Home Android How to Backup Android in 5 Easy Steps

How to Backup Android in 5 Easy Steps

Here we’ll be going over five easy ways to backup Android smartphones or tablets. This is the easiest way to keep apps, data and photos safe. Follow this guide and be prepared in the case of loss, theft or other situations.

For many users a smartphone is more important than a home computer, or even their only computer. People have their phone with them 24/7, and they’re filled with important emails, contacts and calendar schedules, or lots of pictures and video. We’ll be saving all of that and more with apps, the help of Google and more.

Below we’ll go over 5 quick and simple steps owners can take to be better protected from data loss when it comes to mobile devices. Everything from apps, contacts and system settings, to photos or video and even SMS (texts) backup. Whether it’s a precaution or to switch devices like Note 7 users, we have you covered.

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Everything that is valuable on a smartphone can be backed up with a few easy steps. Enabling a smooth transition to a new device no matter the situation. There are some all-in-one solutions we’ll share, but for the most part a few quick settings and early steps will have you completely protected.

Google Backup & Restore

For starters, Google has you covered when it comes to most of the important contact and email information. All your app data (like game saves) calendar, Browser, Contacts, Gmail, Photos, Music, People details, and even more detailed things like WiFi passwords and other device settings. All of this can be synced to Google’s servers with two or three taps in your device settings, and restored when you get a new device.

Head to Settings > Accounts (tap Google) > Select Google account > check everything you want to sync. Make sure under settings > Backup & reset this is all enabled as well. It should be enabled by default, which is nice. This is one of the most powerful tools for the important stuff, but we’ll go over SMS and other things too. Backup & reset will save almost everything. A new restore function arrived with Android 5.0, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow made it even better and backs up everything. Like game saves, settings, app data and more. It’s a full solution here in 2016. But you’ll need to be on Android 5.0 or higher to take advantage of it. Most should be.

Android-backup

As you can see above Google does a pretty excellent job backing up almost everything. Once you sign into your Google account on the new phone or tablet you’ll instantly have all your contacts, browser bookmarks, movies, music, and even photos if you select that option. Saving and backing up photos is another huge area of concern, so that’s our next topic.

Read: How to Automatically Backup Photos on Android

The second aspect of Google’s built-in backup tool is for WiFi passwords and other device settings. For this you’ll want to head to Settings > Backup & reset. Then check Back up my data, and automatic restore. This will ensure all those deeper settings and passwords will be saved for you, secured on Google’s servers, and instantly returned to your new device. This is shown above, and again below for those on versions older than Android 6.0. It looks similar, and has the same options overall.

g-backup

Photo Backup

The next major important backup tool is for photos. We all have hundreds of them we don’t want to lose. The problem here is there’s hundreds of different ways you can backup your photos. Many are extremely easy so pick whatever works best for you. Personally, I use the Google Photos app, and select it from the Google sync instructions above. Google Photos will store a full resolution copy of every photo taken, up to 1000GB. Or lower the resolution and it can hold an unlimited amount, which is what we’d recommend. Quickly find a photo from 3 years ago, or even search for “hats” “cats” or other things and let it find them for you.

That being said, the link above for how to automatically backup photos will be your best friend. Whether you’re using Google Photos, Dropbox, or other cloud options, you’ll never lose a photo again. They’ll all be instantly saved, and retrievable from a PC or mobile device. Google Photos has evolved into one of my favorite Android apps.

auto-backup

Then of course there’s other options like Flickr, Photobucket, Dropbox, Box, or even Microsoft Skydrive.  The 1,000GB (1TB) Google option shown above will ensure thousands and thousands of photos will be saved. Much better than the 5-10GB others offer for free. Dropbox is one of them, but many use it so we’ll mention it below.

Head to the Google Play Store and get Dropbox, then just enable photo backup like you see below.

dropbox-upload

This can be accessed from any device with the Dropbox link, or by going to their website on your Android smartphone and tablet, or a computer. It’s simple, effective, and fast. Newer versions may look somewhat different, and Dropbox has even more options now than ever before. Like automatic backup and more.

Manual Backup

Something I also do as a third backup for added comfort and redundancy, is manually copy and paste all the photos and video from my smartphone to the computer. This also works for other data, so this is our third easy step. Simply connect your phone to your computer via the included micro-USB cable, and it will show up as an external hard drive. Mac users will need to download the Android File Transfer tool.

