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13 min read 29 comments

How to back up Android and keep your data safe

Backups are indispensable. Whether it's a backup of your Android smartphone, your photo albums or your laptop PC, backups come in at just the right moment to save the day. There is nothing worse than losing everything on your phone or computer and realizing you never backed anything up. So here are a few methods for making an Android backup.

Power users are advised to always do a backup before a root or before flashing your ROM. The reason is simple: some manipulations require factory reset and therefore erase your data, so it is better to have put them elsewhere to be able to restore them.

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MobiKin Assistant for Android

You should always back up your data as you never know when you might accidentally delete something valuable. Losing precious data can happen not just when you lose your phone. It could also happen when you perform updates or clean out your files to save space. Whatever the reason, you should keep your data backed up.

Now with MobiKin Assistant for Android, backing up your data has never been easier. You can ensure you never lose your contacts, text messages, apps, photos, music, videos and more. It safely exports them to your computer in their original format and retains the quality of your data.

Back up all of your data on MobiKin's user-friendly interface. / © MobiKin

Getting started on keeping your data safe with MobiKin is fast and simple and once you've downloaded the software you can back up your data with just one click. Let MobiKin do the work and enjoy the peace-of-mind of having your data secured.

If you are a PC owner just follow this link to get started. 

If you own a Mac, follow this link

Follow the few steps after downloading and your data will be safely backed up and your phone will have more free memory. 

Google backup

As you probably know, Google is more than willing to help keep all your apps and data safe. If you go into your phone's settings, you'll find a section called Backup & Reset. In here you'll find an option for backing up your data, including Wi-Fi passwords, preferences and app data. All of this will be tied to your Google account, which you can set to automatically restore when you re-install an app.

AndroidPIT Android 5 1 Lollipop Google backup settings
Backing up app data to your Google account is the easiest kind of backup. / © AndroidPIT

App backup (for non-rooted phones)

There are plenty of useful backup solutions in the Play Store. Some for specific purposes like backing up your text messages and others for an all-in-one backup. Easy Backup & Restore is a free app that lets you back up your contacts, call logs, text messages, calendars and bookmarks.

easy backup app
It's all in the name: Easy backup & Restore is a breeze for creating backups. / © AndroidPIT

Easy Backup doesn't back up your photos, music, videos or documents. These are very easy to back up yourself though using a USB cable and your computer: just locate the appropriate folders on your phone in a Windows Explorer window and copy and paste the contents to your computer.

How to back up everything on Android with Easy Backup & Restore

1. Download Easy Backup on your Android device.

2. When you launch the app, you'll be asked if you want to create a backup. Tap Yes.

3. You'll then see a bunch of check boxes next to the things you can back up: SMS, MMS, call logs, calendar, bookmarks, dictionary and contacts. Make your selections and tap OK.

AndroidPIT Easy Backup create backup types
Create backup and choose what to save. / © AndroidPIT

4. You'll be asked for a save location for your backup. Make your selection and tap it.

5. If you select a cloud service you'll have to sign in. If you select SD card you'll have to confirm the directory.

AndroidPIT Easy Backup location directory
Choose a backup location and choose your directory (for SD card backups). / © AndroidPIT

Alternatively, you can choose another option like Gmail. To do this, you just need choose Gmail from the options and send your information there. Remember though that you may need to send your data in segments due to restrictions on volume. 

6. You'll then be asked to give the backup a file name. The date and time is the default. If you have multiple devices you might want to modify the file name to include the device you're backing up.

AndroidPIT Easy Backup file name progress
Adda file name for your backup and sit back and relax. / © AndroidPIT

7. You'll then see a progress page when your data is being backed up. Once completed, you'll get a pop up window with a summary of what was backed up.

AndroidPIT Easy Backup completed summary
You'll get a summary of the backup and a pass message when completed. / © AndroidPIT

8. If your phone is rooted, you can also back up your apps and app data. If not, you can still tap on the Apps Tools tab in the main menu and create a backup of the APKs on your phone. APKs are like an .exe on a computer: it's the program or app package. If your Google settings are enabled to back up your app data and settings (outlined above) you can use this option to back up the apps themselves and Google's backup to save the settings and data in the apps.

