The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, a refresh of their popular flagship Android smartphone, is arguably still one the best of this year’s lineup of flagship Android smartphones. The fast performance, great battery life, a beautiful 5.0 (S7) or 5.5-inch (S7 Edge) screen and amazing camera all combine to present users with one of the most attractive and powerful Android phones to date. We’ll show users the best steps to take in setting up this great phone for the first time.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge adds the signature tapered thin edge with unique edge apps that make it different from many Android phones. This guide will show users how to set up the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, although most of these steps will also work with the Galaxy S7.
After Samsung’s snafu with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall, a lot of Android phone buyers will choose to replace the Note 7 with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, since they’re about the same size. The Edge doesn’t include the great Note 7 stylus, but a third-party stylus like the great Adonit Dash stylus ($39.99) might suffice for those who sparingly use one.
First Boot Setup
The first boot takes the user through the setup steps to get their phone connected to Wi-Fi, Google and Samsung accounts, and it helps the user transfer data from another phone or download it from an earlier backup. You can also secure the phone.
Turn on the phone and connect to power if needed. Then follow the onscreen wizard. The slideshow below shows the screens you’ll see as you go through the first boot setup of the Galaxy S7 Edge.
Transfer Data from Your Old Phone Using Smart Switch
Samsung offers a few ways to transfer data from an old phone to the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. These methods work whether the old phone is a Samsung phone, another brand Android phone or even the iPhone. Samsung includes a USB dongle inside the box. Connect the included USB charging cable to the dongle and connect the dongle to the Galaxy S7 Edge. Connect the cable to the old Android phone.
If you switched from an iPhone, then Connect an iPhone Lightning cable to the iPhone and the USB end to the dongle. Use the Smart Switch app on the Galaxy S7 Edge to transfer data. Open Settings and then tap Backup and reset to start Smart Switch. Tap Open Smart Switch. Follow Samsung’s how to use Smart Switch.
Unfortunately, almost every Android phone comes with at least a few apps slightly out of date. So fire up the Google Play Store pretty early on and update all the apps already installed on the phone. This can take a long time.
Tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) next to the words Google Play at the top left corner. Tap My Apps on the next screen. Then tap UPDATE ALL or tap an app to individually update apps. I sometimes prefer to update a few at a time because it seems like the Google Play Store gets hung up and takes forever if you don’t. If you choose UPDATE ALL, then put down the phone and walk away. This can take an hour if you have a lot of updates.
Secure the Galaxy S7 Edge with the Fingerprint Scanner
Now, let’s secure the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge by adding a fingerprint to the fingerprint scanner that comes built into the phone’s operating system software. The first boot setup above should ask the user to do this, but here’s how to do it for those who skipped it during first boot.
Go to Settings by swiping down from the top of the screen or opening the Settings app from the app drawer. Find Lock screen and security and tap on it. Now tap Add fingerprint to bring up the screen where users can add a new fingerprint. If you already added a password, it’ll ask for it here. Enter the password and tap the enter key (a check mark at the bottom right).
The video below shows how to use and setup the fingerprint reader on an S6, but it works the same way on the S7 with minor differences.
Now, add the fingerprint by putting the finger tip on the home button until it registers a certain percentage and the circle that shows up starts to close. Repeat this lifting the finger off the button and placing it back on the button moving it slightly each time until it reads 100%. Repeat the steps up to three more times. I use my index fingers and thumbs.
What do the other options do in the Fingerprint settings? First, set the last on/off switch ON or else the fingerprint scanner won’t work. The other three control the Web sign-in feature in the built-in Samsung browser. It only works in the Samsung browser.
Verify that the Samsung account will let you use your fingerprint instead of entering your Samsung account password while buying apps in the Galaxy App Store.
The last setting lets users set up Samsung Pay and use it to buy things with the Samsung Pay feature. Learn more about using and setting up Samsung Pay in our post about the feature. While you’re at it, learn how to use Android Pay, too. We help you decide which one to use with our comparison of the two NFC payment options available on the Galaxy S7 Edge.
Backup & Restore
There’s a great guide to automatically backing up photos on an Android phone that users should consult. It shows users how to use Google Photos or Dropbox. I also use it to set the Android versions of OneDrive, Amazon Photos, Flickr and Facebook to back up my photos.
To use the built-in backup features on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, open Settings. Tap Backup and reset. In this screen we see two options. Tap the first Back up my data button under Samsung account. Turn on Auto back up to set the phone to automatically back up all the data every hour while connected to a Wi-Fi signal. Then choose the things you want backed up from the list.
