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How to back up everything on Android

How to back up everything on Android

Backups for your Android are indispensable. There's nothing worse than losing everything on your phone or computer and realizing you never backed up your precious smartphone data, contacts photo albums, documents or even text messages. In this article, we'll share the best ways to back up your phone.

Jump to:

How do I back up my phone?

How do I back up my Apps?

How do I transfer my backups to a new device?

Android backup with Google

Backing up Android is easy these days, thanks to Google's cloud services. As you probably know, Google is more than willing to help keep all your apps and data safe, and you can take advantage of this with a few simple steps to back up your contacts, text messages, app data, and more:

  • Go to Settings > System
  • Open Backup 
  • Toggle back up to Google Drive on if it isn't already.
  • You can see all the types of data being backed up (this includes Wi-Fi passwords, contacts, calls, settings, photos and videos, app data)
All sorts of setting and data can be backed up via Google. / © AndroidPIT

All of this will be associated with your Google account, and you can set this to automatically restore when you re-install an app.

How to back up contacts on Android

Actually, the above mentioned Google backups include your contacts so don't worry. Unless... well, some manufacturers or carriers provide their own interfaces for organizing your contacts, and these don't necessarily sync with Google's Contacts system by default. Unless you're completely dedicated to one manufacturer or carrier, this isn't the best situation. If your data is set to sync to Verizon's database, or your SIM card, instead of Google, for example, you'll be out of luck if you switch to a non-Verizon phone later on, or if you lose your SIM card.

To avoid this situation, check your contact apps settings and make sure it's not set to back up to anywhere else, and to go Settings > Backup as described above and make sure it is toggled on. 

How to backup everything on your phone with software tools: MobiKin Assistant

You never know when you might accidentally delete something valuable. Backing up your data, therefore, is absolutely essential, and I'm sure many of you have learned the hard way. It's not only when you lose your phone. Performing updates can sometimes cause your data to be lost.

A simple way to ensure your data is backed up is to use MobiKin Assistant for Android, which exports everything including contacts, text messages, apps, photos, music, videos and more in their original format and quality.

mobikin pc screen
MobiKin's interface is user-friendly / © AndroidPIT

If you just want to get the job done, the program will do all of the hard work for you. All you need to do is download the software. Here are the links:

Next, follow the steps and you'll soon have your data backed up safely, and even better, it'll free up some space.  Mobikin Assistant works with almost all Android Phones, including recent flagships like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S9.

Want to back up from your iPhone? MobiKin also has an Assistant tool for iOS devices. If you need to back up your iPhone or iPad, try MobiKin Assistant for iOS:

Back up Android phone to PC

If you don't feel like trusting the job to 3rd party software, there's always the DIY method. Power users are advised to always do a backup before a root or before flashing your ROM. The reason is simple: some manipulations require a factory reset and therefore erase your data, so it is better to have put them elsewhere to be able to restore them.

You can easily back up your Android phone to your PC with a simple cable connection...

  1. Connect your Android phone to your PC with a USB cable 
  2. Open a Windows Explorer window and navigate to your phone.
  3. Here you will see a bunch of folders including photos, videos, music and documents.
  4. 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. If you want to retrieve it at a later date then you'll need to get back on your PC.

AndroidPIT android vom pc steuern
A super easy way to back up your phone. / © AndroidPIT

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. They can be saved as flashable zips. Titanium also lets you transfer files between the SD card and your phone with the utmost ease.

How to back up everything on Android with Titanium Backup

  • Download the Titanium Backup app on your rooted Android.
  • Start the app and grant it root privileges.
  • You'll be asked to read some disclaimers and so on (this is a good idea).
Titanium needs superuser permission in order to do full backups.

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.

  • 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.
titanium backup 01
Overview provides information on your device and Backup/Restore is where the fun begins. / © AndroidPIT
  • 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.
  • Then tap Run next to whatever action you want to be completed.
  • If you want to back up your apps, tap Run next to Backup all User Apps 
  • If you want to back up your system data tap Run next to Backup all System Data.
titanium backup 02
Batch Actions gives you options to back up apps, data and much more. / © AndroidPIT

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

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

  • 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.
titanium backup 03
Restoring apps and system data is equally easy. / © AndroidPIT
  • Tap Run next to the actions you want to restore.
  • 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.

