Making a regular backup of your Android phone is a recommended practice that can save your day in case you happen to lose your phone or it suffers accidental damage, resulting in the loss of all your contacts, photos and other data on your phone.
How to Backup Android Phone or Tablet
Broadly speaking there are two ways to backup Android phone, you can choose from any one of these methods, use both for added security or use a combination of both methods.
- Backup Android Phone to your Local Hard Drive
- Backup Android Phone to Google Cloud Servers
Backup Android Phone or Tablet to PC
The simplest way of backing up an Android phone or tablet is to just connect it to a PC and copy the data to a folder on your PC. The key here is to be organized and store your backups in folders that are properly named with date, month and year of backup.
1. Connect your Android phone to a PC using a USB cable
2. Wait till your computer recognizes the phone. Your phone will show up as a new drive when you click on This PC or My Computer (depending on your computer).
3. Click on the newly connected drive to see all the files in it
4. Create a new folder on your computer and make sure to include the date, month and year in the folder name. You can name the folder something descriptive like S6 backup dated 14 Nov or similar.
5. Copy all the files on your phone to this new folder. (Just drag and drop into the new folder)
Backup Android Phone to Google Cloud Servers
Since Android OS comes from Google, you are at liberty to make use of your Google account to backup all your contacts, calendar appointments, docs, and Android app purchases to Google’s Cloud Servers.
However, just having a Google account does not guarantee that your Android phone’s data will be automatically saved to your Google account. You need to provide Google with permission to backup your data and you also need to identify the type of data that you want Google to backup for you.
The process of setting up an Android phone back up to Google account varies a bit from phone to phone, but it is more or less the same. We will be getting into that later. But, first you may want to know as to what exactly is backed up from your Android phone to Google.
What Type of Data Does Google Backup
Once you provide permission to Google to access and backup your data, the following type of data can be saved to Google cloud servers.
Emails, Contacts, and Calendars: Your email will always be available with your Gmail account, your Android contacts get synced with your Google contacts online and calendar events get synced with Google Calendar.
System Settings: Some system settings like date & time, Language, Display settings, home screen wallpapers, Wi-Fi networks and Wi-Fi network passwords will be saved to your Google account.
Apps, e-books, Music: Apps installed through Google Play and anything purchased from Google like e-books and music will is linked with your Google account and these can be downloaded at any time.
Google will not backup your SMS messages, it can backup Photos and Videos through another service called Google Photos.
Backup Emails, Contacts, Calender, Apps to Google
Now that you know what is backed up to your Google account, follow the steps below to back up your Android device data to Google’s cloud servers.
1. Open Settings on your Android phone
2. Next Tap on Backup and reset.
3. Turn on both Back up my data and Automatic Restore options
4. Tap on Backup Account
5. Tap on your Google account linked to the device.
5. Go back to Settings and Tap on Accounts.
6. Select Google from the list of accounts.
7. Select your Gmail account
8. You will see a list of services like App Data, Calendar, Contacts, Docs, Gmail, and other services. Make sure that everything that you want to backup is turned on (See image below)
9. All your selected data will now be saved to Google servers and will be available any time you use your Google Account from another device.
Backing up Photos and Videos
For backing up photos and videos you can make use of the following methods.
- Backup Photos and videos to your local computer
- Make use of third party services like Photobucket, Dropbox and others which can do this efficiently.
- Use Google Photos or Google Plus to backup photos
Backup Photos to Google Photos
Here is how you can backup photos and videos on your Android phone to Google Photos service.
1. Open Google Photos app on your phone
2. Tap on the 3 line menu icon located at the top left corner of your device.
3. You will need to sign in to your Google account (in case you are not already signed in)
4. Tap on Settings
5. Tap on Back up & sync. (See image below)
6. Switch ON the backup feature from the top (if it is turned off) – See image above
7. Tap on Backup All to backup photos now or you can tap on the Back Up Photos Over Wi-Fi only option in case you do not want to use up your cellular data.
Backup SMS Messages
In case you really want to preserve your text messages, you can make use of SMS Backup & Restore app that is free to use.
The app integrates your email account with Google Drive or Dropbox to back up your SMS messages in XML format.
Backup Using Other Apps
There are many apps that can make it really easy to schedule automated backups of your Android device to cloud storage services. My Backup Pro is one such popular app that is available on Google Play.
You can try the app for free and see if it is convenient for your requirements. Using My Backup Pro is very simple, just download the app from Google Play store, and launch it on your phone.
My Backup Pro allows you to set up scheduled backup of your entire Android device to a memory card or to cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox and others.