- Clock – backs up all alarms and clock settings from the Clock app
- Messages – backs up all the messages you’ve saved in the built-in Samsung Messages app
- Phone – backs up all call logs using the built-in Phone app
- Settings – backs up important phone settings
When finished tap on the back arrow in the upper left corner.
Under Google account tap Back up my data. There’s only one option to turn on or off. It backs up things like Wi-Fi passwords, call history and data from various apps installed on the phone. This periodically backs up the data.
Search the Google Play Store to find third-party backup apps like App Backup & Restore, which will back up your installed apps so you don’t have to install them from the Google Play Store.
Find a Lost Galaxy S7 Edge
The Android Device Manager helps users find their lost Android smart phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Check out our guide (link above) to use the feature. The steps are simple.
- Head over to the Android Device Manager website and log into your account.
- Click the drop down menu in the box superimposed over the map.
- Select the phone and the map will show its location if it can find it.
- Use Ring, Lock or Erase to protect the phone or find it in your house.
If you want to use Samsung’s solution, you’ll need to set it up. That’s why we prefer the Google solution. However, here’s how to use Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature.
Open Settings and tap Lock screen and security again. Tap Find My Mobile. If you have a fingerprint or password configured for security the phone will ask you to enter it or use the fingerprint scanner. If you haven’t already entered your Samsung account information, do so at the top of the screen.
Turn on Remote controls and Google location services. If you want to get alerts when someone inserts a new SIM card, turn that on too. The screen that shows up after tapping this will ask for a phone number for sending a text message alert. You can also customize the alert message or add phone numbers from Contacts using the button reading CONTACTS.
Clean Up the Home Screen and Add Widgets
The Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a lot of junk on the home screen, especially if buyers get it from one of the wireless carriers. To remove apps press and hold on the icon you want to remove until the Remove or Move Apps icons appear at the top of the screen. Drag the app icon to the Remove icon to get rid of it. This doesn’t uninstall the app, but does get it off the screen. Repeat this process till all the apps you don’t want are gone.
To add apps to the home screen, open the App Drawer, the white icon with 9 dots on the dock. This opens a screen showing all the apps installed on the phone. Tap and hold an app until the home screen appears. Drop the app on the home screen where you want it. Drag it to the edge of the screen to move between the screens and drop it on a different home screen.
Tap and hold on the home screen to show the Widgets icon at the bottom of the screen. You’ll also see icons for Wallpaper, Themes and Screen grid. Tap on Widgets to add them to the home screen. Use the same tap and hold gesture you used to put an app icon on the home screen, only this time with widgets.
You can change the screen’s wallpaper or theme using those icons when you tap and hold on the home screen. You can also change the screen grid size. This changes the size of the icons so more of them can fit on-screen. The options include 4×4 (default), 4×5 or 5×5 grids.
Configure the Edge Feature
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a unique feature that puts things like contacts, web favorites, apps, news, weather, Twitter trends and more on the edge of the screen behind a shortcut accessed using a swipe in from the right or left edge.
Here’s how to configure the Edge feature. First, open Settings and find the Edge screen settings and tap it. The main settings screen appears to show you how to use it. Swipe towards the left or right to see the animations which show how to open and swipe between the edge screens.
The three options control how the edge screen works. Turn on the Edge panels and feeds to get options to see apps, website bookmarks, contacts or other panels. The Feeds let you use things like stock feeds, phone call log, news feeds or your fitness tracking info. Turn them on or off and then tap on them to configure which Edge screen features you’d like turned on.
In the screen shots above, you’ll see that you can put a check mark in the box above each panel or feed. There’s a DOWNLOAD link above the options which opens the Galaxy App Store so you can download more panels and feeds.
The last screen shot on the far right above shows the options for the look and place of the Edge Screen Handle. Put it on the right or left side of the Galaxy S7 Edge and change the size. You can find this screen by tapping on the link at the bottom of one of the first two screens above. The link at the bottom of the first screen shot above shows the Edge panel handle settings seen in the screenshot on the right above. The handle will show up along the edge of the screen. You can move it up or down with the icon showing the up/down arrows. Make it larger or smaller. It also can look more transparent or less. Try different settings to see what works best for you.
Under the Edge feed settings (center screen shot above), you see a link for Edge feed timeout. Tap it to set the amount of time the feeds show before they disappear when you stop using them.