9. Just check the boxes next to the apps you want to save and hit Backup at the bottom.

AndroidPIT Easy Backup APK app selection
Even if you can't back up all your app data you can save the app package files (APK). / © AndroidPIT

10. When you want to restore your apps or data, just hit the Restore tab. You'll be prompted to set Easy backup as the default SMS app. You can change this back once your backup has been restored.

AndroidPIT Easy Backup restore backup
Restoring backups is a piece of cake. / © AndroidPIT

11. Select the backup you want to restore and tap it. You'll see a pop up with details of what will be restored. Tap OK and you're done.

AndroidPIT Easy BAckup restore types installed apps
Choose what to restore (left) and keep an eye on archived apps (right) / © AndroidPIT

12. Restoring your apps is slightly different. Go back to Apps Tools in the main menu and tap the Archived tab.

13. You can check off the APKs you want to restore, then tap Install at the bottom.

14. You'll then see the permissions screen for each app, like you would with any new app you install.

App backup (for rooted phones)

If your phone is rooted then there is no better backup solution than Titanium Backup. Titanium Backup lets you back up absolutely everything on your phone. The complete backup can be restored at any time and you can set up scheduled backups so you have a regular snapshot of your Android phone's contents.

titanium app
Titanium Backup is in many ways the gold standard for Android backups. / © AndroidPIT

Backups can be performed without even closing the apps you're currently using and they can be saved as flashable zips. Titanium also lets you transfer files between the SD card and your phone with the utmost ease.

Titanium Backup ★ root Install on Google Play

How to back up everything on Android with Titanium Backup

1. Download the Titanium Backup app on your rooted Android.

2. Start the app and grant it root privileges. You'll be asked to read some disclaimers and so on (this is a good idea).

AndroidPIT Titanium Backup superuser disclaimer
Titanium needs superuser permission in order to do full backups. / © AndroidPIT

3. You need to have USB Debugging enabled on your phone.

4. In Titanium you'll see three tabs. One is an Overview tab with information on your device, the second is Backup/Restore where all the fun stuff takes place and the third is for scheduling regular backups.

5. Go to the Backup and Restore tab. You'll see a list of your phone's contents along with icons that indicate whether or not they have been backed up. Triangular warning signs mean you have no backup and smiley faces are pretty self explanatory.

AndroidPIT Titanium Backup overview backup restore
Overview provides information on your device and Backup/Restore is where the fun begins./ © AndroidPIT

6. If you want to back up your system data or apps, tap the little document with a check mark on it at the top. This will take you to the batch actions list.

7. You can then tap Run next to whatever action you want completed. If you want to back up your apps, tap Run next to Backup all User Apps and if you want to back up your system data tap Run next to Backup all System Data.

AndroidPIT Titanium Backup batch actions backing up
Batch Actions gives you options to back up apps, data and much more. / © AndroidPIT

8. Titanium will then go through the process of creating your backup. This may take a while.

9. Once completed, your backup will be labeled with the date and saved. You can also create an file to be flashed through recovery if you like, or you can restore through Titanium itself.

10. To restore in Titanium, just go to the Batch Actions screen again and scroll down. You'll see options under the Restore setting for the actions you completed earlier: in this case, Restore all apps with data and Restore all system data.

AndroidPIT Titanium Backup restore all system data
Restoring apps and system data is equally easy. / © AndroidPIT

11. Tap Run next to the actions you want to restore.

12. You'll then have the option to restore everything you backed up or just some sections of it. Make your choices and tap the green check mark in the top right-hand corner.

PC backup with Helium

Helium is a great tool for creating a complete backup without root access. You install the Helium app on your phone, grab the desktop version as well and pair the two. Once you've made the connection, you can do Titanium-like backups without needing root access.

