- Mar 06, 2018
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How To Backup Your Android Phone.
Making sure we know how to regularly back up our Android phones or tablets in case the worst happens is an essential skill to have.
Android is tailor-made for syncing with cloud services, so wherever possible, use online services to back up important data such as emails, contacts and calendars. For example Gmail is a great service that makes backing up all of these from your Android device easy and straightforward.
On Android, the Google Sync feature will also back up contacts, email, calendar and bookmarks if you're using the default (or Google made) apps associated with each of these.
If your Android device is full of precious photos and home videos, then it is important to know how to make sure your phone or tablet is backed up correctly, so if anything happens to the device, you at least still have all your irreplaceable photos and videos.
Android can also back up a lot of critical app data — a feature that's gotten better over time — but it's not quite as thorough as what you'll see on iOS. In many cases this means when you need to restore Android from a backup, your apps and the data they contain, will be restored as well.
Because of this, it's best to take a two-pronged approach to backing up, so read on to find out how to back up your Android phone or tablet.
1. Make Use of Android built-in Backup:
The first simple step is to enable Android's built-in backup feature, if you haven't already.
To check, head into Settings > Backup and reset and make sure both 'Back up my data' as well as 'Automatic restore' are checked.
This will keep an automatic backup of your Android data and settings online and tied to a Gmail account. If you need to reset your Android device, or you buy a new one, then you can sign in with this Gmail account and your data and settings will be downloaded and restored.
You probably take a lot of photos with your Android phone or tablet, so you'll want to make sure you take regular backups of the photos you store.
Android has an automatic backup feature for the photos you take, so to make sure that's enabled, open up the Photos app, then tap on the icon of three horizontal lines.
On the menu that opens, tap on 'Settings' then select 'Backup & sync'.
Now make sure that the toggle next to where it says "Back up & sync" is enabled. From this menu you can also choose the quality that the photos are saved as when backed up, and whether or not to run the automatic backup using your mobile data. Remember if you choose this, you may go over your mobile data limit.
This is one of the easiest forms of Android backup, but for a more robust approach we want to use third party backup tools as well.
2. Use 3rd Party App: Helium
There are also a number of third party apps that can make creating a backup of your Android device nice and easy.
For example, install Helium from the Google Play Store. If your handset is rooted, just install the app and you're good to go. If not, there's a couple of additional steps required to give Helium the correct access it needs for backup.
The first of these is to enable USB debugging on your phone.
Go to Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging.
If you can't see a 'Developer Options' entry, which is hidden by default on many handsets, go to Settings > About Phone and tap 'Build number' seven times to unhide the entry.
Next, download and install the Helium Desktop client on your computer. Launch it, then follow the instructions, plugging in your Android device via USB when prompted and launching the Helium app.
For ever better backup security, Helium will let you save backups directly to the cloud using Dropbox, Google Drive or Box — the caveat is that if you want to *restore* a cloud backup, you'll need to purchase the Premium version of Helium, which costs US$4.79 (£3.17). Google accounts all come with 15GB of free cloud storage on Google Drive, which should be enough for your app data. On helium, your backups are stored in a folder on storage device you've selected called 'carbon'.