I recently showed you there were three different ways that you can backup the data you have stored on the smartphone. Backups are good and all, but they’re useless unless you can restore that data at will so today’s tutorial will show you the best way to restore data back onto the Galaxy Note 9.
Restoring Data From Android’s Backup Service
Just like I talked about last time, the Android Backup Service that Google has implemented into the core Android OS is (as of writing this) automated. They happen at seemingly random times but it’s possible that this could change in the future. For now, the whole process is automated and the data restore process is even less accessible.
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The service has the data stored in our Google Drive storage service but it’s like we can go into the software and press a button to restore that data.
In fact, this restore process is only initiated when you first activate your Google account after a factory reset. You have likely seen this in the past. Whether it is when you activate a new smartphone or you have actually performed a factory data reset on the Galaxy Note 9. When you boot back into Android for the first time you are given the option of restoring the data that you have saved on your Google Drive account. Again, this data can be quite random at times as not all developers opt into this type of backup system.
Restoring Data on the Galaxy Note 9 with Samsung Cloud
- Open up the Settings application
- Tap on the Cloud and Accounts Option
- Then tap on Samsung Cloud
- Scroll down to the Backup and Restore section
- Tap on the backup you want to restore the data from
- Tap the Restore Data option on the Galaxy Note 9
- Choose which pieces of data you want to restore
- And finally tap the Restore button at the bottom of the screen
Samsung Cloud is quite the handy little piece of software, but to me, it feels as if it’s just a service to compete with. There are many cloud storage services out there including Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Mega and more. Samsung likes to have competing services and features so they do not have to rely on other companies and that’s something that makes a lot of sense. If Samsung were to rely on a company like Google Drive or Dropbox then things could go south if one of those services changes their policies.
Even if they went the partnership route and signed a contract, they are still obligated to the structure and features these 3rd-party companies offer. Not only does that limit Samsung’s innovation factor but it also allows 3rd-party companies to dominate a market they could take advantage of (a prime example of this is Bixby and the whole virtual assistant market). If Samsung was a tiny company then it would make sense for them to cut corners but they afford to build and maintain their own services.
This is really where Samsung Cloud shines. I mentioned in the last article because it is technically possible to backup some data with Samsung Cloud. Having this data in the cloud can be quite beneficial but it can also become a hassle when you need to restore the data on the Galaxy Note 9. Firstly, you do not have to be connected to a computer like you do when restoring data with Samsung Smart Switch. Since it’s all stored in the cloud all you have to do is tap a few buttons and your data has been downloaded and restored.
Using Samsung cloud also comes with some disadvantages though. Earlier this year it was announced that the service would no longer store 3rd-party application data. Not only that, but any of that application data was to be deleted a month after the announcement was made. It will still hold onto and restore the data of Samsung’s own 1st-party application data, but the service lost a lot of its appeal when it could no longer restore application data from Play Store applications and that’s why I can’t recommend it on the Galaxy Note 9.
How to Restore Data on the Galaxy Note 9 with Samsung Smart Switch
- Open up the Samsung Smart Switch application
- Connect the Galaxy Note 9 to the PC with a USB cable
- Click the Restore button at the bottom of the program
- Click the Select Your Backup Data box (optional)
- Or just click the Restore Now button at the bottom right
- Wait for the data restore to be completed
- Then click the OK button at the bottom of the summary screen
Unless you are going down the full path of installing a Custom Recovery like TWRP, then I feel that Samsung Smart Switch is the best option you have to restore data on your Galaxy Note 9. The data is stored on your computer instead of the cloud (which is actually a subjective reason). I personally prefer to have my backups local since I can move them around from device to device. This allows me to have multiple copies just in case I need to restore that data and something has gone wrong with one of my copies.
Your data stored in Samsung Cloud shouldn’t ever become corrupt, but it is possible. They could end up losing it all and preventing you from doing a data restore entirely. The likelihood of this happening is slim, but it is possible. Just like it’s possible that stored data from Samsung Smart Switch can become corrupt, be lost from a fatal PC issue (such as malware), or whatever the case may be. But with Smart Switch I know where that data is stored and I can move or copy it over to my NAS, toss it in a different cloud storage service, etc.
These backup and restore data methods really all boil down to personal preference. Each has their own benefits and advantages so go with the one you think provides the optimal solution for you. I think it’s clear that I prefer the Smart Switch back and restore option for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, but that’s only out of these three options. If you ever get into installing a Custom Recovery like TWRP then I much prefer full Nandroid backups compared to these three solutions.
Smart Switch comes in a close second place, but nothing beats doing a full Nandroid restore of your data with TWRP as it is a complete snapshot of your data. Not everyone is willing to go down that path as installing TWRP as it trips Knox and that could make you lose your warranty. This depends on where you live and where you purchased the phone from. . .but it’s still a possibility. As I’ve said time and time again here on Android Explained, I am drawn to the number of options the platform offers and restoring Galaxy Note 9 data is on exception either.