A few years ago, we used mobile phones to call someone or text someone. But now technology is evolving quite rapidly. Now we can do everything on our mobile phone. That’s why we called it a smartphone. Nowadays everyone uses smartphones to take photos, watch movies, do office work, store files and lots more. But what if you lose your phone somewhere or drop it in water or if your phone crashes unexpectedly, well we pray that these things will never happen to your life but if it’s happened then you’ll not just be down the cost of a phone, but also a huge amount of data. To get around that, you need to backup your phone’s data to somewhere else.
There was a time not so long when backing up an Android phone was a massive, migraine-inducing undertaking. A proper Android backup required a computer or laptop, complicated third-party software and more than a few tips and tricks. But these days, backing up an Android phone and keeping your data synced takes little to no actual effort. Most work happens seamlessly and automatically. And restoring your data is very simple by signing into a google account and letting Google’s systems do their work.
So, in this article, we will guide you on how to back up all your files like music, photos, videos, documents on your Android smartphone.
How to back up photos and videos
First, let’s talk about photos. Nowadays smartphones have better cameras so you don’t need to take a DSLR everywhere. Most people buy smartphones to take pictures of just about everything. From selfies to family portraits, chances are these are all captured and stored on your phone.
With so many special moments living on your phone, it’s important to keep them backed up to the cloud so that they aren’t lost forever. For this, we recommend you to use Google Photos App.
Google Photos is free to use and offers unlimited cloud backups of photos and videos. Nowadays most of the Android smartphones come preloaded with Google Photos. But if your smartphone doesn’t have this you can simply go to play store and download the app. Once you download and install the app from the play store, getting it set up takes just a couple of steps.
- Open Google Photos App.
- Sign in to your Google account.
- Choose your desired quality settings.
- Wait for your photos to sync.
With that thing done, Google Photos will backup your all photos and videos and save them in the cloud on your google account. You can choose some folders to not back up. If you have a lot of photos and videos on your phone and have never backed up before, this could take a while considering your network connection.
But do note that Google Photos is free to use and unlimited free backups of images are saved as a lower-resolution file of your photos, and while they’ll still look the same but won’t be quite as sharp as the original one. So, if you want to backup your pictures in their original resolution, this will count against your Google One storage and you will only have 15 GB of free storage.
How to backup files
Nowadays we use our phone as a mini laptop and we do have a lot of PDFs, presentations, and some other documents on our phone. So how do we back up these files? That’s where Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive come into play.
They all are cloud storage apps, allowing you to keep those files safe and secure off your phone’s local storage. Most of the Android devices come with Google Drive App but you have to download Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive from the play store.
Getting started with any of the apps is quite simple. For Google Drive:
- Open Google Drive on your phone.
- Tap the + icon in the bottom-right corner.
- Tap upload.
- Select any file you want to upload.
That’s it, now you can easily select files and backup them to your cloud storage. But do note that, All the Google Driver users get 15GB of free storage to use, but if you need more, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee. Extra Drive storage is sold through Google One, with plans starting at 1.99/month for 100GB. there are many storage options available, including 200GB, 2TB, 10TB and even 30TB.
If you don’t want to use Google Drive or you want a secondary backup option, we will recommend you to use Dropbox. You can easily get the app from the play store. Once you download and install the app, getting it set up takes just a couple of steps.
- Open the Dropbox app on your phone.
- Sign up for an account or sign in with Google.
- Once logged in, tap the + icon and select files to backup.
You can use Dropbox for free, but you only get limited storage after that you have to pay for it. Dropbox paid plans to come with different features like 30 days file recovery, Dropbox Smart Sync and many more. The plan started from $11.99/month and comes with 2TB of storage.
If you are a Windows PC user, you already know about Microsoft OneDrive. But now OneDrive is also available on Android smartphones. You just have to download it from the play store and start using it with your Microsoft account or you can use your google account also.
How to Backup contacts
The most important thing is you’ll want to make sure that all of your contacts are backed up. For this, we will recommend you to use Google Contacts.
