Home Android How to back up Android devices: The complete guide

How to back up Android devices: The complete guide


‘Twas a time not so long ago when backing up an Android phone was a massive, migraine-inducing undertaking.

It’s true: A mere matter of years back in our mobile device saga, a proper Android backup required physical computer connections, complicated third-party software and more than a few adult beverages.

But my, what a difference a few years makes. These days, backing up an Android device and keeping your data synced takes little to no actual effort. Most of the work happens seamlessly and automatically, behind the scenes — either without any involvement on your behalf or with a one-time opt-in when you first set your phone up. And restoring your data is typically as simple as signing into a device and letting Google’s systems work their magic.

Still, your data is important, especially if you use your phone for business. With all the stuff we tend to have on our phones (or at least accessible from our phones), it’s worthwhile to know where and how everything’s being saved. That way, you can understand what’s happening and confirm it’s all functioning as intended — and the next time you need to move to a new device, you can rest easy knowing your data will be there and ready.

Here’s a section-by-section breakdown of Android’s backup systems and how they operate.

General settings and preferences

When you powered up your Android device for the first time, you probably signed in with your primary Google account. This is critical — because that same account is your key to the vast majority of your automatically backed up data.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.


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