Samsung Galaxy S5: Top 16 tips and tricks

We gave an Editor's Choice award to theGalaxy S5for its broad range of features, but you still need to learn how to use them all. Luckily though, we've come up with 15 key tips to help you get the best out of your S5, covering everything from customisable features to little-known methods of making it run faster and more efficiently.

More than three years after the S5's release, our peers over at IT Pro's sister title, Expert Reviews, also believe it still has a lot to offer if you have the time to check out its features. Is the Samsung Galaxy S5 better than the S6?Head on over to Expert Reviews to find out and let us know if you disagree!

Enable fingerprint security

In the past, unlocking your phone was a bit different to the biometric security innovations we have today. One of the first devices to trial biometric authentication was the Galaxy S5, scanning your fingerprint to unlock the device. This impressive technology offers a convenient way to unlock your phone quickly but also provides users with increased smartphone security.

However, this handy authentication is not available automatically; instead you must activate it in the settings menu. Once you've done this, the phone will ask you to scan your finger 10-20 times to build an accurate map of your fingerprint. Depending on your preferences, you can carry out the process on multiple fingerprints if you want, so you don't always have to use your thumb.

Scanning several different fingerprints does give you the advantage of guaranteeing access to the device with more than one set of hands. It's also useful to register the same fingerprint twice, upright and sideways, so you can avoid sensor confusion and unlock your device easily from a number of different angles.

Transfer your old data and contacts

Many users find that one of the most irritating things when they purchase a new phone is transferring their data across to their new mobile from the old one. Contacts are very important as, otherwise, how will you keep in touch with the people close to you?

For the Galaxy S5, there's a few quick fire ways to ensure you don't miss a thing when transferring this all important data over. First of all, you can transfer most of your old data across even if you no longer have your old phone. To do this, simply download the Facebook and Twitter apps onto your new device and if you already have accounts, just click yes when you're asked whether you want to merge contacts data. And hey presto!

However, there's a more refined way to do this if you have your old phone to hand. In the Contacts app of your old handset, go to the Settings menu and look for the "merge contacts/account" option. This syncs all your contacts data with a Google Mail account so that when you login on the new phone, it'll all syncs automatically. Lovely.

Set up remote security features

If you're anything like us, your mobile phone probably stores a lot of information on you - from family photos to banking details - so it's a no-brainer to set up extra security measures that mean you can find, lock and wipe your phone if you lose it, or it gets stolen.

It's definitely possible to use another vendor for this, but Samsung does boast its own built-in tools for MDM (mobile device management). The best known of these is probably Knox, a set of security tools aimed at enterprise customers.

It's a breeze to set these up, and while fingers crossed you'll never need to use them, you can rest easy knowing that if you do, then it's nice and simple.

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Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.