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How to back up your Galaxy Note 7 before exchanging it

Don't return or exchange your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 without a recent backup or at the very least a plan to transfer important information over to your new device.

Now playing: Watch this: Samsung recalls Galaxy Note 7 phones

Let's start with the bad news: Samsung has announced a global recall of the Galaxy Note 7. So, unless you want to risk your phone's battery catching fire, you'll need to return or exchange it. Carriers in the US already announced plans for customers to return the Note 7 while Samsung corrects the issue.

Before you return your Note 7 to Samsung or a wireless carrier, make sure you have a recent backup of your device. There are a few ways going about ensuring your information stays safe.

Samsung Cloud

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Now for the good news: Samsung's backup service, Samsung Cloud, couldn't have come at a better time. Samsung's new service creates an exact backup of your device, restoring everything from installed apps to conversations in the Messages app.

With Samsung Cloud currently limited to the Note 7, this is your best bet only if you plan on exchanging a recalled Note 7 for a fixed Note 7.

You can follow the instructions to back up and restore your Note 7 using Samsung Cloud in this post.

Use your Google account

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Using your Google account to back up an Android device is an easy option, but you'll need to back up your photos and videos separately using Google Photos.

On the Note 7, go to Settings > Cloud and accounts > Accounts > Google and make sure sync is turned on for your most important information (contacts, calendar, etc.). Doing so will sync any changes you've made to your address book, for example, to Google's servers.

Then go to Settings > Cloud and accounts > Backup and reset and double-check that "Back up my data" is enabled under the Google account section. The Samsung account section refers to Samsung Cloud, which we've already covered. This setting creates a list of apps installed on your device, various settings (such as wifi networks you connect to), and your homescreen layout.

Samsung Smart Switch

Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you decided you don't want to exchange for another Note 7, you can use Samsung's Smart Switch app to transfer photos, videos, messages, and and settings to another Samsung device. The app should come preinstalled on any Galaxy devices.

Using Smart Switch does require you to have both devices present in order to transfer data, so if you process an exchange in store as the store representative to give you a few minutes to transfer content.

Going iPhone 7?

With Apple expected to announce the iPhone 7 on September 7, and Samsung's recall occurring just days before that, now might be a good time to jump from the Android ship. If you decide to switch from the Note 7 to an iPhone, you can use Apple's Move to iOS Android app to make the transition as smooth as possible.