Now just click and drag anything and everything to a folder on your computer or laptop. For photos you’ll be heading to Android > DCIM or Camera > and dragging all of your photos and video to back them up on your PC. This is always a great thing to do anyways, and once a month wouldn’t be a bad idea.

If you have a Samsung Galaxy device or another Android phone with a micro-SD card, you can always remove that from under the battery door, insert this into the computer, and copy over files that way for additional protection.

Text (SMS) and Call Log Backup

Another thing many consumers hate to lose when they get a new phone is all those important text messages. Not to mention the call log, although that’s never a concern of mine. If you want to save those precious or funny text and picture messages, we can do that in minutes.

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My app of choice is SMS Backup & Restore, simply because it’s easy and straight forward. This app will quickly backup all of your SMS text messages, and the entire call log to the cloud. Or you can save them right in Gmail or Dropbox. You can do it manually, set weekly or bi-weekly backups and more. Another good option is SMS Backup+.

All-In-One Backup

Finally, there are a few all in one solutions that will allow you to backup nearly anything and everything. These usually have limits, or cost money, but are an excellent way to fully ensure you have everything from your device. Not only that, but it does almost all of the work. Apps like MyBackup Pro have been around forever, simply because it works. Root is not required, but helps, so the average user can buy the $4.99 pro version, set it, and forget it. Essentially.

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MyBackup Pro does everything mentioned above all in one app. It saves it all to a secure cloud, or to your SD and computer, and can all be restored in a few clicks. This means it will automatically (and even on set schedules) backup every aspect of your device, and be ready to restore to a new phone should that be required.

If you’re looking to save apps, or even backup an app we can do that. I backup a lot of apps like Textra so if a developer updates it I can roll-back to what I like. While this isn’t ideal, it works great. Whether you’re doing the same, or just want to save every application, try App Backup & Restore. It’s easy and free.

Helium is an Android enthusiast favorite, and another excellent all in one backup solution. Remember, both of these may take some initial setup or work, but once done, you’re set. Helium even offers Android to Android sync, so you can copy anything and everything you want from device to device, or from a phone to a tablet.

If you’re a Samsung user the company has a few great tools that does literally everything for you. It’s called SmartSwitch and it will transfer 100% of your old Galaxy S6 to that new Galaxy S7 Edge. It works amazingly well with a cable or even WiFi transfer. Here are more details and a full guide.

Should You Do This?

It’s a sad fact, but these days smartphones are the most important thing many people have. I’d be lost without mine, not to mention my case is my wallet, but you get the idea. Having a smartphone that gets stolen, lost, or broken is a frustrating experience. It doesn’t have to be though.

Taking the steps above will make getting new phone and transferring all your old and important data over a breeze, and something that won’t be so daunting. Let Google do all the heavy lifting, buy MyBackup Pro, and be prepared in case of an accident or theft. These work even if you lose a device, as most of the content is usually stored elsewhere. That or it can be transferred to an SD card or the computer.

Read: Android Tap & Go Restores Your Phone in Minutes

Even if you don’t do many of these steps signing into your Gmail account on a new device is almost all you need. It doesn’t do texts, but does the rest. The link above is a video showing a feature in Android 5.0 and above called Tap & Go restore. Tap a new phone to an old one and it transfers everything, or lets you manually go through a list and select which accounts, apps and more, then restores it all in minutes using Bluetooth and WiFi. It’s pretty amazing when it works right, so give it a try next time you get a new smartphone or tablet.

Everything detailed above will save your information, texts, calls, apps, data and more. Better safe than sorry, right?

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36 Comments

  1. Matteo Rodrigo

    03/31/2014 at 2:04 pm

    And you’ll still end up losing most of your app history since most Android apps dont have any backup or subscribe to game services. So forget your dozen Angry Bird levels, those thousand puzzles you completed, that Spell tower high score it tool you months to achieve, and those power ups you earned on that game. Forget losing a phones.. Switching Androids is a major problem

    Reply

  2. Cory Gunther

    03/31/2014 at 3:44 pm

    Blame game developers for that. Any game of decent quality released in the last 6 months has Google Games integration. Cloud saves and more so you’ll never lose anything. Plus Carbon and a few in my post have app+data backup. Meaning it backs up the app and all its settings/data like game saves.

