How do I find the emergency recovery code for my Samsung Smart Switch?

What is the emergency recovery code for Samsung Smart Switch?

The emergency recovery code for Samsung Smart Switch is a unique code that allows you to access and recover data from your old Samsung device when moving to a new device using Smart Switch.

When you first set up Smart Switch, it generates an emergency recovery code that acts as a backup password. This 16-digit code allows you to retrieve your data even if you forget your Samsung account password or encounter other issues accessing your account during the data transfer process.

The recovery code is essential for guaranteeing you can migrate your data in the event of login or transfer problems. It provides a failsafe way to get your photos, videos, contacts, notes, and other information off your old Samsung phone or tablet.

Why is the emergency recovery code important?

The emergency recovery code for Smart Switch provides an essential backup option for several reasons:

  • If you forget your Samsung account password, the recovery code allows you to bypass the login and access your data.
  • It prevents your data from being permanently inaccessible if you encounter login or authentication issues.
  • The code acts as a backup in case you lose access to the email associated with your Samsung account.
  • It allows you to retrieve your data even if your old device is damaged or unusable.
  • The recovery code gives you a way to transfer your data even if your old device won’t turn on or connect to Smart Switch.

Without the emergency recovery code, you could permanently lose access to your data if you encounter issues with your Samsung login, device connectivity, or other problems when transferring your data using Smart Switch.

When do you receive the emergency recovery code?

Samsung generates the 16-digit emergency recovery code for Smart Switch when you first set up and register your Samsung account with the Smart Switch app.

The recovery code is displayed after you agree to the Smart Switch terms and conditions during the initial app setup process. Samsung will explicitly state that this code is the emergency recovery code for reaccessing your data.

It’s crucial to record this code and keep it in a safe place, such as by writing it down or saving it in a password manager. You’ll need the exact code to recover your data if issues arise down the line.

If you didn’t record the code or lost it, you unfortunately can’t retrieve it later on. Samsung only displays the emergency recovery code once, during your initial Smart Switch registration.

However, if you forgot to record the code, you can use your Samsung account credentials to transfer your data as long as you remember your username and password. The recovery code simply provides an additional backup option.

How do I recover my Smart Switch data using the emergency code?

If you have your Smart Switch emergency recovery code, you can use the following steps to retrieve your data:

  1. Open the Smart Switch app on your new Samsung device.
  2. On the main menu, select “Emergency Recover.”
  3. Enter your 16-digit emergency recovery code when prompted.
  4. Select whether you want to transfer your call logs, messages, photos, settings, etc. and tap “Next.”
  5. Carefully read the warning about erasing data on your new device. Tap “I understand and agree” to continue.
  6. Connect your new device to your old Samsung device using a USB-C or USB cable. You may need to enable USB debugging on the old device.
  7. On your new device, Smart Switch will load your data from the old device. Do not disconnect the cable during the transfer.
  8. When complete, your data is loaded onto your new device. You can now disconnect and begin using your new Samsung device.

As long as you have the correct 16-digit emergency recovery code, these steps allow you to retrieve your data from your old device and fully migrate to your new device.

What should I do if I lost my recovery code?

If you unfortunately lost your Smart Switch emergency recovery code, you have a few options:

  • First, double check your old emails from around the time you first set up Smart Switch. Samsung may have emailed you the code.
  • See if you wrote it down somewhere else, like in a notebook or on your calendar.
  • You can still transfer your data as long as you know your Samsung account credentials.
  • Use backup authentication options if you don’t have your Samsung password, like verifying through a linked Facebook account.
  • Perform a factory reset on your old Samsung device to wipe it. Then set it up again to get a new Smart Switch recovery code.

While inconvenient, you can regain access to your data as long as you remember your Samsung account details. The recovery code simply provides an alternate method.

If you still cannot access your account or data after exhausting these options, you may need to contact Samsung support for further assistance recovering your information.

How long should I keep my emergency recovery code?

It’s recommended you keep your Smart Switch emergency recovery code until you have fully migrated your data from your old device and confirmed it transferred successfully.

This means keeping the 16-digit code at least until you’ve completed the Smart Switch process and verified your contacts, photos, apps, settings, and other data are present on your new phone or tablet.

Once your new device is fully set up with all your old data, you no longer need to retain the emergency recovery code. You can destroy or delete the paper or file where you recorded the code.

However, keeping the code a little longer as an extra precaution is not a bad idea. You may want to hold onto it for a few weeks or months after your data migration, just in case an issue arises with your new device.

Overall, keep the emergency recovery code until you feel fully comfortable relying on your Samsung account credentials to manage and access your data. Once satisfied, you can discard your Smart Switch code without worry.

Should I save my emergency recovery code somewhere?

Yes, Samsung highly recommends saving your Smart Switch emergency recovery code somewhere secure as soon as you receive it.

