How to Backup Android Files, Apps, and App Data To Computer.
When it comes to backing up your Android smartphone, there are many programs, both free and paid, that make backing up your data as easy as possible. However, most of the backup software is quite cumbersome, has quite a few unnecessary features, and is not that user-friendly. Not to mention, some programs even create backups of data in a proprietary format, forcing you to use the same software to restore the backup.
The good news is that as an Android user, you don’t have to use third-party backup software for Android and its data. Let me show you how.
How to back up Android
As far as Android backup goes, I usually divide it into five parts. those. contacts, messages, photos and videos, apps and app data, and other files. The good thing about this approach is that all of your eggs are not in the same basket and the recovery process goes smoothly as well. I’ll show all these parts for a complete backup.
1. Backup contacts
If you are using Android, this means that your contact list is automatically backed up to Google’s servers, at least until you manually disable the sync feature. So generally, you don’t need to worry about backing up your contacts. If you are not sure if your contacts are backed up, just go to https://contacts.google.com and sign in to the Google account associated with your Android phone. You should see a list of contacts.
If not, you can easily backup your contacts to Google with just a few taps. To do this, open “Settings” and go to “Accounts – Google”. Select your email account here. Then flip the switch next to Contact to ON. Click on the vertical menu icon that appears in the upper right corner and select the “Sync Now” option. This action backs up your contact list to Google and is automatically restored when you reset your device or on a new device.
2. SMS Backup
Android does not have a built-in SMS backup. However, there are some very good apps that you can use to backup Android SMS to cloud, SD card, or computer. I choose to back up SMS to Google Drive as it will be much easier to restore them when needed. In my case, I’m using SMS Organizer, a great app with a lot of features.
To back up SMS to Google Drive, install SMS Organizer, launch the app and go to its settings. Now go to “Backup & Restore” and click on “Google Drive Account”. On the pop-up screen, select your Gmail account, click OK, and accept the permissions.
Now hit the “Backup” button on the home screen and you’re done. If necessary, you can set the frequency of automatic backup by clicking on the “Automatic backup” option.
Read: 5 Best Android Apps to Backup SMS and Call Logs
If you want to restore your SMS backup, just click the “Restore” button and SMS Organizer will automatically download the latest backup and restore it for you.
3. Backup photos and videos
Almost every one of us takes photos and videos on our smartphones. Therefore, it is only natural that you want to back up those valuable photos and videos. Typically, photos and videos are stored either on an internal SD card or an external SD card. No matter where they are stored on your phone, you can easily back them up.
There are now two ways to backup photos and videos on Android. The first way is to use Google Photos, which backs up all of your media files to Google Drive. If you let Google control the quality of your photos and videos, you get unlimited storage so you don’t have to worry about using up your Google Drive space.
Unless you’re shooting 4K video and ultra-high-definition photos with lots of detail, Google’s “High Quality” photo and video storage will be fine for most users. To learn more about how Google controls the quality of your photos and videos for free unlimited space, click here.
Just install the Google Photos app, follow the wizard and it will take care of the download and backup. Depending on how many photos and videos you have, it may take some time for all media to fully download.
Another way is to back them up on your computer or other external devices. To do this, follow the method below.
4. Backup files to internal / external storage
If you have an external SD card in your Android smartphone, you can simply pull it out, insert it into your SD card reader, and copy all of its contents to your computer or other storage devices.
If you don’t have an external SD card, the process is slightly different. Connect your Android smartphone to your computer via a USB cable. After connecting your device, if prompted, select the File Transfer (MTP) option. This option allows you to transfer files to and from the SD card. If you don’t select the MTP option, Windows may not display files and folders on your Android device.
Now open Windows Explorer with the keyboard shortcut “Win + E”. Here you will find your Android smartphone listed alongside other drives. Open your Android drive, select all the files you see here, press “Ctrl + C” to copy. Paste them using the “Ctrl + V” keyboard shortcut to a folder on your computer.
Backing up your SD card on Android is that easy.
5. Backup apps and app data (no root required)
Android does not provide any way to quickly back up installed apps and app data by default. However, with Android Debug Bridge, you can easily back up apps and app data as a single file to your computer with just one line of command. Once backed up, you can restore this backup file as needed to get all your apps and their data back.
First, you need to enable USB debugging mode on your Android device. To do this, open the “Settings” application and go to the “About phone” section. Here, scroll to the bottom and tap the build number 7 times to enable developer options.
Now go back to the main settings screen and select the “Developer options” option. Here, slide the toggle next to USB Debugging to ON to enable USB Debugging.
After enabling USB debugging mode, download ADB for Windows and extract the contents of the zip file to the “ADB” folder on drive C. After extracting, it should look exactly like this on your system.
Read: 15 Best ADB Commands Every Android User Should Know (PDF)
Now connect your Android smartphone to your computer with a USB cable. Then go to the “C: Adb platform-tools” folder, right-click in the explorer and select “Open PowerShell Here”.
In a PowerShell window, run the following command. If your device is properly connected to the system, you will see your device listed in the PowerShell response. ./adb.exe devices
After making sure your device is properly connected, run the following command to back up Android apps and app data. ./adb.exe backup -apk -shared -all -f ./backup.ab
On your smartphone, you will be prompted to accept the backup request. Just click the “Back up my data” button.
As soon as you click on the button, the backup process will begin. Depending on how many apps you have installed on your smartphone, the backup process may take some time. After that, you will see a small toast notification on your smartphone. Since we back up all apps and app data, the size of the backup will depend on the number of apps you have. For example, in my case the size of the backup file is just over 500 MB.
You can find a backup file named “backup.ab” in the same folder as the ADB files. If necessary, you can move this backup to any location of your choice.
If you want to restore, place the backup file in the same folder as adb files and use the following command. As before, you will see a recovery request on your smartphone. Click on the “Recover my data” button. ./adb.exe restore ./backup.ab
That’s all. It’s so easy to backup and restore Android.