How To Backup Everything On Android

Electronics are electronics, you can never fully rely on them. In fact you should not ever fully depend on them as they are just lifeless bundle of wires and codes. If you tell me that you’ve never lost any of your data ever, you’d be lying – I know that and you know that. And trust me, I feel how you felt when you lost your precious data; be it your important messages sent by your boss about an important meeting or the high score you were about to show your friend who challenged you. The data you lost are gone forever, but this day forward you’re never going to lose any of your data. Follow this tutorial and learn how you can back up all your apps, data and everything and restore it whenever needed.

Here, I’m going to explain you how to backup everything on android.

Using ADB:

You can use ADB or Android Debug Bridge to back up and/or restore everything on your device. ADB is a command line tool which lets you connect your android device and communicate with it. In short, it is a bridge that connects you to your android. With this you can debug you apps, repair you device, etc. In this tutorial we’ll use it to back up you android. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below.

1. Connect your device to your computer via USB.

2. Check “USB Debugging” on Settings>Developer Options on you device.

3. Open command prompt or cmd on your computer.

4. (Optional) type adb devices to make sure your device is properly recognized.

5. You’ll use the command adb backup which has the following parameters:
adb backup [-f <file>] [-apk / -noapk] [-shared / -noshared] [-all] [-system / -nosystem] [<packages…>]

Before we start backing up, let me explain you about the adb backup command and its parameters.

The most basic command to back up entire phone is:
adb backup –all
This will back up only app and device data to the defult directory as backup.ab
Note: This will not work for every phone and may give you error like adb cannot open file ./backup.ab . in such case use the command adb backup –all –f C:/backup.ab

You can use various parameters to customize you backup. Here I’m going to explain you those parameters.

• –f <file>
This command is used to configure where the backup file will be stored. For example to save the backup file at the root of your C drive inside folder named backup, use –f /backup/backup.ab . the backup file will be named as backup.ab .

• –apk / -noapk
This command decides whether or not the APK files should be included in the backup or not. If you use –apk , the backup will include the .apk files of all the apps you backed up but if you use –noapk, the .apk files will not be included.

• –shared / -noshared
This command is to enable or disable backing up the device’s shared storage and SD card contents such as music, pictures, videos, etc. This command is not recommended as it may not always do what’s intended.

• –all
This command is used to back up all apps.

• –system / -nosystem
This command is used whether or not to include system application while using –all command. I recommend you use –nosystem command as it is not safe and may cause boot-loop while migrating from a ROM to another.

• <packages…>
You can use this command to back up a specific application by listing its package name. Package name look like this: .

6. After you know how you want your backup to be, it’s time to back up your device. In this tutorial I’m going to use the following command :
adb backup –apk –noshared –all –f C:backupbackup1.ab

7. You’ll see a window like this on your android after you execute the commanded stated above.1

8. Enter a password if you want to encrypt your backup file.

9. This process may take several minutes to finish so be patient. After the backup process is complete, you’ll get a toast on your screen saying Backup Complete or similar.

10. To restore your backup use the following command:
adb restore C:backupbackup1.ab

11. Upon executing the command, you’ll see the following on your screen.2

12. Simply tap Restore My Data and adb will start its process. Type in password if you’ve encrypted your backup file.

Also See: How to install ADB (Android Debug Bridge)


Using Titanium Backup:

Titanium Backup tops the list of must have app for any rooted user. This app answers the common question asked by many Android users – How do I back up apps including its data while migrating from one ROM to another. You can back up your phone’s user and system apps and store it somewhere safe and forget about losing your data again. This app is not just for backing up apps; you can uninstall system apps, freeze unwanted, memory consuming apps and restore backed up apps. This apps offers variety of other features which are worth looking into. Here, you’ll learn how to use Titanium Backup to backup and restore your apps with its data. Follow the instructions below.

3.tbackInstall Titanium Backup:
Before you start this tutorial, make sure your device is rooted. If your device is rooted and you have Superuser installed then installing Titanium Backup is simple. You can get Titanium Backup form the Play Store. After you’ve installed the app, you’ll get a prompt from Superuser to whether or not grant Titanium Backup with superuser privileges. Before you grant it with the privilege, check “Remember” box so you won’t be prompted every time you open the app. Titanium Back up is a very powerful app designed for power users which gives you direct access to system files, so don’t start pressing all those colorful buttons if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Read its manual before you start pressing anything.

5.tbackYour First Backup:
Now it’s time to perform your first backup. To do so, click on Backup/Restore tab if you want to back up individual apps separately. If you want to back up all apps then click on Menu button and click on Batchor Batch actions. From the batch menu, click on [RUN] Backup all user apps + system data if you want to backup everything on you device. But if you only want to backup your downloaded apps including its data then click on [RUN] Backup all user apps. In batch backup, you have the options to include and exclude apps from backing up, kill active apps, select/deselect all etc. The backup process may take from few minutes to an 6.tbackhour depending upon your device’s processing power. Upon completion, you can verify you backup and check it for errors by click on [RUN] Verify all your backups or [RUN] Verify all latest backups (faster). To safely store you backed up apps and data on your computer, connect your device using USB and navigate to /TitaniumBackup on you SDCard. Here you can find all your backed up data. Select it, copy it and paste it somewhere safe.

Just like back up, you have several options to restore too. You can restore particular apps one by one by clicking on Backup/Restore tab or you can 7.tbackbatch restore all or many apps at once using batch restore, To batch restore, press your menu button and click on Batch or Batch actions. Then click on [RUN] Restore missing apps with data or [RUN] Restore all system data or [RUN] restore missing app + all system data or other restore options that suits your needs.

Using Recovery:
This is, in my opinion is the easiest and best way to back up your device if you’re a flash-a-holic like me and if you have a custom recovery installed in your device. The backup which is created by this method is popularly known as Nandroid Backup. This can save you with a lot of troubles if you in case soft brick you device while installing a custom ROM. In this tutorial I’m going to explain you about Nandroid Backup and how to perform such backup.

Installing Recovery:
Skip this step if you already have a recovery installed onto your device. You can install the recovery of your choice (i.e. CWM, TWRP, etc.) easily using ROM Manager.

ROM Manager

Go to Recovery:
Now that you’ve installed a recovery, you can now go to recovery by restarting your device and press certain key combination to enter into it. The key combination varies from device to device but the most common ones are volume up or volume down, or power button. Press the combination once you see your vendor’s logo or anything similar. Now your device will boot into recovery.

Perform Nandroid Backup:
Now that you’ve entered into the recovery, it’s time to backup your device. Here, I am going to teach you to perform a backup on two of the famous recoveries, namely CWM and TWRP.

• Go to Backup
• Select the partitions you want to backup or go with default selections.
• Swipe to the right to start the backup process.
• Once the process is finished, your device will reboot.twrp

• Go to Backup and Restore.
• Choose Backup.
• The backup process will now start.
• After the process is done, go back and reboot your device.
Note: backup process may take some minutes regardless which recovery you use. Be patient and wait for the process to finish.

Clockworkmod Recovery cwm

Transferring Nandroid Backup to a Computer:
Nandroid backup can take up a lot of space on your device’s memory depending upon the size of backed up data. So, it is always useful to transfer the backup file to a computer and delete it on your device. If you need to restore it, just transfer it back. Here’s how you transfer the backup file to a computer.

Connect your device to a computer using USB and go to TWRP folder on the root of your SDcard. In there you can find your backup file. Copy it and paste it somewhere safe. Later, delete the backup file on you device to free up some space.

Transferring the backup file here is similar to that of TWRP. But the directory is different. The backup file created by CWM is usually located in /data/media/clockworkmode/backups/ which is located in the root folder. You’ll not be able to see this folder on your computer but to tackle this problem you can transfer the backup file from original directory to any directory on your SDcard.

This one is fairly easy too. In both the recoveries, you have to first reboot to the recovery and choose Backup and Restore or Restore depending upon your recovery. For CWM go to Backup and Restore and select Restore whereas in TWRP select Restore and Swipe right. The restoring process will start and will complete in a few minutes depending upon the size of your backup.

Also See: How to flash custom recovery


  1. Ugh! Trying to restore and getting this: unable to open file: adb restore C:UsersNAMEbackup.ab

    What am I doing wrong?

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