How to Backup Your Entire Android Device Without Rooting

Devices that have Android 4.0 and above can be backed up from the Android SDK without root access. This process will allow you to have all of the data from your phone placed into a backup file on your computer.

1. Install the latest version of the Android SDK and Platform Tools.

2. Connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable.

3. Open a command or terminal prompt and navigate to the platform-tools folder, located in the Android SDK folder.

4. 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.
adb backup all command

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.

5. Once you type a desired command and press Enter, the following screen should appear on your device.

Android Backup Screen

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.

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:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools\backup.ab

You will then be prompted on the device for your password.

Android Restore Screen



  1. Zach says

    Will this also back up my contacts saved on the phone? I have a blank screen on my phone after cracking it, so I need to get all of my contacts and files before the replacement phone is sent and I have to send this back. Thank you

  2. Giriraj Ranawat says

    Do you have any method on how to get the backup on Android devices running Gingerbread or higher.

  3. Spicy_Lucca_Hottie says

    Why would the “all” option… not really mean “all everything” at all???
    “all” is “all”.
    Here “all” means “0 of your apps”.
    How is that backing up “all data”?

    What is the FULL line to back up “all” for real?
    adb backup -all
    adb backup -apk
    adb backup -all -apk

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