How to Backup Android Phone or Tablet

Last updated on August 2nd, 2016

In this tutorial you can find detailed instructions on how you can backup the stored data (pictures, music, videos, contacts, calendar, settings, etc.) from your Android smartphone or tablet, in order to keep your stuff safe, even if you lose your device or even if you want to reset your device to factory settings. 

Backup Android

Backing up your Android's phone or tablet contents, is a must do action, (if contents are important to you…and I 'm sure they are), because nowadays, most of us, we use our Android device every day, not only to perform our communications but also to manage our appointments (calendar), to read/write emails or to take photos and videos of everything we think as important.


How to backup your Android device's content.

This tutorial is divided in four (4) parts with detailed instructions on how to backup the different kind of content that is stored on your Android device (Smartphone or Tablet): *

Part 1. Backup Android Contacts, Calendar, Gmail, etc.
Part 2. Backup Android Settings.
Part 3. Backup Android Photos, Music & Videos.
Part 4. Backup Android Text/SMS Messages.


* Important: Before you continue to follow the instructions on this tutorial, make sure that you already have a Google (Gmail) account and you have setup (Added) that account on your Android device.


Part 1. Backup (Sync) Android Contacts, Calendar, Gmail, etc.

If you want to backup the contacts, calendar or Gmail, then sync your Android device with your Google Account. To do that:

1. On your Android device, (after you have added your Google account), tap Settings.

android settings


2. Tap to open Accounts menu.



3. Select the Google Account you added on your phone.



4. Check (select) to sync all the available information and then tap the Sync now button to immediately synchronize your contacts, calendar, Gmail, etc. to your Google Account. *

* Info: When you are syncing your Android mobile with your Google account, then you also sync all your contacts, calendar & Google mail from your phone to that account and vice versa. So if you open your Google account from any computer or mobile device and navigate to e.g. Google contacts page, you can find that all your Android Phone contacts are also stored online. Also if you make a change on the device or in your Google Account, the change will be applied to both locations (Device &Google account) when you 're connected to the Internet.




Part 2. Backup Android Settings.

If you want to backup Android settings (Wi-Fi passwords, bookmarks, app settings, etc.):

1. Open Android Settings –> Accounts.

2. Under Backup options section, tap Backup and reset.



3. Under Backup and restore section select the Back up my data checkbox. *

* Notes:

1. If you  want to automatically restore backed-up settings when reinstalling an app select the Automatic restore checkbox too.

2. Make sure that you have added a backup account at Backup account settings. To add a backup account tap Backup account and then add your Google account.




Part 3. Backup Android Photos, Music & Videos.

In order to backup photos, music and videos from your android device you have these options:

  1. Manual backup Manually copy/paste (transfer) all files from your android device to your computer.
  2. Automatic backup: Use a backup app in order to synchronize your android device to the cloud. In this tutorial I 'll use the Google Photos app, which are offered for free and allows you to store up to 15GB of data to Google's servers.


Method 1. Android Manual Backup.

The first method to backup your Android data is to manually transfer (copy & paste) your device's contents (Photos, Video, Music, etc.) by connecting your device to your computer (PC or MAC). I recommend this method because it is the more "clear" way to backup your data. The only disadvantage of this method is that you must perform this task frequently in order to to keep your backup up to date. To manually backup Android data:

1. Connect your Android Device to your computer, by using the USB cable.

2. On your Android device:

a. Touch & drag down the notification bar.



b. Tap on Connected as a media device.



c. Select the Media device (MTP) checkbox.



3. On your computer: open Windows Explorer and you will see:

a. A new drive that has your Android device's (Model) name (e.g. "GT-I9300"), &

b. A new "Removable disk", if you have installed an SD card to your device.




4. Create a new folder on your computer (e.g. under "Documents" folder) and give it a name (for the new folder) that you can recognize (e.g. Android_Backup_11092015). Also if you have an SD card, create a new folder and name it at the same way. (e.g. SD_Backup_11092015).

5. Then explore your device's (and SD card) contents and then copy/paste (backup) to the new created folder(s) on your computer:

a. The following folders from your Android device:

    1. DCIM –> Camera, Photo and Video.
    2. Music.
    3. Pictures –> Screenshots
    4. Documents

b. All the files from your device's SD card.

Important: DO NOT forget to take a backup of your Android data frequently, in order to have your files up to date.



Method 2. Android Automatic Backup.

The second method to backup your data from your Android device, is to use the Google Photos app. By using the Google Photos app, the backup operation will performed automatically, when your phone has Internet access (is connected to Internet).

To automatically backup your Android data with Google Photos:

Step 1. Download Google Photos App to your device.

1. Open Google Play Store.



2. Type 'google photos' in search field and then tap at Google Photos app from results.




3. Tap Install to install Google Photos on your device.



4. Read carefully what the app needs to access and if you agree click Accept.



5. Wait until the installation is completed.


Step 2. Specify the Google Photos Backup Settings.

1. Launch Google Photos app on your device.



2. Make Sure that the Back up & sync setting is ON and tap Done.

back up sync settings-google-photos


3. At the top left, tap Menu image.



4. Tap Settings.



5. Tap Backup & sync



6. Tap Backup up device folders.



7. Now select what other folders from your device, you want to be synced (backup) to Google Photos storage, by moving the slider to ON. *

* Note: By default the camera folder is automatically backed up.



8. (Optional) When you finish with your folder selections, tap the left arrow image,to go back at the main 'Back up & sync' settings options. Here you can specify the following settings:

A. Under Mobile Data section: Specify if you want the backup operation (synchronization) to be performed even if you are connected to the Internet via the Cellular network. *

* Note: By default the backup is performed, ONLY when your Android device is connected to Internet via a WiFi network.

B. Under When to backup section: You can enable the backup operation in case of charging your mobile (only) & when Roaming.



9. After specifying the Backup settings, wait until the selected folders to synchronized with your associated Google account.

10. Finally you can access your synced stuff, from any computer and web browser, by signing in with the same Google account as on your device to


Part 4. Backup Android Text/SMS Messages.

If you want to backup the SMS messages from your Android device, you need a third party app, like the SMS Backup+ app. A detailed guide on how to use SMS Backup+ app, to backup your Android Text/SMS messages to your Google account, can be found here: How to Transfer (Backup/Restore) Android SMS messages from/to Android phone.

You 're done! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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