Android Tips & Tricks
How to backup Android apps
How To Backup Apps On Android
In this article I will show you how to backup apps on Android so that you can easily restore them to a new phone or after restoring factory settings in your current phone.
A few years ago when you were changing your Android phone or restoring factory settings it usually took a couple of hours before you set all of your Android apps up.
Many of your apps didn't keep your data so had to set them up almost from scratch. That was a tough and long process because there was no way to backup Android apps and data automatically.
Fortunately, Android is becoming smarter and smarter and from Android 5.0 doing a backup of Android apps has become very easy.
In today's tutorial I will show you two easy ways of how to backup Android apps (and data) and restore them. Let's begin.
How To Backup Android Apps To Google Account (Android 5.0 and higher)
It's especially important to know how to backup Android apps before factory reset which you should perform more or less two times a year.
If you don't set Android app backup up properly, you risk not only losing all your apps but also the important app data.
Here is what you need to do to make sure that you backup Android apps on your phone to Google account:
- Go to Settings > Backup and reset. Click on Back up my data.
Make sure that Back up my data is ON to be able to backup Android apps and data to Google.
- Make sure that Back up my data is ON. If it isn't your apps won't be backing up!
- Under Backup account you should see your Google account. This should be the name of the account sssociated with your Android phone.
This is how you choose the Google account to which you want to backup your apps and their data.
- If Automatic restore is ON (like on the screenshot above), then all the apps and settings will automatically be restored when you add your Google account to a new Android device or when you set your phone up after restoring factory settings.
REMEMEBER: You add the Google account to your device when you turn it on for the first time. It's always the first thing you are asked about.
How To Backup Apps Before Factory Reset (Using Google Play)
Apart from making sure that your apps backup to your Google account, it's also a good idea to browse the apps in Google Play and delete the ones you don't want to use so that they won't be automatically restored.
If you turn on automatic backup of apps to Google account, it will very often restore the apps you don't want to use (the apps that you installed at some point and then uninstalled them). Here is what you need to do:
- Open Google Play and swipe right to access the left panel with settings. Click on My apps & games. Note that if some of the apps require update you will be able to update them from here.
This is how you manage installed apps and games on Google Play.
- Go to tab ALL to browse all the apps associated with your Google account. You will probably see a lot of apps that you don't need here. All you need to do is remove them one by one.
You should make sure that you leave here only the apps you will want to restore to your new device.
How To Backup Android Apps To Cloud (Below Android 5.0) & How To Backup Apps As APK
The automatic app backup is available only in Android 5.0 and higher. If you have a lower version of Android, you can backup your apps with the use of a backup app as shown below.
If you want to be 100% sure that you won't miss a single app after the factory reset or changing your phone, you can use an external backup app.
This app will let you backup Android apps to cloud or to PC (wherever you like actually).
I recommend installing Super Backup & Restore (this is a free app). If you are more into Amazon, here are some good Amazon alternatives:
Once you have installed one of these apps, you will need to do the following:
- Open Super Backup. As you can see, it allows you to back up all sorts of things (SMS, Contacts, Calendars and even Call Logs). Click on Apps.
- You will see two tabs: INSTALLED and ARCHIVED.
- To backup Android apps simply select the ones you want to restore later.
As you can see the apk file of the app has been backed up. However, if you want to be able to also backup your Android apps and data (with the use of this app), you need to root your phone at first.
You can root your phone very quickly and easily with the use of app called KingoRoot. Note that rooting your device will void its warranty.
Once you have backed up your apps, it's a good idea to send them to cloud. You will in fact be sending app links. Take a look at the screenshot below.
Note that you don't need to take that step if you run Android 5.0 and you have completed the first part of this tutorial.
How To Backup Apps And Their Data On Android
Note that you will not lose your app data in the case of the apps that store your data in the cloud (e.g. these are most often the apps to which you need to log in and have an account or some sort of profile).
This is more and more often the case so it's very likely that you don't need to root your phone because the apps you use already store your data in the cloud. I am not able to give you the final and exact list of such apps but these are:
- the apps that require the Internet to work
- the apps to which you have to log in (or which you can also access from your web browser)
- Examples of such apps include: Facebook, Google Keep, Endomondo.
Some apps let you send the backup of the data they use to cloud. To make sure that it's possible you have to check the settings of an individual app.
Other apps may let you do the backup of their data and then restore it once you install the app again. The example of such an app is my favorite productivity app Productivity Challenge Timer.
As you can see the app lets me quickly backup its data and restore it.