    Good luck

    Reply

  3. Jeffery

    03/31/2014 at 7:28 pm

    Truly said be prepared before it’s too late. I have Nexus 5 that I purchased with qi charger in which not only the photographs or videos but also confidential information like banking apps containing transaction passwords is stored in it along with other vital data. I definitely consider your points for proper backup of data by sync them with Google services.

    Reply

  4. Jimmy Walt

    05/04/2014 at 12:38 am

    Here is a video of backing up samsung galaxy phones, and it works with all android smartphones.

    Reply

  5. uamith

    06/17/2014 at 11:06 am

    Very helpful. I was unaware of Google+ capability to back up photos and videos. Nicely articulated and sufficiently descriptive.

    Reply

  6. nikita

    09/14/2014 at 11:16 am

    i have an samsung grand duos and my phone went off one day and it neva turned on till date!! hw do i backup?

    Reply

  7. Alex

    11/30/2014 at 3:17 pm

    5 easy steps? where is step 1 for phones? rubbish!

    Reply

  8. Jay

    01/05/2015 at 8:00 pm

    What is happening when of my contacts don’t show up in my Google account?

    Reply

    • Robert

      06/10/2015 at 2:40 am

      Possibly you have Contacts saved to your SIM and not saved as Google contacts

      Reply

  9. jeramy

    01/08/2015 at 12:41 am

    When you get a new iphone and sign in wuth your appleID it instantly, automatically, and flawlessly makes your new iphone an exact copy of the one you replaced. This is one area where iphone has android beat, period. Google needs to get with it and give us this capability.

    Reply

    • Marilyn Huang (@marilyn_huang)

      07/08/2015 at 2:29 am

      Howdy, this is a great web application, not gonna let you install apps, register or spend single dimes. Actually I do not find one-click button for backup, but you can download those files from your mobile device to your local data base.

      http://airmore.com/

      Reply

    • Rain

      12/04/2015 at 4:56 am

      You can transfer your whole android too by turning on NFC and tapping the phones together…but most of the stuff transfers anyway when you add your Gmail account.

      Reply

    • h8Google,h8Apple

      04/25/2017 at 1:56 pm

      except that many don’t care about giving either of these pirates unfettered access to our data to loot, pillage, and plunder. #SeparatedIsSecure

      Reply

  10. love

    07/15/2015 at 11:10 am

    Gud Job :) Also Check The Alternate Way- How To Backup Android Phone
    http://www.besthackingtricks.com/backup-android-phone/

    Reply

  11. Hr Habib

    07/28/2015 at 10:41 am

    Tnx for your Share

    Reply

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    08/29/2015 at 12:45 am

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    • Dimitri Milewicz

      05/29/2016 at 9:48 am

      You scammers pop up everywhere don’t you? Why don’t you piss off and try to rip somebody else off like your grandmother who needs that heart operation? You wanker!!!

      Reply

  13. Saif Ghole

    09/12/2015 at 7:14 am

    its Good article.I have also written one article to take complete backup without these apps.
    I used abd for this.
    If you want you can check it out here- http://www.mytechalbum.com/how-to-backup-android-data-without-root/

    Reply

  14. Papajack Gemperle

    09/17/2015 at 10:32 am

    Nice post. This tutorial also help you t back up your phone in 3 ways. http://www.androidcribs.com/2015/07/tut-3-methods-on-how-to-make-full-dump.html

    Reply

  15. Harshanandan N M

    09/20/2015 at 10:01 am

    hai my name is Harshanandan ,i have a SAMSUNG MINI GALAXY MODLE IS GT-S5570,my brother gifted me my problem i have a problem it shows the device has found SPYWARE,? how to remove this spy and also i saved lots of data including my childwood and college tours photos its nearly 500 are there & this device is from USA its manual is in other language i dont understand some kind of german i think , so how could i solve ths problem without erasing all the data and i troubled through internet ,so i deactivated the use of packet data ,
    and important thing is the device shows it has auto – SYNC Errors for ex:( it shows peoples details ,contacts& picasa web albums) & mybrother scared me that u have nothing to do by urself ,sir i am just 20 year old i try to find out but my friends have no nothingto do & they have no knowledge about that, i am enginneer student in VVCE mysore,karnataka,INDIA.)) now and i am really scared that ,if device damaged it self what to do ? how to solve this problem please suggest me sir,i beg u ?. i sending my email id please suggest me or send mesage to 9535634244.

