How to use Samsung Smart Switch to transfer data between phones

Samsung Switch 2022
© Mr.Mikla /

If you just purchased a new Galaxy S22 or another Samsung phone, and wish to transfer data from your old phone to the new device, Samsung has a really good tool called Samsung Smart Switch that can do the task for you. Here’s how you can use Samsung Smart Switch to transfer content from your old smartphone to compatible Samsung Galaxy devices.

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Samsung phones such as the Galaxy A53, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or the Galaxy S22 are among the best sellers in 2022. If you have just ordered one of these models, we at NextPit can help you transfer the data. As of 2022, there are several seamless methods of doing this, irrespective of the smartphone model and operating system you’re using.

We have discussed how to transfer content from your old smartphone to a new one in detail, however, we felt that the Samsung smartphones deserve an article of their own because of the comprehensive features offered by Samsung Smart Switch.

Before you start

There are a couple of things you should be aware of before you start using Samsung Smart Switch to transfer content from your old smartphone to the new Samsung device. The very first requirement is that Samsung Smart Switch only works for transferring data to Samsung devices. You cannot, for example, use this tool to transfer data from, say, a Samsung device to a OnePlus device.

Wirelessly transferring content from one smartphone to another is no longer as daunting as it once used to be. It is almost as fast as doing the task using a cable. This is, therefore, our preferred mode of device-to-device content transfer. Now, depending on the smartphone model you own (and the OS it runs), let us take a look at how to use Samsung Smart Switch to wirelessly transfer content.

Samsung Smart Switch: Transferring content to your phone via cable

The first thing you need to make sure of is that the Samsung Smart Switch app is installed on both the devices in question. If your source smartphone is not a Samsung device, you can download the Smart Switch Android app from the Google Play Store.

On most Samsung devices, this app comes pre-installed and can be accessed by going into the following menu:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accounts and backup.
  3. Tap on Smart Switch.

On some lower-end Samsung devices, the Smart Switch App may not come preinstalled. Here’s what you need to do in such a scenario.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accounts and backup.
  3. Tap Bring data from old device under the Smart Switch section.
  4. You will see a prompt to download the Smart Switch app.
  5. Proceed with the on-screen instructions and download the app.
  6. Once the app is installed, grant the necessary permissions.
Screenshots Samsung Smart Switch
If your Samsung phone does not have Samsung Smart Switch pre-installed, you can install it as follows / © NextPit

Once you have ensured that Samsung Smart Switch is installed on both phones, open the app on both devices. You will see a screen that says Bring data to your new phone (or Let's Go). Make sure that both the devices are physically close to each other.

  1. On the old phone, tap Send data/Let's go.
  2. You will now be asked to choose how you want to connect the two devices. Choose Wireless.
  3. On the old phone, you will get a pop-up screen called Invitation to connect. Tap Accept
  4. The new phone will now attempt to connect to your old phone. You will see a prompt on the old phone to allow the connection. Tap on Allow.
  5. The connection will be established immediately.
Screenshots from Samsung Smart Switch
You need to install Samsung Smart Switch on your old phone too! / © NextPit

On the new phone, you will now see the content that you can select for transfer. This screen will also show the estimated storage space that the transferred data will take up on your new phone. You can also see the estimated transfer time here.

The app also lets you specify exactly what you want to import from the old phone. For example, tapping the arrow next to each option will bring up a submenu with the data you want to import. For example, if you tap the arrow next to "Messages", you can choose to import all the SMS messages stored on the phone or only those from a specific time period. You can also do the same for pictures and videos, selecting only the ones you want on your new phone.

  • Once you're sure, scroll down on the new phone and tap Transfer.
  • Once the transfer is complete, click Done on your new phone.
Screenshots from Samsung Smart Switch
You choose what you want to have on the new phone! / © NextPit

Samsung Smart Switch: transferring data to your phone by cable

While the wireless method to transfer content is the easiest way to use Smart Switch, there may be circumstances you will need to use a cable to do this. Here’s how you can transfer content from an Android phone to a Samsung phone using cables.

Things needed: USB Cable, OTG Adapter.
Note: If you have a  Lightning to USB-C or USB-C to USB-C cable, you won't need an adapter.

  1. Install Smart Switch Android app from the Google Play Store
  2. Connect both the phones using the cable.
  3. Open Smart Switch app on the old phone.
  4. On your Samsung device, Open Settings
  5. Tap Accounts and backup
  6. Tap on Smart Switch.
  7. Tap Send data/Let's Go on the old phone.
  8. Tap on Cable.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions, select the content you need on the new phone.
  10. Tap transfer and wait for the process to complete.

Samsung Smart Switch: How to transfer content from iOS

iPhone 13 Pro Max lies next to the Galaxy S22 Ultra
Uses cable or iCloud backup to transfer content from iOS to Samsung devices with Smart Switch. / © Backgroundy /

In case you are moving to a Samsung device from an iPhone, Samsung recommends that you use a cable to achieve this. To do this, you will need to get hold of a Lightning to USB-C cable, a USB-C to USB-C cable (with an adapter) to continue. Here’s how you can start the process.

