I'm currently in the process of transferring my old phone's (Samsung Galaxy A8) settings, data, media etc to the new one (Samsung S22 Ultra). The Samsung Smart Switch app does transfer things like the apps themselves, the home screen layout, photos etc just fine. However, preferences and bookmarks in (at least some) non default apps do not seem to transfer.

One example is the national news app, NOS. Smart Switch has transferred the app itself, however none of my settings or news bookmarks (I have a few hundred) can be found on the new phone. Other examples: PostNL, Buienradar and Calls Blacklist. PostNL for example does allow you to log in, but past deliveries and mail history disappear. Other apps only run locally, without an account, and are therefore stuck on the old phone.

I've found that this lack of data/settings transfers applies to all of the non-default apps I've opened so far. In some cases some data can be transferred by logging in (if possible), but historic data does not seem to transfer. I assume all of these end up being files in the internal memory structure however.

So, is there a means to (relatively painlessly) transfer these to the new phone?

Note that the new phone uses Android 12, and a recent comment suggests that adb based solutions may not work. I also get the impression that Titanium Backup (which would additionally require rooting) may not work as smoothly anymore based on recent reviews.

PS. The samsung-galaxy-s22 tag does not exist yet, I'd appreciate it if someone with sufficient reputation could create this. Thanks!

  • 2
    NOS has defined in it's AndroidManifest.xml android:allowBackup="false" and thus it's data can not be accessed for backup or migration. Only if the source device is running Android 12+there should be a possibility to perform a "Device-to-device (D2D) transfers" to a new device for such apps (never tested, I only have read that it should work). But this will also not work if an app uses hardware protected AndroidKeystore for saving cryptographic keys, because by definition these keys can not be exported from the device.
    – Robert
    Sep 18, 2022 at 16:43
  • Would there be a way around this, for example by transferring files manually? I have a separate problem with WhatsApp (my google drive account is not recognised by WhatsApp on the A8), so I'm currently attempting this solution. However, I find that the archiving process stalls, probably on file locks on icons and other media. Would I run into similar issues transferring files from the A8 to the S22 for apps like NOS?
    – MiG
    Sep 18, 2022 at 17:16
  • Unless your old phone is rooted there is no way to access the app-private files of an app. So if Smart Switch does not work for an app the only way is a migration as you have pointed out in your comment. Some apps have a backup or export feature and also an import feature that can be used on the new phone. But that has to be provided by the app and only a few apps have such features.
    – Robert
    Sep 18, 2022 at 18:22
  • I haven't rooted it yet, so that's one route to follow. I'll also report the android:allowBackup="false" setting to NOS, perhaps they can change this in future versions. For the rest, perhaps another answer will bubble up. Will report back if I find a solution myself.
    – MiG
    Sep 18, 2022 at 22:11


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