    Reply

  16. Top Tricks

    11/15/2015 at 11:48 pm

  17. Denis D

    11/26/2015 at 5:45 am

    In the era of cloud technologies it is also very important to backup your cloud data. You can lose your files in Google drive if you share them with other people and if you give the access to your Google account to third-party applications.

    There is a free tool that allows you to backup 5Gb of your Google drive for free (unlimited for $2 per user per month):
    http://www.upsafe.com/google-account-backup/

    Reply

  18. Michaelafraser

    01/12/2016 at 5:58 am

    1=7my best friend’s sister-in-law makes $84 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $21612 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
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  19. besthacktricks

    02/15/2016 at 7:51 am

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    02/15/2016 at 7:52 am

    Latest Hacking Tricks Android,iPhone,WhatsApp,Facebook 2016
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  21. Andrew W

    07/16/2016 at 2:16 pm

    Hi, I need to back up an email account, contacts, files and saved email on a galaxy s6 before removing the email account and then adding it back onto the phone,,, does anyone know how I would do that???

    Reply

  22. Melissa

    07/23/2016 at 12:31 am

    I have an LG K10 phone from metro T-Mobile and I did the whole back up thing by putting my old phone back to back to my new one and some how I ended up with duplicated contacts and I ended up with all my husbands contacts and his email. So now I get all his notifications for his email. How do I stop my phone from taking my husbands stuff

    Reply

  23. Qianqian Cai

    08/15/2016 at 3:04 am

    but I prefer app backup n restore. It can also transfer my data within devices.

    Reply

  24. Betty Linn

    09/06/2016 at 2:22 am

    You can use Dropbox and Backup&Restore Dropbox plugin on wordpress for your Android. It is really safe and very easy to install and operate.

    Reply

  25. tophackingtricks

    11/07/2016 at 7:51 am

    Easily Backup Your Android Phone With This Method – http://www.tophackingtricks.com/backup-android-phone/

    Reply

  26. SHRI

    01/19/2017 at 12:09 am

    IT WAS VERY USEFUL THANKS

    Reply

  27. thomas venditto

    01/28/2017 at 8:44 am

    What app or program will automatically copy(back up) content from my android SD to my laptop HD, wirelessly over my WIFI(would be nice)? Whenever I’m in range and automatically would be nicer still.

    I like things “Old School”. First, I always store as much as possible on my Samsung S7 SD card. Then, I physically copy the content to my laptop HD every month or two. It’s FREE. It’s RELIABLE and I’m not BEHOLDEN to a service or external network for access and security of my data.

    I’m totally confused by and don’t trust the clouds. Ex. when I got my new S7, all my contacts were duplicated! I had to go thru the entire 900 contacts and delete the dupes. This was CAUSED BY one of the clouds. Ex. they constantly send you popups with esoteric questions or advertisements. Ex. I store lots of sensitive info, like copies of my driver license etc. I don’t want that stuff exposed to “who knows who”. Nuf said.

    TomJV

    Reply

    • h8Google,h8Apple

      04/25/2017 at 2:16 pm

      agreed; i like it old school. hard to see something more secure than a USB drive or computer one has to physically have that’s sitting in a locked house. clouds are inherently, innately insecure. what’s the lyric from Sound of Music — “how do you catch a cloud and pin it down?”

      can’t wait for this whole paradigm — especially the looting of data and metadata — to come crashing down. i will LOL.

      Reply

  28. nelly

    02/19/2017 at 11:50 pm

    To backup your android phone to pc, you can try some data backup softwares, and I think it can be easier with an android assistant tool, you can save a lot of time to transfer or backup text messages, contacts, photos, and other media files like videos, music files.

    Reply

  29. nelly

    02/19/2017 at 11:51 pm

    To backup your android phone to pc, you can try some data backup softwares, and I think it can be easier with an android assistant tool, you can save a lot of time to transfer or backup text messages, contacts, photos, and other media files like videos, music files with MobiKin Android Transfer.

    Reply

  30. Amit Barua

    04/30/2017 at 7:46 pm

    Hi,I just record an video on how you take backup of your android app
    https://youtu.be/lNoE3pRzzQE

    Reply

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