How to use Samsung Smart Switch with iPhones using a cable

  1. On the Samsung device, tap on Settings and then go to Accounts and backup.
  2. Tap Smart Switch.
  3. In case Smart Switch isn’t installed, follow steps mentioned here.
  4. On the new phone, open Smart Switch and then tap Receive data.
  5. Tap on iPhone/iPad on the "Select a source screen".
  6. Connect the cable between the two devices and tap Trust on the pop-up that appears on the iPhone.
  7. Tap Next on the Samsung device. You may be asked to enter your iPhone passcode during this process.
  8. Samsung will now scan your iPhone for data to be imported.
  9. On the next page, you will see a selection of things that can be imported.
  10. Select all the data you want, scroll to the bottom, and tap on the option that says Transfer.
  11. Depending on the amount of data that needs to be transferred, this can take anything between 30 minutes to several hours.

Samsung Smart Switch: Transfer content from iPhone, iPad using iCloud

The second option (ex) iPhone users have to transfer data to a new Samsung device is to use iCloud to do this. Do note, however, that iCloud does not back up as many things as the cable method lets you. Use this as the second option.

  1. Open Smart Switch on the new Samsung device.
  2. Tap on Receive data and then select iPhone/iPad.
  3. Tap on the option that says Get data from iCloud instead at the bottom.
  4. Enter your iCloud and AppleID credentials and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. You may be asked to enter your verification code. Tap OK.
  6. Select everything you want to import from the iPhone and tap Import.

Samsung Smart Switch: Transfer via SD card

In case you have a high-capacity USB flash drive or a microSD card, you can use these to transfer data from your old Android phone to the new Samsung phone. For the SD card option to work, both devices should feature a microSD card slot.

  1. Insert the microSD card into the old phone.
  2. Install Smart Switch on the old phone from the Google Play Store.
  3. Open Smart Switch and tap the SD card icon on the top right corner and then tap Back up.
  4. You can now select what you need to back up.
  5. After selection, tap Back up again and wait for the process to complete.
  6. Remove the SD card from the old phone and insert it into the SD card slot of the new Samsung phone.
  7. Open Smart Switch on the Samsung phone.
  8. Tap the SD card icon on the top right corner and then tap Restore.
  9. Select all the items you want to restore and then tap Restore again.
  10. Tap Done when the process is complete.

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB-C flash drive

Samsung Smart Switch: Transferring content from Windows Phone or BlackBerry

Windows Phone vs Blackberry
Are you such fanboys that you'll still be using one of these devices in 2022? / © NextPit

The good thing about Samsung Smart Switch is that it allows you to transfer content from really old/outdated platforms like Windows Phones. Here’s how you can do that.

  1. On the Samsung device, open Smart Switch by going to Settings -> Accounts and backup -> Smart Switch.
  2. Click here if the Samsung phone did not come with Smart Switch preinstalled.
  3. Tap on Receive data, and then select Windows Phone. 
  4. You will now see instructions on how to download Smart Switch on your old device.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  6. Once the software is installed on your old phone, open the Smart Switch app on it and then tap Connect.
  7. You will be asked to connect to a network, and the password for that network will be displayed on the new phone.
  8. Enter the password and wait for the data to be transferred.

What does Smart Switch transfers? What it cannot migrate?

The Samsung migration tool does not transfer everything between devices. The type of contents Smart Switch can transfer to your new Samsung Galaxy phone will depend on the type of phone you are migrating from:

From an Android phone:

  • Contacts, schedules, messages, call history, clock settings.
  • Images.
  • Music (DRM-free only).
  • Videos (DRM-free only).
  • Documents.
  • Applications.
  • Most app settings.

From iOS using a cable:

  • Contacts, schedules, messages, notes, call history, browser bookmarks.
  • Images.
  • Music (DRM-free only).
  • Videos (DRM-free only).
  • Documents.
  • Wi-Fi and alarm settings.

From iOS using iCloud:

  • Contacts, schedules, notes, call history, browser bookmarks.
  • Images.
  • Videos (DRM-free only).
  • Documents.
  • Wi-Fi and alarm settings.

What can Samsung Smart Switch not transfer?

  • Contacts saved only on the SIM card.
  • Accounts from Google, social media, and work email.
  • Appointments synced with external accounts.
  • Private application data.
  • Some restricted e-mails (Social Hub, premium accounts, and others).
  • Live wallpapers and themes.

Well, that pretty much sums up our steps for transferring content from your old smartphone to your new Samsung phone using Samsung Smart Switch. Have you used SmartSwitch to achieve this? How has your experience been? Do let us know in the comments below!

This article was written in collaboration with Carsten Drees and updated in August 2022. Comments from before the update have been kept.

NextPit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
Rahul Srinivas

Rahul Srinivas

Among the most experienced tech journalists from India, Rahul has spent the better part of the past decade writing and experiencing technology. In his decade-long career, Rahul has contributed to several Indian and International publications, including Mobilegeeks, Onlygizmos, iPhoneHacks, and The Inquisitr. Before joining NextPit, he held the position of Senior Editor at MySmartPrice - one of India's largest product research platforms.

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  • storm 3 months ago Link to comment

    It's odd to me how people don't manage their smartphone storage. You'd think with all the corporate issues about data backup people would learn. And all the cloud backup storage ads too.

    If you're securing your data and managing your photo/files, it really is a non-issue. Adding a third party seems like a bad solution to data integrity and privacy.

    I would think that if Samsung were doing a verified copy, because that would be a feature, you'd have mentioned it. Just doing a regular copy is a recipe for data corruption. How about encryption from the start to the finish to keep Samsung itself out of your content and during transit?

  • xiamia 6 months ago Link to comment

    Nice sharing. Smart Switch is so powerful.