You simply tell Helium which apps and data you want to back up and away it goes. The Pro version lets you schedule automatic backups and store your backups in the cloud.

Helium - App Sync and Backup Install on Google Play
helium app
Helium, in combination with your PC, is an unbeatable combination for backups. / © AndroidPIT

How to install Helium on Android and PC

1. Download the Helium app on your Android.

2. Install Helium on your PC.

3. Connect your Android to your PC with a USB cable.

AndroidPIT Helium Backup welcome connect
Install Helium on your computer and phone and make the connection. / © AndroidPIT

4. Enable USB Debugging on your Android.

5. You might be asked to switch your USB connection type to PTP (camera mode).

6. You'll be prompted to accept your computer's RSA key.

AndroidPIT Helium Backup USB debugging connection established
Once you've paired the two devices you'll have enabled Helium backups. / © AndroidPIT

7. You'll see a green check mark in the Helium window on your PC, letting you know that the connection has been made and Helium backups are now enabled.

AndroidPIT Helium installed
When you see this on your computer it's a good thing. / © AndroidPIT

8. You'll see the same message on your Android. You can now disconnect your Android from your PC.

9. Note that if you turn your Android off you'll need to reestablish the connection between Helium on your phone and on your PC.

How to backup Android with Helium

1. On your Android you'll see you have two tabs in Helium: Backup and Restore & Sync. The first tab lets you choose which apps you want to back up by placing a check mark next to them.

2. If you want to save all your apps, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You will see a summary of your backup choices as well as the option to Select All.

AndroidPIT Helium Backup app data only app backup
Select all apps (right) or choose 'app data only' for smaller backups. / © AndroidPIT

3. You can choose to backup everything (apps and data) or just the data (which is faster). In the latter case, if you restore your backup at a later date you'll simply have to manually reinstall your apps. Note that there are some apps Helium can't back up. They are listed at the bottom.

4. The slide up window is also where you hit the Backup button. When you hit Backup you will be asked where you want to save your backup: internal or external storage or a cloud service (Pro version only).

AndroidPIT Helium Backup backup destination cloud services
Backup destinations include memory, external SD cards or cloud services. / © AndroidPIT

5. In the Restore and Sync tab you can connect a cloud service for storing and accessing your backups. You can also access saved backups on your internal memory or connect with your other devices.

6. When you make your selection you may be prompted to ensure you have no password set for full backups, or to enter your device's PIN or password if you are encrypted. Once you've done this the backup will complete.

AndroidPIT Helium Backup encrypt backup backing up
You may need to input passwords or encrypt your backup too. / © AndroidPIT

7. When it comes time to restore your backup, simply open the Restore & Sync tab and locate your backup. You can also connect to the Helium sever for PC downloads.

AndroidPIT Helium Backup PC Download server running
You can also download your backups with Helium. / © AndroidPIT

Manual PC backup

If all of this sounds way too complicated, simply connect your Android phone to your PC with a USB cable, open a Windows Explorer window and navigate to your phone. Here you will see a bunch of folders including photos, videos, music and documents.

AndroidPIT android vom pc steuern
Connecting your phone to your computer with a USB is an easy way to back up. / © AndroidPIT

Just go into each folder and copy/paste the stuff you want to save onto your computer for safekeeping. This is a pretty handy thing to do even if you have other backup solutions at hand, because there's no such thing as too many backups. But if you want to retrieve it at a later date then you'll need to get back on your PC.

How to transfer Android backups

As you can see, depending on the methods and type of backup, transferring files to Android is done in different ways. In general, if you have used Titanium Backup or Helium, you should simply reinstall the application and copy the backup folder to the smartphone if it is no longer there.

Note: Always copy backups to your computer or other device outside the smartphone. That way you are sure to be able to transfer your files later, without any unpleasant surprises.

Manufacturer Solutions

Some brands offer services to transfer files in a very simple way. This is the case with Samsung, Motorola or Sony for example.

The advantage is that almost everything is automated, the disadvantage is that the transfer is only possible to a device of the brand. Check your smartphone model to see if such an application is available. 

