If you’re using an Android device then some of your personal data will be automatically backed up through the use of your Google account. It is never made explicitly clear what data is being backed up; not only is it always good to be aware where your data is being stored, but should a time ever come when you need to restore your information, you can have peace of mind that not everything is lost.
This guide will talk you through what is automatically backed up on your Android device. It will also offer some suggestions if you want to go about making a full back up, including the things that Google exclude.
First, ensure that you have automatic backup enabled. This can be found by going to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Accounts & sync’. Check that the ‘Auto-sync’ box is ticked. If the syncing process is having technical issues you’ll see a message at the bottom of the screen reading ‘Sync is currently experiencing problems. It will be back shortly’. If this message persists then the likelihood is that you don’t have enough free internal storage for the function to work properly.
Let’s take a look at what’s automatically backed up. All your contacts and their details are automatically linked to your Google account, provided you created the contact in the Google phonebook (some phone networks or manufacturers have their own method of contact storage which Google doesn’t support with sync). Alongside this, Google will store your emails on Gmail and your calendar events on Google Calendar.
Any app that you’ve ever downloaded is tied to your Google account. No matter what happens to any Android device you own, Google will always have a record of every app you’ve downloaded and purchased. If you link a new device to your account, you’ll be given the option of being able to download and install any previous apps. Some third-party apps (meaning those not created by Google) may offer their own websites that automatically back up specific data, but be sure to check with each specific app.
However, there is a lot of stuff that doesn’t get backed up. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that any text messages you’ve sent are only stored on your phone. If it breaks or goes missing then there’s no way to get your messages back. Also, a lot of app preferences aren’t stored elsewhere, nor are any browser login details.
There are ways to ensure your device gets a full back up. The best method is to use an app called Titanium Backup. This is an app available on the Google Play store that comes in both free and paid editions. The only issue for some people is that this app requires root access, a process that isn’t recommended to those who aren’t sure what they’re doing (since it risks bricking your device). There are other apps that don’t require rooting (like App Backup & Restore, for example), but a lot of these aren’t as proficient as Titanium Backup.
Automatic Android Backups Explained
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