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Best backup apps: save all your Android's innards

As disaster can strike without warning, backing up your messages, images, data, contacts and everything else that is important to you needs to be made easy. A selection of backup apps exist for this reason. There are free and paid backup apps, some requiring root privileges, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. These are the best backup apps.

Android and data backups: a tragic tale

Android has lacked a flawless backup solution for years. Only with root access is it possible to create a complete backup, making an iPhone-style switch a complicated affair. Enviously we look on iOS users who can upgrade their iPhone and, after a single login, see all their old data and settings magically restored.

The following backup solutions each deliver this comfort in part, but often root privileges are required for the app to get access to relevant parts of the file system. What this means and how it works is explained in this article:

Titanium backup

Assuming you have root access, no other backup app comes close to Titanium Backup. This exhaustive app can save almost anything: apps, application data, messages, system settings, widgets, backgrounds, you name it.

Its recovery services don’t only work on stock devices, either, but also across most hardware, Android versions and custom ROMs. Anyone who likes an experimental Android experience and has flashed their device will appreciate Titanium Backup.

Extensive backup options Confusing interface
Access to system apps How to use it barely explained
Almost total control offered through fine-tuning  
App management  
Removal of bloatware and old data  
best backup apps titanium backup
Left shows the overview screen, right the main menu in Titanium Backup. / © ANDROIDPIT
Titanium Backup ★ root Install on Google Play

Super Backup

Super Backup can not only backup messages and contacts but also applications, call logs, bookmarks and your calendar. Superuser privileges are only required for backing up settings and app data. You can set it up to automatically send a copy of any backups you create to your Gmail address, and it now supports the same with Google Drive.

You can’t backup all media formats with Super Backup Pro, but for those files it supports, the operation is self-explanatory and simple to carry out. The Pro version is devoid of advertising.

Easy to create backups No automated backups through alternative cloud storage solutions
Ability to send backups automatically to Gmail Can't backup media
No root access needed  
best backup apps super backup
Clear and simple: Super Backup. / © ANDROIDPIT
Super Backup : SMS & Contacts Install on Google Play


For those who are reluctant to let their data stray too far, MyPhoneExplorer allows you to create a complete backup locally on your computer. Simply connect to your PC over WLAN, Bluetooth or a USB cable through the Windows program and you’re ready to go. The tool focuses not only on backing up data, but it also provides additional functions such as sending SMS messages via PC and app management (start, uninstall).

All data available offline Requires Windows
Backs up all file types  
best backup apps myphoneexplorer
If you're attached to your backups, MyPhoneExplorer transfers everything to your PC. / © FJ Softwaredevelopment
MyPhoneExplorer Client Install on Google Play


Helium (formerly Carbon) comes from the makers of ClockworkMod and is one of the few backup apps that convinces not only with its functionality but also with its attractive design. Even without root privileges, it is possible to use Helium to backup not only your apps but also messages, Wi-Fi passwords, and application data. Backups of media files such as photos, music and videos are not possible with Helium.

The paid version provides a backup schedule, cloud connectivity and the removal of all ads. 

Simple solution Limited range of backup options
Doesn't require root access Some apps take a while to backup
Full cloud connectivity  
Automated backups possible  
best backup apps helium
Backups and restorations don't require much explaining in Helium. / © ANDROIDPIT
Helium - App Sync and Backup Install on Google Play


The target group of MyBackup is the newbies. A simple interface and deliberately limited backup options make the application very approachable. It also includes root-requiring options to backup application settings, data and APKs.

Regular users can create backups of their programs, messages, system settings, APNs and contacts and call lists. Cloud storage is only available from the manufacturer itself, and it’s limited to 100 MB. If you want more space, you will need to pay for it.

No need to regist Only one cloud storage option
Offers local backups Selection of media made difficult
Simple interface  
No root access required  
best backup apps mybackup
My Backup Pro: only if you sign up do you gain access to cloud storage. / © ANDROIDPIT
My Backup Install on Google Play

Ultimate Backup Lite

Ultimate Backup Lite offers a mix of features for devices with and without root privileges. Thanks to an introduction and clearly arranged UI, it’s easy to navigate from the off. Various file formats and areas of the smartphone can be backed up, with SMS being the most recent thing to see inclusion.

You can upload your backups to Dropbox, Google Drive and Box. For superusers, you can also freeze an app's state and restore it later.

Great design No support for media files
Comprehensive information on programs  
Root functionality excellent  
best backup apps ultimate backup lite
Ultimate Backup Pro provides more detailed information than the other apps. / © ANDROIDPIT
Ultimate Backup Install on Google Play


Thanks to the automated backup of photos through Dropbox or Google+, as well as music through other cloud storage solutions, there is hardly any need for full backups of smartphones or tablets. One of the most important uses of backup apps, however, is for backing up application data and settings, so you can transfer these over to a new device with ease.

In this regard, Helium is the best solution for unrooted devices, but superusers still stand to benefit from the extended options it provides. For the smartphone hobbyist, Titanium Backup represents the Swiss army knife of backup apps, being simply littered with options.


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  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    Superbackup is one of the best but instead back up your files to pc to stay safe!! because cloud may use your data !!and its not safe always!!and storing in SD or internal memory eats away storage!!

  • The way I do my backup is as follows:

    I use App Backup + Restore(App) to keep a copy of the Apps APKs
    I then use Dameon Sync to backup Photos AND APKs to the computer.
    ANd finally I connect the phone to the computer and CTRL + A and copy.

    For me to get an Image style like on my phone I need to Root it, which I can't do. I attempted it and it broke it. I will try when Samsung finish Updating my phone.

  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    I backup my files using mobogenie PC suite and also super back up app

  • Mark 5 months ago Link to comment

    Why do you have Windows as a con. I do not use that app. I do back up my phone though windows. I really like it because I can changes things and delete files or pictures if I want to. Also up load music, videos, and other stuff. I will never use the cloud

  • I don't need any one of them because I use twrp to backup everything

  • Interesting article. I dropped my phone once, borking the hardware, which mercifully responded to a "hard reset" but wiped out all data and apps. I've backed up SMS with a small app ever since. Other personal data is multiply redundant with PCs, online email, etc.

    I'd caution users about the difference between "sync" services and true "backup" - Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive etc.are perpetually being rewritten and overwritten on the fly, and are much more prone to casual user error than a true "backup" that passively stores data and requires the direct intention and personal use of a password for any access at all. The user forums of sync services are full of emergency episodes of lost data that sometimes can be fixed by tech support and sometimes not. Users who auto-save valuable photos and other media to the online sync services should make a point of really backing up those media to a secure hard disk or online passive storage service.

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