If you’re the owner of a brand new Pixel phone, you’ve no doubt been enjoying all the goodness that it has to offer. You probably been sending lots of messages, taking photos, and downloading videos. And why not? The Pixel is a great phone that is perfect for its multimedia capabilities.
If that’s the case, you need to think about backing up that data. Don’t put it off. You never realise how important backups are until that eventual day when you lose your data. Whether that’s because your phone breaks, you lose it, it gets stolen, or something else, the panic of realising all those digital memories are unrecoverable is not worth experiencing.
Handily, you can back up content, data and settings from your Pixel phone to your Google account automatically. You can even restore it with ease too. Let’s take a look at how to do that.
To enable automatic backup, open Settings and go to System > Advanced > Backup. Here there is an option called ‘Back up to Google Drive’, which you should turn on. You will have created or signed in to a Google account when setting up the phone and it’s this Google Drive account that your data will sync to.
You can change the account it uses from the same screen. Simply tap ‘Account’, then either select which one you want to switch to or choose ‘Add account’.
As a quick aside, note that turning this automatic backup off at any point will also delete the data from Google Drive. As such, you can’t use the functionality as a one-time backup, you’ll need to keep it on permanently – but that’s the right thing to do anyway.
With this enabled, all of your data from Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and your photos and videos, will be backed up without data limits. Your apps and app data, call history, device settings, and SMS messages (not MMS) will also be backed up, but with a 25MB data limit per app.
Bear in mind that not every app will backup automatically. It depends on whether the app developer has included that functionality. If it’s a larger, mainstream app then chances are it will backup, but it’s not guaranteed.
You can also backup things to your Google Drive account manually by opening the app and adding files there. Don’t duplicate what is already automatically backed up, since that’ll be a waste of the limited storage space.
If you ever need to recover from the backed up data, that’s straightforward. Your contacts will automatically sync from your Google account, as will any other data and device settings. If you need to do this on a different phone, go to Settings > Users & accounts > Add account. If it’s the same phone that has been reset, when you get to the ‘Copy apps & data screen’, select ‘Can’t use old phone’ and then ‘OK’ and then ‘A backup from the cloud’. Your apps can be synced by going to Settings > System > Advanced > Backup > App data and turning on ‘Automatic restore’.
How to Automatically Backup Data on Your New Pixel Phone
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