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Android Back-up Tips

Saturday, June 30th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Android, Smartphones

If you want to update the firmware of your Android phone, it’s important to back up your contacts and apps. Everything else is individual, like sms messages, calendar and notes. In fact, you have the option of syncing your contacts, calendar and notes to Google already, so you don’t have to worry about that. Still, things can go wrong if you rely too much on Google for syncing everything – and then again, what about backing up and restoring apps?

Here are a few ways to go about backing up your Android phone before you press the panic button.

Back up your precious contacts. These could be just your SIM contacts, Google contacts, or even Facebook and what have you. Click on your Contacts button, press the menu button (left of the ‘home button’ on the Galaxy Note), click on More/Import-export/export to SD card. Confirm with an ‘Yes’.

This is optional. If your messages are important, you can make use of many SMS backup apps on Google Play, the Android Marketplace. If you ask us, there’s one that does the job pretty well: SMS Backup & Restore Pro. And it’s free.

All the effort you’ve taken in installing and uninstalling apps will be for nothing if you don’t keep a list of the apps installed (or forget to backup the apps), to restore after the firmware upgrade. There are several apps on the market that can do this, but the one I really like for its user interface and simplicity is ES File Explorer. Just open the app and follow this route after pressing the menu button: Manager/App Manager and press the ‘Multi-select button’ located at the top of file explorer. Now, select all the apps you want and press the menu button again. This time, you will click ‘Backup’. This will install all the apps (the .apk files needed to install and reinstall apps) to your SD card’s Backup folder.

However, the application data and phone settings require a backup, too. Your phone has this feature built-in. Just follow this path: Settings/Privacy settings. Say ‘yes’ to Back up my data and Automatic Restore by thumbing your checkmark to each of these settings.

It’s important to pause the power management tools embedded in the Android phone or the external apps you’ve downloaded. For example, if you were doing over-the-air software update and the new file is over 300MB, it will take more than an hour to download all of it. If you have Wi-Fi managed in your power management tool, it will disable Wi-Fi the moment the screen goes off. Similarly, anti-virus tools tend to interfere with software downloads and installation, so it’s better to uninstall them before you begin your software installation. You can do that by going over to Location and Security/Device administration and putting a checkmark to all the ones marked out there.

~Zahid H Javali

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5 Responses to “Android Back-up Tips”

  1. Brad S. says:

    What version of Android are you running? I am curious because my phone does not even have a Contacts selection or a privacy selection, either in apps or in the settings menu. Are you running ICS? If so you do realize that the majority of phones are still running Gingerbread right? While I can appreciate the tips you post, it gets frustrating when “Tips” are posted that are limited to only a select group of devices. Perhaps file them under an appropriate heading that clarifies which devices / versions it will work on so those of us who are not priviledged enough to own your phone know to skip the article.

  2. Zahid says:

    Hello Brad. The apps work for both the ICS and Gingerbread versions. So no problem for you there.

  3. Heidemarie Foster says:

    I really like the Computertips , have learned a lot from them !
    Now to cellphones , that is a whole new thing for me , not every Android is the same .
    I recently had to update my Cellphone and bought the Samsung Stratosphare from Verizon , I have the Camera figured out , plus the simple tasks .
    Like to know how to download the pictures from the Cellphone on to my computer , I plucked in the USB cable and my computer regonizes the divice , but I have no clue what else to do , I could use help , if some one would help me . Thank you !

  4. Abe says:

    Log onto your google account, click on play at the top of the desktop and all your apps are listed there and can be re-installed from there.

  5. Bill Leach says:

    Zahid, I like your post on Android Backup. Good information and I learned something new about Google too! However, just want to mention that Comodo and AVG (firewall and antivirus) do NOT interfere with software installation other than the file scan must be completed satisfactorily before the program can be opened.

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