What's your preferred backup method, and why? Let us know in the comments!



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  • Hi,I just record an video on how you take backup of your android app

  • Jaomos 10 months ago Link to comment

    Well, thanks for sharing!

  • I am using helium backup but it always backs up to internal storage no option for SD card I see the same thing on the photo after how to backup with helium step (4) anyone has a clue?

  • We need this thanks

  • This is really a great article. Tnx for sharing this!!

    • I I'm lucky enough to have had the opportunity to use both these phones. They both are top notch great phones, but I personally had to purchase the one plus 3, the one plus 3 with the snapdragon CPU/gpu, was quite a bit better at running my games on max settings than the honor 8 cpu/GPU was. They were both excellent phones, the only deciding factor for me was the better performance of the snapdragon 820. The article is dead on about the battery, my one plus 3 dies in about half the time the honor 8 did. The dash charging feature helps somewhat in the not so great battery times assuming u can find a plug in for 20 minutes every so often, as far as I know there aren't any battery packs that support dash charging out yet.

  • Mark G. Oct 1, 2016 Link to comment

    I use Google backup as Google is good at saving data. I also use Samsung backup service which makes it easy to transfer between samsung devices.
    Lastly I use SD card and SSD drive for my music / photos / documents / movies.

    Unless you are rooted then I don't see the point of having an additional app for backing up. It's just a waste of resources and internal storage.

    I recently purchased a Samsung Tab S2 and it restored all my data from Google and Samsung (my S5) including Apps/app data / bookmarks/passwords /settings /wallpaper.

    Peace ✌

  • Pinky Cai Aug 15, 2016 Link to comment

    I have used all these apps but i prefer app backup restore transfer. it can help me to transfer data within devices too.

  • BackUp Jul 25, 2016 Link to comment

    Tnx 4 this tutorial!

  • Great info…..Have been using Easy backup an restore and its useful.

  • Each backup is good for Android
    I personally use Google and Nandroid backup in case the something goes wrong

  • I also recommend MobiKin to backup your Android

  • So many good android backup way introduced here, it's very thankful. Backuping everything on android device is very needed it there are a lot of important files on it.

  • Ram SIngh Jun 27, 2016 Link to comment

    Google backup works best for me but there are some more nice options to try thx.

  • Yi ‌ Jun 4, 2016 Link to comment

    So.. the only free non-root app in the list itself is just a nonworking plethora of popup ads, and every comment on this thread/whatever is a total scam link.. what's going on here, guys? I am thankful that I am not a commonly retarded person who would actually click on any of those links.. but so many people are stupid enough to do so.. this is just sad and a little bit scary. Whoever is overseeing this sector of this site should wake up a little.

  • Tina May 26, 2016 Link to comment

    Thanks for sharing.
    Personal information and data are so important right now and I really need some way to protect my data on my phone. I am now using apowersoft phone manager to back up my data and find it useful; it could also backup and restore my files and all my contacts and apps. What’s more, it helps me manage my phone and SD card without root. And it can connect pc and phone with and without USB cable. It is secure and I think I do not need to worry losing my information.
    Also I will try the methods mentioned above later.

  • lucyll Apr 1, 2016 Link to comment

    To backup android phone data to computer easily, we can use an android file manager app to help.

  • Hopefully I can hear back from someone rightaway...
    backups are fine bur I need a way to have my homescreens layouts and all icons of apps, shortcuts and folders of such preserved in a backup that can be restored as they are in my gal.s3 to a gal.s5neo..
    any one got a clue?
    My Backup Pro hasbeen suggested...but I need to know if I can do just that in a backup as I already am using google and Easy Backup for data and app apk.s

    • Nova Launcher allows you to make a backup of all your home screens, folders, icons, wallpaper, shortcuts etc... You can then easily restore everything on that same device or on another android device. Nova also lets you import your desktop layout from another launcher so its easy to switch to using Nova from whatever you are using now. Plus its highly customizeable.

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