Most of the Chinese OEMs like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo come with their own custom-made contacts app. These apps have contacts syncing option but if you have privacy concerns, we will recommend not to use these apps. But if you have devices like Pixel, moto or any other manufacturer with stock android experience, they all come with Google Contacts pre-installed. So, don’t worry we will tell you quick steps to backup your contacts using Google Contacts app.
If you don’t have this app you have to download from the play store. Once you download and install the app from the play store, getting it set up takes just a couple of steps.
- Open Google Contacts on your phone.
- Sign in to your Google account.
- Now all the previous contacts and the new contacts will automatically back up to your google account.
How to back up your messages
Most people now use cloud-based messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, and many more. They all have a backup option and they automatically backup your messages. But if you use normal text messaging then you have to backup manually. Most of the OEMs come with their messaging app and they have a feature to backup your messages automatically. Also, in a change from the recent past, Google now automatically backs up all the SMS data from all Android devices. This happens regardless of who made your phone or what messaging app you’re using.
But that backup, however, is limited to 25MB of data and does not include MMS messages like photos and videos you sent via text. If you want your multimedia messages to be saved, you’ll need to sign up for a paid Google One Plan.
How to back up settings and apps
Moving right along, you’ll also want to make sure all of your applications are backed up. Backing up apps used to be painful work, but these days, Google keeps an automatic backup for you on your account. As such, downloading your apps and all of their data is as easy as diving into the settings on your existing phone, making sure the toggle is turned on, and selecting the backup option when you get your new device.
On your existing phone, doing so is as easy as follows:
- Open the settings on your phone.
- Tap System.
- Tap Backup.
On this page, you can turn automatic backups on/off, manually initiate a backup, and see when the last time backups were made for app data, device settings, and much more.
Backing up to your Computer using Android File Transfer
Instead of backing up your device to the cloud or to the phone itself, you might want to backup all your files to your computer for easy access later on. This is an old-school method but we do like it and it is also very satisfying that you can see your backup items anytime you want. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do, and the process is pretty much whether you’re a Mac or PC user. Mac users will need to download and install the Android File Transfer app, though. Here’s how to backup your Android device to a computer:
- Plug your phone into your computer with your USB cable.
- On Windows, go to ‘My Computer’ and open the phone’s storage.
- On Mac, open Android File Transfer
- Drag the files you want to backup to a folder on your computer.
The Android File Transfer app is quite clunky and sometimes doesn’t get the job done. But if you use windows you can easily copy those files and save to your computer.
Other backup options
Google’s services are great and quite easy to use, but if you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution is one that backs up everything at once and that is to use third-party apps.
There are tons of third-party apps available on the play store for backing up your data. You can choose anyone from that list and use it. But we will do our best and that is Super Backup & restore. It allows you to backup individual items on your phone, such as apps, contacts, SMS, calendars and more.
- Download Super Backup & Restore.
- You will see a list of item categories that you can backup
- Select which category you want to backup.
- Select the individual items you’d like to include in your backup.
- Tap on “Backup”.
Most people don’t have to root their phones to backup. But rooting your phone can help you to backup more things. By rooting your phone, you can restore everything on your like app settings, Wi-Fi password, and system data. And to do that you need to root your phone and use Titanium Backup, one of the most used apps for backing up a rooted phone. It’s an old app and nowadays no one knows about the app but it is a very powerful app indeed.
Here’s how to back up your files using Titanium Backup:
- Download the app and open the app.
- Tap the menu button in the top-right corner and select ‘batch action’.
- Select everything you want to backup
- You can also choose to back up the files to Dropbox or Google Drive, which you may want to do in case you lose your phone
- You can also opt to create a recovery compatible .zip backup file. This ensures that even if your phone’s system files become corrupt or something else happens that prevents you from being able to boot up your phone, you’ll be able to restore your phone from the backup.
That’s it. If you face any problem backing up your Android smartphone, let us know in the comments section below. We will surely help you with it.