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How to Backup & Restore Android Phone

By Sara | Aug 4, 2010 | In iOS
Filed Under : android backupandroid restoreandroid root

Do you want to backup and restore your Android phone? Here is a guide for it in an easy and reliable way. Everything that resides on your Android phone with the exception of the SD card can be essentially a full image of the current state in your Android phone, which let you restore to at any time as if nothing happened. Just read on, and you will fully and 100% backup and restore your Android phone simply.

A Complete Guide to Fully Backup and Restore Android Phone


1. If you want restore from a full image backup, you should to restore all or nothing, instead of getting back just the photos.

2. It may be something that cannot work. Although Nandroid is well-tested and stable, there may be a possibility that you cannot restore. You should copy the stuff you cannot lose before you begin, and make sure you will be alright with losing the rest when it goes wrong. You can backup your contracts and list of apps in the cloud by Google, which let you not back up them separately.

1. Beginning:

Step 1. Root Your Android Phone

If your phone is HTC Droid Incredible, you can get the tutorial here to root your Android phone. There is another tutorial for all Android phones to root.

Step 2. Install Nandroid Backup

This Android app Nandroid can let you make fully snapshots of your whole phone and restore from those snapshots.

There are a lot of methods to install it on your Android phone. We choose the simplest one, which is to use the ClockworkMod ROM Manager app with a lot of other useful stuff. Your Android phone should be rooted. You just need download and install ClockworkMod ROM Manage to install Nandroid app.

2. Back Up Your Phone

The backup itself will take about 5-10 minutes and will produce a new time stamped directory on the SD card. This directory will contain all of the files needed for restoration - they comprise your full backup.

The following will give you a preview of what a full backup looks like:

Backup & Restore Android Phone - Full backup

a. One-time Setup

Now, before we can back up, we need to install a Recovery Image specific to your phone. Don't worry. ROM Manager does it for you automatically with only a press of a button.

Important: unplug the USB cable during this step, as some users are reporting problems flashing recovery while plugged in (thanks DennGir and others).

This recovery image contains a boot loader which replaces your original boot loader. The boot loader gives you the ability to run Nandroid backup and restore commands outside of the OS. It also lets you install ROMs but we will not do that today. Since the OS cannot back itself up fully while running, ROM Manager will reboot into this boot loader to perform Nandroid operations.

Recovery images vary from one phone model to another, and ROM Manager automatically figures out which one you need. These recovery images are not created by one person - there is a large community effort behind them, and the ROM Manager simply brings together in one convenient package. Alright, enough ranting - let's get to it. (Warning: flashing a recovery image most likely voids your warranty)
  • Select Flash ClockworkMod Recovery.
  • Confirm your autodetected phone model.
  • Wait for it to download.
  • The one-time setup is complete.
Notes: There is a chance that you are using a phone unsupported by the ROM Manager. If this is the case, this backup solution will not work for you, at least not until the app starts supporting your phone.

ROM Manager's creator Koushik Dutta is quite active in the community and will hopefully include support for new phones as they get released. Just for reference, as of 4/15/2010 the following phones are supported:
  • HTC Droid Eris (CDMA)
  • HTC Hero (GSM), aka non-US Hero
  • HTC Hero (CDMA), aka Sprint Hero
  • HTC Dream
  • HTC Nexus One
  • HTC Magic (Sapphire 32A)
  • HTC MyTouch/Ion (Sapphire 32B)
  • Motorola Droid
This list is included here for reference only and is subject to change. If you don't see your device here, check with Koushik's site for the latest supported list.

Backup & Restore Android Phone - Supported list

b. Your First Backup

If you have successfully installed a recovery image, you're ready to start your first backup.

This is a 1-click operation.
  • Select "Backup Current ROM" and your phone will reboot and start the full backup onto your SD card.
  • Just sit back and relax - there is nothing else you need to do.
Backup & Restore Android Phone - First backup

After the backup is complete, your phone should boot back up normally. You're done!

The backup is located on your SD card in the clockworkmod/backup/SOMEDATETIME directory. Here is a screenshot of what it contains again:

Backup & Restore Android Phone- What it contain

Feel free to copy these files elsewhere and store them safely.

3. Restore Your Phone

You may want to restore the original full backup of your OS that you took in the Back Up step above. Maybe you forgot something in the original installation or want to go back to stock to apply an update your carrier finally published - no problem.

After you're done restoring, you'll be back to your original OS as if nothing ever happened (was it just a dream?)

Restoring is just about as easy as backing up:

a. Load ROM Manager and select "Manage and Restore Backup", basically, repeating step 2.

b. Select the backup, which includes the OS itself and all the apps, settings - everything that you backed up, from the list.

c. Click Restore. You can also rename and delete your backups from this menu.

Backup & Restore Android Phone - Restore the phone

Look 芒鈧?#65533; the Android phone boots and the resurrection went just fine!

I sincerely hope that this guide was clear and helpful to backup and restore your Android phone.

Support Koushik, the ROM Manager creator, by purchasing the Premium version which comes with a few added benefits that automate installing and updating custom ROMs.

Backup & Restore Android Phone - Rom Manger

In conclusion, I'm going to leave you with the screenshots of some other ROM Manager menus as well as the Recovery console.


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