Having a smartphone that is lost, broke or stolen is a common occurrence. Here we go over five easy ways to backup Android to keep your data and photos safe, or to prevent the headache of such a disaster.
These days smartphones are just as important, or in some cases, more important than our home computers. Consumers have their phone with them 24/7, and they’re filled with important emails, contacts and calendar schedules, not to mention loads of pictures and video. By default Android doesn’t have a full backup solution, but Google does a rather excellent job with most of the important stuff.
Below we’ll go over 5 quick and rather easy steps you can take to be better protected from data loss when it comes to your mobile devices. Everything from contacts and system settings, to photos or video and even SMS backup.
Everything that is valuable on your smartphone can be backed up with a few quick and easy steps, ones which will ensure a pretty smooth transition to a new device. There are a few all-in-one solutions we’ll go over, but for the most part a few settings and early measures will have you completely protected.
For starters, Google has you covered when it comes to most of the important contact and email information. All your app data (like game saves) calendar, Browser, Contacts, Gmail, Photos, Music, People details, and even more detailed things like WiFi passwords and other device settings. All of this can be synced to Google’s servers with two or three taps in your device settings, and restored when you get a new device.
Head to Settings > Accounts (tap Google) > Select Google account > check everything you want to sync. This is one of the most powerful tools for the important stuff, but we’ll go over SMS, photos, and more below.
As you can see above Google does a pretty excellent job backing up almost everything that is important. Once you sign into your Google account on the new phone or tablet you’ll instantly have all your contacts, browser bookmarks, movies, music, and even photos if you select that option. Saving and backing up photos is another huge area of concern, so that’s our next topic.
The second aspect of Google’s built-in backup tool is for WiFi passwords and other device settings. For this you’ll want to head to Settings > Backup & reset > and check Back up my data, and automatic restore. This will ensure all those deeper settings and passwords will be saved for you, safely on Google’s servers, and instantly returned to your new device.
The next major important backup tool is for photos. The problem here is there’s hundreds of different ways you can backup your photos, most of which are rather easy, so it’s all about finding what’s right or what works for you. Personally, I use Google+ (not the Google Photos) from the Google sync instructions above. Google+ (the social network and mobile app) has a full resolution copy of every photo I take, up to 1000GB. Opening the app I can scroll through all my photos from 3 years ago, or photos taken last week.
That being said, the link above for how to automatically backup photos will be your best friend. Whether you’re using Google+, Dropbox, or other cloud options, you’ll never lose a photo again. They’ll all be instantly saved, and retrievable from a PC or mobile device.
Then of course there’s other options like Flickr, Photobucket, Dropbox or even Microsoft Skydrive. Personally, I use dropbox although they only limit you to 5GB free, then you’ll need to buy more storage. The 1,000GB (1TB) Google+ option shown above will ensure thousands and thousands of photos will be saved, as 5GB isn’t much for the average user.
That said, head to the Google Play Store and get Dropbox, then just enable photo backup like you see below.
This can be accessed from any device with the dropbox link, or by going to their website on your Android smartphone and tablet, or a computer. It’s simple, effective, and fast.
Something I also do as a third backup for added comfort and redundancy, is manually copy and paste all the photos and video from my smartphone to the computer. This also works for other data, so this is our third easy step. Simply connect your phone to your computer via the included micro-USB cable, and it will show up as an external hard drive. Mac users will need to download the Android File Transfer tool.
Now just click and drag anything and everything to a folder on your computer or laptop. For photos you’ll be heading to Android > DCIM or Camera > and dragging all of your photos and video to back them up on your PC. This is always a great thing to do anyways, and once a month wouldn’t be a bad idea.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy device or another Android phone with a micro-SD card, you can always remove that from under the battery door, insert this into the computer, and copy over files that way for additional protection.
Text (SMS) and Call Log Backup
Another thing many consumers hate to lose when they get a new phone is all those important text messages, or even something as simple as your call log. If you want to save those precious or funny text and picture messages, we have that covered too.
SMS Backup + is one of the most popular, simply because it’s easy and straight forward. This app will quickly backup all of your SMS text messages, and the entire call log to the cloud, and you can even save them right in Gmail. A new Label (different from “Inbox”) will be labeled “SMS” and you’ll have all the texts or calls you’d like to save conveniently in your Gmail. It even offers automatic (every 30 minutes or more) backups for added protection.
Finally, there’s a few all in one solutions that will allow you to backup nearly anything and everything. These usually have limits, or cost the user, but are an excellent way to fully ensure you have everything from your device. Not only that, but it does almost all of the work. Apps like MyBackup Pro have been around forever, simply because it works. Root is not required, but helps, so the average user can buy the $4.99 pro version, set it, and forget it. Essentially.
MyBackup Pro does everything mentioned above all in one app. It saves it all to a secure cloud, or to your SD and computer, and can all be restored in a few clicks. This means it will automatically (and even on set schedules) backup every aspect of your device, and be ready to restore to a new phone should that be required.
Helium is an Android enthusiast favorite, and another excellent all in one solution to backup. Remember, both of these may take some initial setup or work, but once done, you’re set. Helium even offers Android to Android sync, so you can copy anything and everything you want from device to device, or from a phone to a tablet.