To change the order they show in when swiping between different panels or feeds, tap the MORE button in the upper right corner of either the panels or feeds selection screens (left or middle screen shot above). Tap Reorder and then drag the panels and feeds to the places you want them.
Most of the panels and feeds in the Galaxy App Store are free, but a few cost $1.50 to download.
Set Mobile Data Limits
The Galaxy S7 Edge lets you set a data limit so you don’t use up all of your mobile data. To do so, open Settings and then tap Data Usage. The second screen shot seen below will appear.
In the screen above notice that it lets you set both a mobile data limit and a warning. Turn on mobile data with the first on/off switch. Then turn on the limit with the second. Drag the red or black lines above to set the limits to the desired number.
I have a high data limit with my T-Mobile phone. It’s at 10GB/month, but I set it to turn off data automatically (data limit) at 9GB so I’m sure I’ll never go over on accident. Then, set the warning. I want to know if I get to 5GB because that’s a lot of data to use. If I use up half of my data before the midway point in my monthly billing cycle, then I know I may need to turn it off for some apps.
To turn off data for specific apps, scroll down while in the second screen seen above. This shows apps installed on the phone (see third screen above). Tap an app and you can now turn off the app’s use of data while it’s not active by setting the Restrict background data to ON (fourth screen above).
Also set the dates for your monthly billing cycle. Mine’s set to Feb 29-March 31. Get this information from your mobile wireless carrier. It’s usually the day your bill becomes active. If you can’t find it in your bill, call the customer service line and ask.
Customize Notification Shortcuts and Quick Settings
We’ll start with the Notification panel shortcuts.
The notifications settings shortcuts show up when the user swipes down from the top of the screen. You’ll see the various settings set to show up in the first screen shot above. Pull down again on the row of five icons to see all of them. Then tap EDIT to show the screen on the right above that lets us choose which settings show up in the Notification panel.
To change the icons you want to show on the top row, tap and drag icons into that top row until the five most used settings show up there. Then, put the second most used settings in the second row. The rest will only show up when you pull down the second time to show all the settings icons.
To use the settings, tap to turn features on or off. For example, the Wi-Fi setting turns it off when the user taps on it. Tap and hold to open the settings screen to control that feature.
Quick Settings show up when the user opens the Settings app. Pull down and tap on the settings icon. You’ll see two rows of six icons total by default. Tap EDIT to change which settings options show up here. Uncheck the ones you don’t want and then check the six you do want. You can have up to nine icons show up in Quick Settings.
Add Samsung Themes
Themes change the way the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge looks. You can easily change things like the screen background the fonts and colors.
Open Settings and then find the Themes setting and tap it. By default you’ll only see one theme installed. Tap MORE THEMES to install new ones from the Galaxy App Store’s Theme Store. Find a new theme and tap on it and tap DOWNLOAD. The Theme Store downloads and installs the needed artwork and settings. When it finishes, tap APPLY to set it as the current theme. The operating system takes a few seconds to install everything needed.
First, you’ll notice the background looks different. Also, the Notifications Panel icons change. Open some of the stock Samsung apps like the Phone app, Messages and you’ll see the differences.
To change the theme back to the stock Samsung theme, follow the above but select the Default theme.
This only gets the user started. You will now want to log into all their accounts inside various apps. You may want to arrange apps into folders or place most used apps on the home screen. Go through Settings to customize certain things that we didn’t cover already.
Please read Top 10 Galaxy S7 Edge Settings to Change
Some of these settings will include:
- Bluetooth – Connect to your Bluetooth headset or speakers.
- Mobile Hotspot and Tethering – change the password to one you will remember when you want to connect to your phone from a tablet or computer.
- Notifications – change notifications by turning off app notifications you don’t care about.
- Display – customize how long the phone’s screen will stay on without your interaction or how bright it will show. Also turn on Smart stay so the phone won’t go to sleep if you’re looking at it.
- Accounts – add other accounts like a second email account and more.
Spend time learning the phone’s user interface and features.
Remove or Disable Junk Apps
Play with the built-in apps and consider turning some of them off so they don’t take up memory or battery life. To turn them off, open Settings. Tap Applications and then Application Manager. Find apps you know you won’t use like the Sling Live TV app on a T-Mobile Galaxy S7 Edge. Tap UNINSTALL to get rid of it. The phone asks if you’re sure. Tap OK.
In some cases you can’t uninstall the app. It offers an option to DISABLE. Use it to keep the app from running in the background and using memory, battery life or data.
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