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

Edited by Jerry Rivers, Anonymous, Alma, Dougie and 27 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 Note 2, and Note 3. 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 fine 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

How to soft reset your Samsung Galaxy

  1. 1
    There are two options to soft reset your Samsung Galaxy:
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    1. The first method is simply performed by pressing the power button for 20 seconds. The screen will eventually turn off. Then, you just turn the mobile device on again. Alternatively, if you are performing a soft reset on your Samsung Galaxy 3 then press the power/lock button for 3-5 seconds until the phone restarts. Wait another 10 seconds and then press and hold the power/lock to restart it again. If this doesn't work, remove the battery for 30 seconds and try again until it works.
    2. The second method involves these few steps:  
      1. Turn off your Samsung device.
      2. Remove the back cover.
      3. Lift out the batter, subscriber identity module (SIM) card, and the Secure Digital (SD) memory card. Then, wait a few minutes before taking the next step.
      4. After you have waited a few minutes, put the SIM, SD card, and the battery back in your Samsung Galaxy.
      5. Snap the mobile device cover back in place.
      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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How to Back-up Your Samsung Galaxy Data Prior to a Hard Reset

  1. 1
    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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  2. 2
    First, on your computer (windows or mac) go to the Samsung website and download Samsung Kies
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  3. 3
    You will have to click choose the right version for Windows or Mac operating system on your computer.
    Also there is now more than one version of keys depending on the Samsung device you have. Make sure you download/install the right version of Samsung Kies. This program will allow you to back up all of your data.
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  4. 4
    Next, connect your mobile device to your computer by plugging in a data cable from the Samsung Galaxy socket to your PC's USB port.
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  5. 5
    From the Kies program on your PC or Laptop, click the "phone" icon from the menu on the left side of the screen.
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  6. 6
    Click "Sync".
    Easy to follow instruction will guide you to copy all of your data on your Galaxy to your computer.
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How to Hard Reset your Samsung Galaxy

  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.
     
    1. On your dial pad type the code: *2767*3855#
    2. The Samsung Galaxy will automatically reset.
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  3. 3
    Hard reset from "Settings"
     
    1. At the home screen tap "Settings". Go to "Back up and reset".
    2. Tap "Factory data reset" to reset all data.
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  4. 4
    The third option for the Galaxy Hard Reset is from the "Start up"
     
    1. 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.
    2. Turn off your mobile device.
    3. Press and hold the "Home" button at the center, and the "Volume Up" button. (If you reach recovery mode, select reboot system now.)
    4. Press the "Power" button until the Galaxy vibrates and the "Android icon" pops up on the screen.
    5. Release the three buttons.
    6. Now, press and hold the "Volume Down" key. Go to "Wipe data/Factory Reset".
    7. Press the "Power" button on the right side of the screen.
    8. Tap the "Yes", and "Delete all user data".
    9. After the reset, press the "Power" button, and the "Volume Down" button.
    10. Once all data is deleted, press the "Power" button. This will restart your Galaxy.
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Hard Resetting the Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 is reset a little differently.
  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.
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  4. 4
    Tap the "Back-up & reset" button near the bottom of the screen.
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  5. 5
    Tap the "Factory data reset" button.
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  6. 6
    A prompt message will appear.
    Follow any instructions, and then tap "Reset device".
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How to Hard Reset a Galaxy S4 if Locked Up

  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 Note 3?

Holding down the power button seems not to work

The official Samsung instructions say that you should follow these steps to soft reset your Note 3.

  • Press and hold 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 Note 3 back on.

See more questions like this: Will I lose my apps, pictures, and messages if I do a soft reset

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 in my phone that made it difficult to retain internet connectivity because 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 Note 2 NT7100 stuck and will not proceed?

I have tried Dr Fone to retrieve my phone data but unable to. I did not back up my phone ever. The problems started when my battery went flat and I went to charge my phone. When I woke up and on my phone, everything is normal and as usual the initial loading is slow. While I am replying my friend on WhatsApp, my phone suddenly turn off and to the Samsung Logo NT7100 Screen and will not proceed. I have cleared the cache and rebooted the phone but unable to. Is there anyway for me to retrieve my Data in my phone? Thanks.

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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: Password Samsung Galaxy Young 2

See more questions like this: My Samsung Galaxy Note4 mobile is locked on emergency calls only and asks for a backup password that I don't have, how can I unlock it without losing my data?

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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 has stopped, Galaxy apps has stopped, etc. I can't access the play store, it crashes before I open it

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See more questions like this: My Note3 was updating and now it says error

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 an some have even said it could be I just need a new battery. However I'm impatient an 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 in 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 cellphone 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: Dropped 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 seen the battery has 87% life. Please help

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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: How can I restore my pictures and contacts on my S3

Can you help me unlock my phone without losing my stuff and data?

CAN'T UNLOCK MY S4 SAMSUNG GALAXY, had locked it through security lock on Android phone and forgot the password, then my husband put on Android Device Manager and its totally locked up.

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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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How to get rid of or fix the "inconsistent system uid" error?

It keeps popping up and has created problems with a few apps that I use regularly. I tried to uninstall and reinstall one app and now it gives me a download error. How do I fix this?

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I want to break my phone lock without formatting?

Hello, you might help me to troubleshoot my problem. I forgot my screen lock (pin code). I need to break the code, I tried many times, and so I need the data in my phone, can you help me. Is there any way. Please help me. I don't want to format the phone actually. I have an important document inside my Galaxy Samsung S4, thank you.

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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 Note 3 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.

See more questions like this: About pin code in Galaxy S3 and lock

USB connection through Data cable?

I am at my whits end. Since the last 2 days only focused on linking my Samsung S3 Mini via data cable to my PC. It has worked before, and then without any reason, one day it stopped. Yesterday I had a small success which lasted about 10 minutes. So its safe to say the problem is not the cable. Any advice I have not yet read online? Kind regards.

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See more questions like this: What can I do when my Samsung Galaxy S2 is stuck in firmware upgrade

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

Is there anyway 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

Hello - I need help with retrieving photos from the internal memory of a Samsung phone without the password?

Hello - one of my dear friends recently lost her daughter of 25 years old to a blood clot in her lung. They were very close and she had many family photos on her Samsung phone. Her Mom would love to have the pics back, but we can't unlock the phone. I offered to help her, but don't know how to retrieve the data from the internal memory. My friend cancelled her daughter's phone plan so there is no SIM card. Is there any way? She only wants the photos, nothing else. Thank you!

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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: My S2 phone is not going beyond the Samsung logo during start-up, please help

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: Hello sir, I am having a problem with my T-Mobile Galaxy S2. When I want to hard reset it on boot screen, I can't press Power button to go through Reset factory function even that button works normally?

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My mobile after startup freezes with in 10 sec. Now I need to take a backup, how? and how to overcome this issue of my mobile S3 (GT19300 with 4.0.2)?

I) Last couple of months,2 to 3 times per day the mobile gets hanged ii) I pull battery out and restart. iii) Last 8hrs mobile screen freezes after startup within 10 sec. Need your advise

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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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