How to Set Up the Samsung Galaxy S 5 for the First Time

When you turn on your Samsung Galaxy S 5 phone the first time, it will ask you a series of ten questions and preferences to configure it.

The good folks at Samsung are well-intentioned, but not every customer who owns a Samsung Galaxy S 5 knows, from day one, whether he or she wants a Samsung account, what’s a good name for the phone, or what the purpose of Dropbox is (much less whether to bother with signing up for one).

On the other hand, if your phone is already set up, you probably took a guess or skipped some questions. Maybe now you’re rethinking some of your choices. No problem. You can go back and change any answer you gave and get your phone to behave the way you want.

The order of the questions varies by carrier but includes the following:

  • Language/Accessibility: This option lets you select your language. The default is English for phones sold within the United States. Also, the phone has some special capabilities for individuals with disabilities. If you have a disability and think you might benefit, take a look at these options.

  • Wi-Fi: Your phone automatically starts scanning for a Wi-Fi connection. You can always use the cellular connection when you are in cellular coverage, but if there is a Wi-Fi connection available, your phone will try to use this first. It is probably cheaper and may be faster than the cellular.

    At the same time, you may not want your phone to connect to the Wi-Fi access point with the best signal. It could be that the strongest signal is a fee-based service, whereas the next best signal is free. In any case, this page scans the available options and presents them to you. If you need to enter a password, you’ll see the screen for a password.

    If this is all too much to take in right now, feel free to skip to the next screen.

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  • Date and Time: This is easy. The default setting is to use the time and date that comes from the cellular network. Just tap on the next button and move on. This date and time from the cellular network is the most accurate information you’ll get, and you don’t need to do anything other than be within cellular coverage now and again.

  • Sign up for a Samsung Account: The Samsung account offers you some nice things such as backing up your phone information and access to music, movies, and video. It’s best to forge ahead and leave those decisions for another time.

  • Google Account Sign-up: “Google account” means an e-mail account where the address ends in @gmail.com. If you already have an account on Gmail, enter your user ID and password here. Many people recommend that you create a Gmail account, but it’s best to go through some other steps first.

  • Location Options: Your phone knowing your location and providing it to an application can be sensitive issue.

    If you’re really worried about privacy and security, tap the green check marks on the screen and then tap the button that says Next. Selecting these options prevents applications from knowing where you are. (This choice also prevents you from getting directions and a large number of cool capabilities that are built into applications.) The only folks who’ll know your location will be the 911 dispatchers if you dial them.

    If you’re worried about your security but want to take advantage of some of the cool capabilities built into your phone, tap the right arrow key to move forward. Remember, you can choose on a case-by-case basis whether to share your location.

  • Phone Ownership: This screen asks you to enter your first and last name. You may ask why this is important at this point. It’s not. If you’ve been able to navigate this far, you may be ready to tap in your first and last name. If not, just tap the right arrow. All will be fine.

  • Dropbox: This is a generous offer, but what is it for? You may or may not ever need this option. If you have a dropbox account already, go ahead and enter your ID and password.

  • Learn about key features: This screen is for setting up the coolest and the most sophisticated capabilities of the phone.

  • Device Name: When this screen comes up, you’ll see a text box that has the model name. You can keep this name or you can choose to personalize it a bit. For example, you can change it to “Bill’s Galaxy S 5” or “Indy at 425-555-1234.”

    The purpose of this name is for connecting to a local data network, as when you’re pairing to a Bluetooth device. If this last sentence made no sense to you, don’t worry about it. Tap Finish. In a moment, you see the Home screen.

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