The Basic Guide To Backup Your Android Phone [For Beginners]

You might have rooted your Android device to explore deeper or perhaps you just like to keep it legit. Backup is one of the most important step when dealing with any sort of data storage devices. And Android is one of those. We all give highest priority to our contacts, messages and apps, and want to keep them all backed up, with some of us wanting to backup predefined settings as well. In this guide, we will show you how NOT to lose your data when your Android gets lost, stolen, or simply dies. Please note that all apps mentioned below will backup your data automatically, once successfully configured.

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Backup Your Contacts

android-accounts-syncMost of the users, just like me are not used to backing up their contacts to SIM manually. Of course, there is hardly any storage on those little chips. And yes, those days are gone when contacts were to be written down on a specific contact diary. In case your phone dies, you have no one to get in touch with. Android has a great in built utility by which contacts can be synced with Gmail, which is just awesome!

No doubt, it’s a Google phone! Go to your Contacts menu > More > Accounts, and check Background Data and Auto-sync. It will backup your contacts to Gmail contacts with all the details. On the other hand, any new contact added on either side (phone or Gmail) will appear in the contacts list. So you won’t have to give a second thought while entering a contact that it should be saved somewhere else as well.

You can also export your contacts to SD card. But again, it has to be done manually.

Backup Your Messages

imageRemember those days when your phone will alert you to delete some SMS messages once the memory is full. Today, devices can carry unlimited SMS messaging entries with the added external memory.

On Android devices , you can set storage limits provided you want to delete the old messages. Although there is no build-in structure which would backup your messages. In case your phone wipes out for who-knows-what-reason, you will lose all important messages in no time.

We reviewed SMS backup Utility called SMSBackup, which will automatically backup all your messages to Gmail account. Its as simple as setting an SMS folder on your Gmail and all your messages get copied into that folder automatically. Read full review and setup guide here.

Backup Your Apps

astro-android-backup-utilityIf you’ve been using your Android for quite some time now, and have created a collection of best apps after hunting them down in the Android Market for months. You will probably want to create a list of them so that they can be installed again easily on a new device.


Android has no default app backup function. Though, 2.2 Froyo comes in with the capability of installing apps directly to SD card.

Astro File Manager, which we have reviewed previously is a great tool to backup apps to the memory card. It’s a free backup utility and task manager in a single package. A recommended tool by many for quick backup of default and third party apps to the SD card.

But the better alternative would be to use AppBrain. By using AppBrain you can create a list of your favorite apps and install them in any Android device with a simple sync. This also helps in installing your favorite apps in a new device when the old one gets lost or stolen.

Backup Your Settings (Including Calendar, HomeScreen, and Photos/Videos)

mybackup-android-backuptoolBackup of customized phone and home screen settings can be done as well. Full customization of home screen, we all do it! If you’re porting to a new device, or just upgrading the firmware, you do want to backup your home screen.

If a disaster happens within your phone, you definitely don’t want to waste huge amount of time configuring widgets, shortcuts and settings again. Knowing how to restore these settings can save you lot of time. MyBackup Pro is a great app by Rerware for just $4.99. You can download the 30 day trial version just to know what it can do for you. You can backup to SD Card or an online account with this app. It lets you backup applications, contacts, call log, bookmarks, SMS, MMS, system settings, home screen, alarms, dictionary, calendar and music playlist.

If you’re looking for a free tool, Titanium Backup is the right one. But it works only with rooted devices. So either root your device or simply spend five bucks to buy MyBackup. Your choice!

On the end note, tools like MyBackup and Titanium Backup can do all sorts of backup for you. We have recommended some individual apps if that’s what you’re looking for. Rooting ofcourse, makes you do way more with your phone in terms of a full backup. Usage of complete backup tools will make your life much easier in many ways.

Did we miss something? Feel free to leave a comment!

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  • Andre Altinalmazis

    Have downloaded/installed MybackUp pRO 30 days trial version and now paid the extra
    4,99 Usd fee for the upgrade because without it it would not give me the space to
    back up my Apps and Users data online, you thyink that if I try now will let me do that.??

    Also because I failed to note down my password to startwith, when I try to open
    the Web Viewer feature with my PIN Nbr it refuses to let me do it and it states
    that I have an Invalid address.
    Appreciate if I can get some useful instructions as to how I can work around this problems.
    Thanks a lot.
    Andre

  • Andre Altinalmazis

    after further scrutiny I found out that even though you have paid the 4,99 USD fee
    MyBackUp Pro does not let you to upload more than 80MBS.
    The question is that backing up your apps and Users Data to a SD card is it enough
    protection in the event the device is lost with the SD card in or a crash..
    I tried to find out if instead of uploding online to Mybacuck Up site rerware to
    direct them to Dropbozx or Sugarsync.
    But I could not figure out how to do it.
    So the only way left out is to unmount the Micro SD card and conect it through
    an adapter to your PC desktop for a backup file to be stored there.

    Please correct me if am wrong.
    Thanks

  • Rob

    Backup SMS mentioned above is now called Backup SMS +

  • Jan Brøndum Johansson

    There is 1 thing you forgot in the backup of phone/tablet guide – that is how to backup the entire device. A good guide to backup the ROM would be an idea – take in mind that some device work different than others.