How to back up and restore your Android smartphone
How to Back Up an Android Device
Congratulations on your new smartphone. Now that you're a proud owner of a new device
much important information do you keep on your Android? Would you be
heartbroken if your Android was lost or stolen, and all your photos,
text messages, contacts, and other valuable data were gone for good,
too? Prevent that disastrous scenario by backing up your phone.
The key to backing up any data is redundancy. You should always have more than one copy of your data.
The First Copy I
recommend making the first backup of your Android data be a copy of the
SD card you keep on your computer. I'll list the basic steps here, but
note that, with Android devices, there may be slight variations in the
exact wording or steps.
1. Connect your Android device to your computer (Windows or Mac should both work) via the USB cable.
2. On your Android, pull down the main menu (swipe down from the top of the screen) and select "USB connection."
3. On the next page, choose USB Mass Storage and hit OK.
You'll see a new drive or "Removable Disk" appear on your computer for
the SD card. Open it up, and copy all the files inside to a new location
on your computer. I would put the date right into the name of the
folder—something like "130815_ANDROID-SD-CARD-BACKUP"—so you can very
easily identify it and when it was created.
first backup copy is all well and good, and you'll be thankful you have
it if anything goes wrong, but it's not likely to be updated too often.
So for your second backup, I recommend choosing a method that will
update more frequently to ensure you have all the most recent photos,
texts, settings, and everything else stored on your Android.
But seeing as Android is all about giving users choice, there are a few different options.
The Second Copy For your second backup copy, you can 1) use an app, 2) take a DIY method, or 3) use the slightly complicated Nandroid backup system for root users only (which I do not cover here due to its complexity and the fact that it's limited to root users).
a backup app—and I list a few of them below—removes most of the
management, organization, and upkeep out of backing up your Android.
It's kind of like a "set it and forget it" solution, although part of
the "setting it" means entering your credit card information, as these
services generally aren't free.
DIY method, which is typically free, takes a bit more effort because
you'll back up different kinds of information to different places: your
settings to Google, for example, but your text-messaging history to
Option 1. Use a Backup App Here are a few apps you might consider using to back up your Android.
works for both root and non-root users, and it lets you schedule
backups to go to a cloud syncing and storage service, including Google
Drive, Dropbox, and Box. There is a free version of Helium available,
but it doesn't let you back up to a cloud service, which is really the
piece you want if you're already making a copy of your SD card manually
every now and again.
G Cloud Backup(free
to download and includes 1GB cloud storage space) is another app to
consider. It lets you back up more than one device to a single account.
If you need more space, you can earn it through referrals and other
activity, such as tweeting about the service (up to 8GB), or just pay
for more (32GB is $32 per year).
works on both rooted and unrooted phones. If you don't know what root
means in this context, don't worry about it. That's a clear sign that
MyBackup Pro is a good app for you (if you're curious about rooting, see
"A Concise Guide to Android Rooting").
Root users may prefer Titanium Backup Pro Key($6.58)
which requires a rooted phones and a second app, called simply Titanium
Backup (free). Install the free app first, then buy the Pro app, which
acts like a key to unlock the advanced features.
Option 2. Back Up Piece-by-Piece (mostly free) If
you're interested in the DIY solutions, you'll want to back up various
data stored on your Android piece-by-piece. Here's how I would break it
I. Apps, Contacts, Email, Calendar, and Settings (using Google as the backup source)
1. Go to Settings > Privacy.
2. Tick two boxes: Back up my settings and Automatic restore.
3. Go to Settings > Account & sync.
4. Select Google.
5. Tick the boxes: Sync Contacts, Sync Gmail, Sync Calendar.
II. Photos: 3 options
A. Photos using Google+ Instant Upload for Android 2.2. and later
1. Install the Google+ app.
Log in with your Google account. When prompted, enable Instant Upload.
If you already have the Google+ app installed, enable Instant Upload
through the Settings menu.
Return to your Android's home screen. Now go to Settings > Accounts
& sync. Select the account you want and tick the box for Sync
instant upload. Now when you take photos, they will be uploaded
automatically to your Google+ account to a private folder called
B. Photos using manual back up to a computer
1. Plug your Android device into your computer using the USB cord.
2. Put your Android into disc drive mode, and open the drive. The phone will appear as a connected device on your computer.
3. Open the device, a
Select the files, and drag them to copy them to your computer.nd look
for the folder called DCIM. That folder contains your photos and videos.
C. Photos using a third-party file-syncing app and service
1. Download a third-party app that lets you upload photos to a hosting service. Options might include Dropbox and SugarSync.
In the app settings, turn on the Instant Upload feature (both Dropbox
and SugarSync have one), which ensures that photos you snap are
automatically uploaded to your Dropbox or SugarSync account.
III. SMS, MMS, call logs, using a third-party app
need yet another third-party app to save text messages, unless you use
Google Voice, in which case Google will back up everything for you. Here
are a few options: