How To Backup An Android Phone

Worried about your Android phone being lost or stolen – with all its precious apps and data? You probably should be e.g. this article on the 2012 Olympics reveals that each week in London some 25,000 phones go walkabout i.e. lost or stolen.

That’s 1.3 million lost phones per year in a city of just 7 million people – an astonishing average of 1 in 6 people suffering the loss of their phone! [Assuming that everyone owned a mobile phone, which they don’t – the true figure is likely to be 1 in 5 or even worse]

Or perhaps you want to transfer your old phone’s contents to a new one? Or are worried about dropping your phone down the toilet (amazingly 19% of people do)?

With all these risks, it’s essential to backup your phone’s data – and it’s not that difficult to do. There are manual ways to backup or you could use an app to do a more thorough (and easier) job.

Manual Methods – Your Google account can automatically backup your system settings, contacts, calendar, apps and e-mail to Google’s servers online:

  • Go to Settings then ‘Privacy’ and tick the options for ‘Back up my settings/data’ and ‘Automatic restore’.
  • Go to Settings then ‘Accounts and sync’ and open your Gmail account – tick all options e.g. Sync Contacts, Sync Gmail, Sync Calendar.

As long as you use the same Gmail account, these saved settings will be reinstalled on your new Android phone.

  • Backup pictures by connecting your phone to a computer via USB cable and transferring them manually. Alternatively, consider using a cloud backup service like Dropbox which automatically uploads your photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan.
  • Backup SMS text messages, MMS and call log entries to the cloud by using a free app called SMS Backup+ – it backs them up using a separate label in your Gmail / Google Calendar. It is also possible to restore SMS and call log entries back to the phone (MMS not supported yet).

Automatic Methods – The easiest way to backup (and restore) everything on an Android phone is to use an app – there are 2 standout apps in this market:

Titanium Backup Root – Free or $6.58 (Pro version). This app only works if your phone is rooted. Rooting allows you to attain privileged control (root access) within Android.

It’s the most complete backup app for Android – you can backup, restore, freeze (with Pro) your apps and data and Market links, including all protected apps and system apps, plus external data on your SD card.

MyBackup – Free 30 day trial or $4.99 (Pro version)

Whilst this isn’t quite as powerful as Titanium Backup Root, you do not need root access to use it – it’s also a little simpler to use.

Mybackup can backup (with schedule option) to their online secure servers or SD card (extra features are available if you do have a rooted phone e.g. backup of data/settings of applications).


It’s as important to keep a backup of your Android phone as it is for a standard computer – perhaps even more so due to the high number of phones that are lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged.

Backup doesn’t have to be a chore if you use a tailored app but even the manual methods can backup most of your important data.

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