Devices that have Android 4.0 and above can be backed up from the Android SDK and saved to a file on your PC. This process will allow you to have all of the data from your phone placed into a backup file on your computer.
Backup to File on Windows PC
- Install the latest version of the Android SDK Tools. If you already have Android Studio, open Android Studio and select “SDK Manager“. Check “Android SDK Platform-tools” and install the package.
- Launch SDK Manager, check the “Android SDK Platform-tools” option, then select “Install x packages…“.
- On your Android device, go to “Settings” > “About phone/tablet“.
- Tap “Build number” 7 times until it says “You are now a developer“.
- Under “Settings” > “Developer options“, set “USB debugging” to “On“.
- Connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable.
- Open a command as an administrator or terminal prompt and navigate to where ADB is located. It is normally located under “C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\“
- You can type one of these commands depending the type of information you’d like to backup.
- adb backup -all – System data, app data but not the apps themselves. By default saves device data to the platform-tools folder as backup.ab.
- adb backup -all -f C:\filenameichoose.ab – Same as above only you can set your own location for saving the backup file.
Here are some other switches you can use with the command:
- -apk – Backs up your apps.
- -noapk – Does not backup apps.
- -shared – Backs up data on the SD card.
- -noshared – Does not backup data on the SD card.
For more information on the usage of this command, visit the XDA guide.
- Once you type a desired command and press Enter, the following screen should appear on your device.
- Provide a password for your backup. You will have to use this password if you have to perform a restore in the future. Tap Back up my data and the data should start transferring.
Restoring From Backup File
If a day shall come when you need to restore from the backup file, you can simply use the adb restore command. Example: adb restore C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\
You will then be prompted on the device for your password.