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Android Backups: Do You Need to Root?

The Android operating system can be found on a huge number of smartphones. It’s the most popular mobile OS and its usage only continues to grow. While you may feel confident knowing that your computer has a secure backup plan in place, have you ever thought about your phone?
Your phone probably stores a lot more of your personal data than you might realise. Consider it for a moment: all those photos you’ve snapped, messages sent, apps downloaded… your phone could say a lot about you. The likelihood is that if your phone got wiped then you’d lose a lot of data that you’d miss.
So why take the chance? Data corruption can occur, even on a phone, but there’s also a chance of your phone being stolen or smashing when you drop it! Data backup for mobile devices isn’t advertised as being a particularly big concern, but you should really be considering it.
If you’ve ever looked into Android backups, you might have come across the term ‘rooting’. A lot of backup apps say that you’ll need to have your device rooted to be able to use them. But what is rooting? Essentially, rooting allows you to run apps that require permission to some system settings (like some backup apps) or install flash custom ROMs (a modified version of the operating system).
Suffice to say, rooting is not very easy to carry out, especially for those users who aren’t overly confident when it comes to fiddling with technology. If you perform a root wrong then it does risk bricking your phone – essentially making it useless!
So, do you need to root your phone to back up your data? The short answer is no.
There are some apps out there that require root access to work. One of these is Titanium Backup, one of the most popular backup apps available on the market. With this app you can back up, restore and freeze all your apps and data, including everything on the SD card. There’s also a pro version available that offers features like sync to cloud services, encryption and being able to keep multiple backups per app. If you have a rooted device, Titanium Backup is the way to go.
However, there are some apps that will back up data without needing to root, although their feature list is not as long as rooted apps. One of these is Helium, which allows you to back up your apps and data to an SD card or cloud storage. Scheduled backups can also be taken. If you don’t know how or don’t want to root your Android device, Helium seems like a good bet.
All of this considered, don’t forget that a lot of your data is automatically backed up, providing you’ve got your device linked to your Google account. Contacts, emails and calendar events will all sync to your account, providing your using the Google-specific app for those functions (like Gmail).
Remember, if you just want to backup data that’s on your SD card, you could simply connect your phone to your computer and copy all the data over that way. Things like photos are often stored on the SD card and are a common file type that users want backed up.
Should you also wish for your text messages to be backed up, there are also apps available on the market for that. A good one is SMS Backup & Restore, which is simple and easy to use, allowing you to transfer your messages to a different advice should needs be.


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