This guide will take you each and every step of the way through creating a backup of your Android phone or tablet so that you never lose your address book (contacts), SMS history, Apps, data etc.
After having tested over a dozen “backup solutions” for my Android phone (a Galaxy S6) and tablet (a Samsung Galaxy Tab) I’ve found the best method is to use MyBackup. It’s a free, straightforward and easy to use App that creates back-ups of your device, including but not limited to: your contacts (names, phone numbers, email addresses etc), calendars, SMS message history, audio/video/photos, Apps and data. These backups are created on the SD card on your device, which can then be copied to your PC/Mac. Let’s jump it!
- On your Android device, head over to MyBackup on the Google Play Store. Install it as you would any other Android App.
When the installation has completed, open MyBackup.
- Tap AGREE when prompted on the License Agreement window.
- Tap OK when prompted on the Notes window.
- Now the main MyBackup screen will appear. Before you create your first backup, let’s set the “save location” first. Tap the MORE button in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Select Options
- Tap anywhere in the Local Storage Location row.
- Select External SDCard.
Note: if your Android device doesn’t have an SD Card to choose from, you can select Internal Memory. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this, it just becomes very important to copy the backup files to your Mac/PC or another storage location once completed.
- First, select your SD Card from the column on the left side of the window. It probably won’t be labeled very clearly – it’s the one that doesn’t say Internal Memory. Now tap the “create a new folder” button (see screenshot below) from the upper-right corner of the screen.
- Give your new folder a name, and then SELECT it. As illustrated in the screenshot below, I gave my folder a very clear and obvious name: backups
- Back at the Options screen, confirm that your newly created folder is the one listed in the Local Storage Location column. Now return to the main window.
- Time to create your first backup! Tap the huge New Backup button.
- We’re going to create two backups, one will be all of your Apps and Media (audio, video and photos files), the other will be all of your data (Contacts, Calendar, Call Log, Bookmarks etc). So this time, select Applications & Media
- Select Local (folder name) – where “folder name” is the name of the folder you created back in step #8.
- Give the App a moment to scan your Android phone/tablet. The more Apps and media you have on your device the longer this will take, but it’s pretty quick regardless.
- Tap the Select All box next to each of the 4 items. If there’s a kind of “media” that you don’t want to back up all of, don’t place a check in that box and instead click on the “name” of that item.
- That item will expand to a list that contains all of that type of media on your device. As displayed in the screenshot below, you can pick and choose which files to backup. When you’re done, tap OK
- Now give your backup a name. The default is actually pretty good – it’s a description of what the backup is combined with the date of the backup. Whatever name you opt for, when you’re done, tap OK.
- Now sit back :) Again, depending on the number of Apps and files on your device, this can take a while.
- After the process has completed, you’ll be presented with a “Done” screen. Yay! Tap OK.
- You’re halfway there! Now it’s time to create a backup of all the data on your phone – your address book, SMS history, call history etc. So once again, tap the big New Backup button. This time, select Data
- Once again select External (folder name)
- Tap the SELECT ALL option from the bottom left corner of the window.
- Then tap OK
- Give your backup a name if the default doesn’t suit you, then tap OK.
- Time to sit back again :)
- If you see an error about APNs failing, don’t worry at all.
- That’s it! You now have two backups, one that contains all of your Apps, Music, Video and Picture files. The other, your SMS history, call history, contacts etc. To keep these backups safe, it’s time to copy them to another location, probably your PC or Mac. If your Android phone or tablet ever gets accidentally wiped, corrupted, or you just lose files – you’ll have a complete backup of everything.