A Step by step guide to Backup Android phone data
Data is the most important thing on our smartphones. Our phones store a lot of photos, videos, contacts, WhatsApp messages & media files, text messages, and the list goes on. Needless to say, we can’t afford to lose our personal data. In this complete step by step guide, I will show how you can backup your Android phone data so you can restore your data in case you lose it for any reason.
I strongly recommend everyone to backup their Android phones either to PC or laptop or to any cloud such as the popular Google drive. This will ensure that you can restore your personal data if you lose your data like if you lost your phone, or any virus caused data loss to your phone or you intentionally want to factory reset your Android smartphone.
If you have lost your data, you can still recover lost data from Android phone by using free data recovery software. There are also free data recovery software for PC to restore any accidentally deleted files.
I don’t think I need to provide any more reasons to encourage you to backup your Android phone data. Now let’s see what methods are there to backup everything on your Android phone.
How to backup Android (basic) to Google drive?
Android doesn’t give you any direct or one-click option to backup everything on your Android phone. But there is an option which can at least reduce your pain a bit.
Open Settings on your Android phone> System> backup> Google backup or backup to Google. Turn on the “backup to Google Drive” option by sliding the slider. Below this, you will see the account to which the data will be backed up. You will also find the list of categories of data that will be included in the backup.
It will include app data, call history, contacts, device settings (device configuration, WiFi passwords, wallpapers and default settings) and Photos/Videos (only if you have set up Google photos which I will cover in this guide).
You can even run a backup by tapping on “backup now” if you have never backed up. If you need a dedicated app to backup Android phone then check these 10 best Android backup apps [FREE].
How to backup contacts on your Android phone?
Contacts are important and they need to be backed up first. There are many different ways to backup your contacts but I will share the most simple and easy one. The setting I am going to tell you may vary slightly as per your device manufactures.
Open contacts app on your phone and find default save option of new contacts and select your primary Google account which you use.
You can also use Google contacts app which a very lightweight by Google to manage and backup your contacts on your Android phone.
- Install and open the Google contacts app
- Open menu from top left> settings> Import and choose SIM card option
- Now select the Google account to which you want to save it.
That’s it! You can even use this app to copy contacts from one Google account to another. You can even export your contacts to any Google account or to a memory card.
Open menu> Export> click on the menu (top left) then select the Google account, memory card or internal storage where you want to save it.
How to backup your photos/videos?
Most users will probably backup their photos and videos first. Our first choice for this is Google Photos which allows you to backup unlimited photos and videos. For unlimited backup of photos and videos, you must upload photos of resolution of 16MP or less and videos of 1080p resolution. Any photo or video larger than the mentioned limit will be resized to 16MP or 1080.
You also get the option to backup your photos and videos in original size but then you only get 15Gb space to store your media files i.e. your Google drive space. You can buy space or upgrade if you wish to store more files beyond free 15 GB.
Let’s set up Google photos.
Open Google photos> Sign up with Google account if you haven’t> click on menu (top left)> Settings> backup & sync.
Enable backup & sync and then choose the upload quality level. By default, Google Photos will backup your photos and videos from your default camera folder. If you want to backup any other folder files like social media, screenshots, etc. then click on “backup device folders” and enable folders you want to backup.
How to backup WhatsApp chat and media files
Who doesn’t use WhatsApp? We all share a lot of media files with our contacts, so it’s important to also backup WhatsApp chat and media files to the cloud. The process is extremely simple and can be scheduled when to take backups automatically or you can even manually backup your chats and other media files.
- Open WhatsApp and tap on the menu (top right 3 vertical dots).
- Go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup
- Tap backup to Google drive
- Select backup frequency which means how often you wish to backup (Don’t select never).
- Now select the Google account to which the chats will be backed up. If you don’t have a Google account then click on Add account and enter your login details.
- Always remember the Google account you have used to store your chat backups. I always recommend using your primary Google account.
- Tap backup over to select the network to backup. We recommend you select WiFi as cellular data might result in extra charges.
How to manually backup chats to Google drive at any time?
- Open WhatsApp > Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup
- Click on backup to begin your backup to Google drive. This might take time depending on chat size and internet speed.
Note – Google drive allows you to backup your WhatsApp chat of any size without eating your free 15 GB limit. So feel free to backup at any time you want.
How to Restore WhatsApp chat backup from Google drive?
You must use the same mobile number and Google account used to backup.
- Make sure you have added the Google account to your Android phone which was used to store your chat backups.
- Reinstall WhatsApp and verify your phone number.
- You will be prompted to restore your chats and media files from Google drive. Click RESTORE.
- This may take a few minutes depending on backup size. Once it completes, tap next and your chats will be displayed like before.
- WhatsApp will always restore chats first and then everything is set up properly, WhatsApp will begin restoring media files.
How to backup Android phone data (Music, documents and other files) to Google drive?
Now let’s backup other important Android data like music, documents or any other personal data to Google drive. You can use any cloud service for this but we will use Google Drive to backup of remaining Android data.
Free 15 GB of Google drive may not be enough for backing up music and other files but we all have multiple Google accounts and each one gets 15 GB of free storage. You can even upgrade the Google Drive storage if you don’t want to store your files to multiple accounts.
Open Google drive app> tap on Plus sign > Upload and then select your local files you would like to backup to Google drive. I would recommend to backup all your files in one folder on Google drive. This will make downloading the files later easier.
Restoring part is also easy; just log in to your new device or after factory reset login with the Google accounts which have your backup. Now go to Google drive and start downloading each file to your device by right-clicking on it and hit download.
I personally prefer the Google drive method as I have multiple Google accounts they all easily can accommodate my personal data without letting me pay. You can literally backup your entire Android phone to Google drive.
Backing up text messages on Android
I don’t why but still, search how they can backup their text messages. None of the methods discussed above will save backup your text messages. The easiest way is to use some third-party apps like SMS Backup & Restore.
This app not only backups your Text messages (Including images, MMS) but also your call logs. The process is very simple and online instructions are enough to guide you through the steps.
- Download and open the SMS Backup & restore app.
- Tap on SET UP A BACKUP > enable messages & phone calls and then tap on Show advanced options and enable All messages. Now click on Next.
- On the next page select the cloud storage where you want to backup your messages and call. Click on the configure.
- Tap on “LOGIN” and select the Google account where backups will be made when prompted.
- Select the type of access to Google drive to “Only access files and folders opened or created with SMS backup & restore”.
- Set Delete backups older than to never delete or according to your wish. Finally, tap on save.
- Now schedule backup period.
That’s it! Now you even have our messages including your MMS backed up to Google drive. To restore it just install the app again and log in using the same cloud provider where you backed up your messages.
The above methods can be used to backup almost anything on your Android phone but uploading large files to cloud can take some time and if your internet speed is not that fast then it can even take more time.
How to backup Android phone data to PC or Laptop?
Another great and quick method is to backup your Android data to your PC. You just need a data cable that is capable of transferring data. This method will not backup Android apps data of other system files as they require root permissions. But you can backup all your personal data on your Android phone.
Connect your phone to PC and change to “File Transfer” from your phone’s notifications. Now your Android device will show up on your PC.
Copy all your Android (Personal) data to PC. As mentioned earlier this method will not copy system or app data so we recommend pairing this method with other methods described above to have a complete backup of your Android data.
That was all we had on how to backup Android phone data. If you face any problem in any of the steps let’s know in the comment section below.
Do you use any other method which we have not mentioned here? Email us or tell us in the comment section and we will update the guide if we find it useful.