Nobody can deny the increasing influence of Android devices on the lives of global citizenry. So much so that any damage to or loss of our Android devices spells disaster for most of us. For this very reason Android devices need the right kind of protection and disaster recovery plans. Backing up Android phones is probably the most important part of any such disaster recovery plan. There are many techniques and apps that can take a full Android backup. However, almost all of them need root access on the Android device. In this article we will look at how to take a full Android Backup without rooting.
The need to take a Full Android Backup!
Many a times when you think of buying a new Android device, you are also worried about how you will transfer your earlier device’s settings, apps and data. This is one scenario where a full Android backup can come in handy. There are many apps that can easily transfer all your previous stuff to your new device without much fuss.
The Android OS is known for its customizability, which is probably the most endearing feature to all its fans. Android users are known to try out different custom ROMs, try rooting their devices or other custom tweaks that will unleash the true potential of the OS and the device hardware. However, many of these methods are not thoroughly tested on most Android device models. A wrong match could easily mean complete data loss and a virtually unusable device. A full Android backup can be a lifesaver in such a scenario.
So what really is a full Android Backup!
There are many things that you will want to consider when you think about backing up your Android phone or tablet. Some of the most important components that must be a part of a good Android backup are as follows:
- Contacts, Email, Calendar and Bookmarks
- Call Logs and SMS (Text and MMS)
- Android backup of apps
- User-defined dictionary, User Playlists and System Settings
- Android backup of photos, videos and music
Contacts, Email, Calendar and Bookmarks are automatically backed up using Google’s Sync Services. There are many different apps that can take backups of the above, with some of them capable of backing up more than one component listed here. However, when we talk of using a single process or app to backup the complete Android device, then the choices are not very encouraging.
A full Android backup process will essentially backup your complete system as-is-where-is at the time of executing the backup. However, most often you will need root access to use the best applications like Titanium Backup, to accomplish this.
Now, what if you do not have root on your Android? What if you want to take a full Android backup, so as to be able to make a restore in case you messed up a Android root process? This is where we will need a process or an Android app that will still create a full Android backup without rooting the Android device.
How to take a full Android Backup without Rooting
For those of you who don’t have root access on their Android devices, let’s take a look at the Helium – App Sync and Backup app. Helium will let you easily backup all your apps and their data without rooting your device. Thus, if you use Helium and Google Sync Services together, you will effective achieve what is known as a full Android backup.
Helium – App Sync and Backup app is developed by Koushik Dutta of ClockworkMod fame. Earlier known as Carbon, its name was subsequently changed to Helium due to some trademark issues. Available only for devices running Android 4.0 and upwards, the Helium backup app comes in two variants – a free version and a premium avatar at $4.99. The premium version that comes sans ads, has added features like automatic backup scheduling, Android to Android syncing and cloud-based backup and restore.
However, on its own the free version of Helium contains all the features required for a full Android backup. Helium interface is simple and it can backup and restore all your apps along with app data seamlessly to your SD card.
To use Helium you will first have to download and install a Helium Desktop installer on to your PC. You will also have to install the correct USB drivers as pertaining to your Android device. Make sure that the USB debugging option is selected in developer settings of your device. Install the Helium app on your device and connect it via a USB cable to your computer.
Open Helium and you will see all installed apps and other settings in its interface which has two simple tabs – Backup and Restore. On your computer you can view a similar screen if you browse to the following address:
[IP Address of your Android device]: 5000 (For eg. http://192.168.1.3:5000)
When you are at the backup screen on your device, simply select the components that need to be backed up. With Helium you can easily organize your backups into groups of apps like system, productivity, utility or games apps. The free version lets you perform a full Android backup to a cloud service like Google Drive, Dropbox or Box. However, you will need the premium version to restore your backup from these services.
The Helium backup app is also capable of backing up app data only. This feature will save valuable SD Card space when backing up some bulky apps on your device. You will have to separately install the app before you do an app data restore.
Thus using Helium – App Sync and Backup app, creating a full Android backup of your device is a breeze, even without rooting. Now, you no longer have to worry about the safety of the data on your Android phone. You can also think about making that decision about rooting your Android device, in order to unleash all of its potential. Get the Helium – App Sync and Backup here.
This concludes our guide on creating a full Android backup without rooting your device. The app works well with most Android devices, although there are reported issues with Motorola phones. Do give this robust app a try and let us know of your experience in comments. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and keep coming back here for more Android related how-to’s and reviews.