How to transfer Android backups

As you can see, depending on the methods and type of backup, transferring files to Android can be 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.

Always copy backups to your computer or another device outside of your 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. You can find out more about this here:

The advantage is that almost everything is automated, while the disadvantage is that the transfer is only possible to a device of the same 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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  • Any how-to article for Android can't be taken seriously if it doesn't even mention Linux! You know, the operating system Android is built on?

    All its references to "PC" and "desktop computer" assume the reader is using windows. "PC" means "personal computer;" I have many PCs, both laptop and desktop, and not one has any micro$oft garbage on it.

    Enlightened computer users use Linux. On our mobile devices, too--as Android.

    Oh, ≈100% of the world's top supercomputers run Linux. Smart!

  • I read this article and thought that the Google backup for android would back up my SMS text messages...I saw it in the article's illustration. So I did the backup, did the factory reset, now it looks like my SMS texts are gone forever. Just a warning to everyone to actually go and look to see what all was backed up before doing the actual reset. I lost a lot of important history both of work and family events. Sad times.

    • My commiserations. Like you said, I'd also recommend to anyone backing up via Google to double check the list of 'active backups' under the 'back up now' button, and make sure everything you want is accounted for.

  • Alex Dec 13, 2018 Link to comment

    Thank you for android backup ways, guys!

  • Thanks for sharing this again as I can't recall the last time I backed up my devices. Good tips to follow. Time to get working on it.

  • Sorin Apr 28, 2018 Link to comment

    It can happen to anyone, anytime. Loss of phone data is often a very unpleasant thing.
    That's why it's helpful to make a backup copy of the stored data.

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

  • Jaomos Mar 21, 2017 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.

  • 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 ✌

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

    Deactivated Account

  • 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.

  • How do I get my music and Google photo's onto the SD card for the Samsung tabS2 WiFi LTE, cause when you go to applications and SD card there not there to transfer and there using all my device storage up.

    • Photo back up, for new pictures go to camera settings, storage location, then select SD card. For pictures on phone memory, long press on pics then select move to album, then select the album that had the folder with SD card on it.

      For music you need to go into play music settings, storage location then select sd card, for music already down loaded, I deleted them off then re-down loaded them and the will save to the sd card. Hope that helps

    • They're*

  • If I use google backup will it backup my game data too? I'm sorry for asking a stupid question because I'm not good at understanding English.

  • PPTS Nov 12, 2015 Link to comment

    Can we share the Phone contacts of One device to another. Back up information was quite use ful thank you

    • IMHO, contacts should always be saved to your Google account and never to your phone. If you already have contacts saved to your phone, save them to your Google Contacts. After that, all you have to do is add you google account to any device (android or ios) and all your contacts sync to every device you use. Never a need to backup contacts again.

      The same goes for your Calendar, use Google Calendar then sign in on any device you use.

      The same goes for your Photos. You use Google Photos to auto upload all your photos to your Google account as you take them (or later only on wifi). Google Photos will store an UNLIMITED amount of your photos for FREE. Never a need to worry about losing photos, accessible on all devices, NO need to back them up. No need to fill up your device with thousands of photos.

  • I have a Samsung GS3, when I go to Backup and reset I only get the option to reset. How do I back up first?

  • After using titanium backup, do I have to transfer the backup file to PC before performing a factory reset?
    If not, then won't the backup file be deleted?

    If that's the case, then I think you should mention it. Also, where will I find the backup file to copy to PC?

    • Looking at Titanium Backup's 'Overview' tab you will see the 'Backup directory' where the backup files are saved to. Under 'Main Menu' - 'Preferences' you can change the 'Backup folder location'. I generally change mine to the extSD card to save space and be sure it isn't lost with a Factory Reset or physically destroyed phone (the micro SD card will survive a lot of damage to the phone and is easily removed and put into another device.

      Also under Main Menu / Preferences you can 'Enable Dropbox', Google Drive, etc... Then use the corresponding settings option to specify a Folder in one of those services to save to. Once you have enabled one of them go to the 'Schedules' tab and find the 'Sync to (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc)' and touch the 'RUN' button to send a copy of your backup files to that particular cloud location. All this can be Scheduled to run automatically as well. Now you have a backup of your data accessible from anywhere no matter what happens to your original device.

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