or are these also saved with Kies? Thanks

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

My son caused my S5 to Factory Reset and it wiped out my SD card. Is there any way to retrieve the data?

Is there any way to retrieve the data?

There are many ways to retrieve deleted files from your SD card. If you backed up your files before the Hard Reset you can recover them easily. You'll need to plug your Samsung GS5 into the PC and restore your backup by using the Kies program on your computer. However, if you don't have any backup of your data, you can use the EaseUS MobiSaver program to recover most of your files.

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If you aren't familiar with this program, follow the steps below to install and retrieve your files:

  1. 1
    On your PC, open a web browser.
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  2. 2
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  3. 3
    Click on 'Free Download'.
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  4. 4
    Once the setup is downloaded, open and install it on your PC.
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  5. 5
    Follow the instructions on the setup to install the program.
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  6. 6
    Wait for the installation process to complete.
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  7. 7
    Once the program is installed, launch it.
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  8. 8
    Connect your Samsung device to the PC.
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  9. 9
    When the program identifies your phone, it will automatically start the scanning process for the lost files.
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  10. 10
    Now you should be able to see all of your deleted files.
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  11. 11
    Select the items you want to recover.
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  12. 12
    Click on 'Recover'.
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  13. 13
    Specify a location on your PC to store the files.
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  14. 14
    Your files are retrieved and you can now transfer them to your Android phone.
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If you need more help retrieving your data, let us know in the Q&A section.

See more questions like this: On my Samsung Galaxy S2, all the applications are crashing

How to save/backup all Samsung S3 Neo phone stuff onto PC? stuck half way through the process?

I have been following the how to guide from VisiHow. All was going well. I downloaded Kies onto the PC. I connected my phone, then disconnected it as I didn't think it was doing anything, so I think something didn't install properly. I can't find any button on the phone to sync- when I try clicking on the phone it goes to windows media player. I am really lost. I just want to get all information onto the PC so I can do a factory reset as so much on the phone doesn't work now. I unplugged the phone whilst I think something was trying to install, so didn't install properly. Now I can't seem to sync it to the PC. I have tried: Visi how to back up Samsung Galaxy data prior to hard reset to stage 4. I think it was caused by: Unplugging the phone from the PC during stage 4. A little screen popped up with 3 things. 2 successfully install and 1 is not fully installed?

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: How to restore my Samsung Galaxy S2 without losing all pictures

See more questions like this: How do I get my contacts and photos back while dropping my phone on the ground?

It's a Galaxy S5, I think I'll reset from the settings screen. It is all backed up. Any information on the gyroscope?

My accelerometer went out several times. Samsung repaired twice and repair lasted a couple of months. Said it was out of warranty when it went out again. Have Square Trade. They sent me a certified S5. It has gone out too after about 15 days. Mine was about the only phone that the people at the Samsung Kiosk had ever seen with the issue. Never an issue with my old S3.

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See more questions like this: How do l get my power button menu back

S2 Keeps restart/loop, and I don't know what to do?

Hi! My Samsung Galaxy S2 keeps restarting. It turns on, loads up to the part where it has the Samsung Galaxy S2 screen, and then just restarts from there. It keeps doing this, and I'm unable to use my phone. I've tried going into the recovery mode and using 'Wipe Cache Partition", but that didn't work

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In the recovery menu, select "wipe data/factory reset" instead. Please notice that this will erase all of your data on the phone. If this method does not help, remove the back cover, and push the battery towards the contacts. Keep it pressed like that with an object pushed between the lower part of the battery (the one without the contacts) and the phone. See if the phone boots up. If that does not help, replace your battery. You can order one here: Samsung Replacement Battery.

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How do I get my Note2 out of bootload without losing pictures?

My Note2 has gone in bootload mode. whenever I turn it on the Samsung sign comes up on the screen and nothing else. I would like to access the pictures so I can save this because when my phone was working they weren't saved to the memory card which I did not realize until I was unable to get the phone start up

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See more questions like this: How to repair my Samsung Note3 software without losing data (pictures and videos)?

I am locked out of my phone. Used a password to keep my kids out and now the phone will not start. Can you help my unlock my phone to recover my photos WITHOUT performing a hard reset?

I have been locked out of my phone for a week. I locked it with a password to keep my 20 months old out of my phone. Unfortunately, the password that I set will not unlock the phone. We have tried everything from going to the Verizon store, calling Samsung, logging in to my Samsung account and trying to unlock it from there. Everything. I do not want to perform a factory reset. I have pictures of my kids on that phone that are not on the memory card (which the phone corrupted btw). The phone is refurbished and has many issues, but I want those pictures off. If I could find a way to get my pictures, I wouldn't care about losing the apps. Also, I have already tried to plug the phone into my computer and get my photos off, but to no avail. Your article suggests ways to reset the phone if it is having some problems, not how to soft reset it and unlock the phone if the password is enabled. I have tried: I have tried unlocking my phone using my Samsung account. I have called Samsung. I have gone to the Verizon store for help/suggestions. I think it was caused by: I would say that I may have entered the wrong password had I not very carefully entered the password TWICE to ensure that all of the characters were correct. The phone is refurbished. I think that there may be a chance that it defaulted to a password from a previous user.

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See more questions like this: Can you help me unlock my phone which has had a critical problem which needs fixing now?

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Galaxy S3 Pattern swipe change to pin by mistake how can I change it back?

My wife installed some new software on her phone and it changed the security of the phone from swipe pattern for the pin code. Of course, she doesn't remember the pin code she hasn't used for 5 years. Is there some way to force the phone to return to the swipe pattern?

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See more questions like this: How to remove pattern lock without losing data

I do not have access to my contacts anymore, what should I do?

When I press contact key the contact list appears and then the following message pops up:"Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped."

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My phone protecting screen broke and affected my phone memory because it is not working?

My phone is Samsung Galaxy Note3 I have followed all procedures but my phone goes off when it request SIM card.also, it has affected my phone charging system

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Recent edits by: Liz Newman, penrico, Bobby-Jo Keats

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