Some safe places to store your 16-digit code include:

  • Writing it down on paper and keeping it somewhere secure like a safe or locked file cabinet.
  • Saving it in a password manager app that requires master password access.
  • Encrypting it and storing it on a USB drive in a safe location.
  • Storing it on an encrypted external hard drive or backup drive.
  • Writing it down and keeping it in your wallet or another location you always have on your person.

The key things are keeping the code physically secure and making sure you’re the only one with access to it. Avoid saving it in an email, plain text file, or other unsecured digital location.

Having your emergency recovery code stored safely somewhere gives you assurance that you can always reaccess your data even if your Samsung account has issues. It’s highly recommended given the importance of this failsafe code.

Can someone else use my emergency recovery code?

No, your Smart Switch emergency recovery code is designed to only work for you. Samsung ties the code to your specific Samsung account and device data.

Even if someone else has your 16-digit recovery code, they cannot use it to access your Samsung account, transfer your data, or view your private information. The code is useless to anyone except you.

This safely allows you to store your emergency recovery code in a separate location without worrying about security or privacy risks. Samsung’s systems will only allow the proper account holder to use the Smart Switch data recovery process.

So feel free to keep your code written down or saved in an app, as long as you keep it protected from access by other people. You don’t have to worry about the code being misused if someone else were to obtain it.

Can I reuse my emergency recovery code?

No, your Smart Switch emergency recovery code is a one-time use code. It becomes invalid after you enter it successfully to recover your data.

Once you go through the emergency data recovery process, that specific 16-digit code will no longer work. This prevents multiple uses and potential abuse.

If you need to migrate your data again to a new device in the future, you’ll receive a new emergency recovery code during that Smart Switch setup process. The old code you used previously will not work again.

This one-time limitation helps protect your data by ensuring your recovery code can’t be endlessly reused by you or anyone else who may have obtained it. Once Smart Switch grants data access, that code becomes permanently invalid.

Does the emergency recovery code expire?

No, your Smart Switch emergency recovery code does not have an expiration date and will never expire on its own. It remains valid and will work years or even decades later if still needed to recover your data.

The code only becomes invalid once you successfully use it to complete an emergency data transfer. Otherwise, it essentially lasts forever.

This makes it important to keep your recovery code in a safe place where you can access it in the future if necessary. As long as you have the code, you can retrieve your data years later even if you’ve forgotten your Samsung credentials.

However, also keep in mind that your Smart Switch data itself may expire over time. So if you reset an old device and create new data many years later, your emergency code would only retrieve the outdated information. But the code itself does not expire.

Should I memorize my emergency recovery code?

Samsung does not explicitly recommend memorizing your entire 16-digit emergency recovery code. This code is quite long, making it difficult for most people to memorize reliably.

Instead, it’s better to store your Smart Switch code somewhere secure that you can easily reference later, like in a password manager or encrypted drive. This reduces the risk of forgetting part of the code.

However, if you feel very confident you can accurately memorize the full 16-digit code, and recall it months or years down the line, memorization provides an extra way to access your code if you lose the physical copy.

Just keep in mind that a single incorrect digit will make your memorized code useless. So only attempt to memorize your recovery code if you’re extremely confident in your ability to recall long strings of numbers for extended periods.

Otherwise, stick with writing down and securely storing your emergency recovery code somewhere safe.

Can I update or change my emergency recovery code?

No, you cannot update or change your Smart Switch emergency recovery code once it’s generated during setup. The same 16-digit code will remain valid until you use it to recover your data.

If your existing code is lost or compromised somehow, Samsung does not provide a way to have a new emergency recovery code issued.

The only option is to perform a factory reset on your old device, wiping your local data. You can then set up Smart Switch again to get a new code. But this will erase your existing local files.

To prevent this scenario, be sure to record your code properly when first configured, and keep it somewhere secure. Never store your emergency recovery code in a way that leaves it accessible to others.

Treating your 16-digit recovery code carefully when you first receive it will help ensure you never need to reset your device and start over to obtain a new code.

Should I be worried about security risks with the emergency recovery code?

Samsung’s emergency recovery system is designed to be secure – your 16-digit code is useless to anyone except you. However, basic precautions are still a good idea:

  • Never store your code in unencrypted plain text files, emails, or other unsecured digital formats where it could be accessed by others.
  • Do not take photos or screenshots of your code which could remain on cloud storage indefinitely.
  • Only write down your physical code in secure locations where no one else can access it.
  • Consider encrypting your code if storing it digitally on a hard drive or cloud backup.
  • Never share your recovery code with anyone, even Samsung support. Real employees will never ask for it.

Following basic security best practices keeps your emergency recovery code protected. As long as you record your code securely and never deliberately share it, you can feel safe knowing your Smart Switch data remains protected and recoverable.


Your Samsung Smart Switch emergency recovery code provides an essential fallback option for transferring your data if your primary login methods fail. Be sure to record this 16-digit code when prompted during your initial setup, and save it somewhere secure like a password manager or safe.

Never share your code with anyone, and avoid storing it in unsecured digital locations. With proper precautions, your recovery code will act as a data lifeline, ensuring you can always migrate your information to a new Samsung device smoothly and securely.