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03 Apr 12 How to backup your Android data

The joy of Google

The Android operating system is written and owned by Google, and to take the most advantage of it, you need a Gmail address. This email address is the most important part of making sure your Android-specific data stays safe. Your contacts, email, calendar events, tasks, and apps are all tied to that address that you tapped into your phone or tablet just after you turned it on for the very first time.

What this means is that all of your Android-specific data isn’t just stored in your Android phone or tablet. If your tablet gets stolen or your phone falls in a puddle, you won’t lose all of your contacts, apps, or mail. Simply enter the Gmail address into a fresh Android device to start the phone or tablet importing your contacts, calendar events, and apps from Google’s centralized data hubs.

Proprietary software

So we’ve established that keeping your contacts, emails, and apps safe is easy with an Android device. (Even if the device is stolen, they’re all there on the web, secure and in the state you left them.) But text messages, photos, and music are often stored on the devices themselves. The easiest way to back up this information is often via software provided by the manufacturer itself, which is specifically designed to help your phone or tablet talk to your computer.

You may have used this software to put music and documents onto your phone, but it also works as a great way of backing up your Android data on your home PC. Samsung makes Kies, HTC makes HTC Sync (follow the link, then use the drop-down menu to find your device, and you’ll be pointed to the correct version of HTC Sync for your phone), and Motorola makes MotoCast. All of these are designed to help you take content on and off your Android device as safely as possible.

Full device backup

If you’ve ever wanted to take a complete backup of your phone or tablet (similar to cloning your hard disk on your computer), unsurprisingly, there’s an app for that! Titanium Backup is the most full-featured of the backup apps, allowing you to decide exactly what you want to back up and when. Titanium Backup can back up your apps on a set schedule, send the backups to you via email, or Dropbox and encrypt your data to keep it extra safe and secure.

Titanium Backup works best on rooted devices (a little like jailbroken iOS devices). If yours isn’t rooted, you might want to try MyBackup Pro, which lets you back up the contents of your phone to secure servers without requiring your phone or tablet to be rooted.

Download: Titanium Backup from Google Play (download free trial version here)

Price: $6.34

Download: MyBackup Pro from Google Play (download free trial version here)

Price: $4.99


No discussion of backups would be complete without Dropbox, the cloud storage software that gives you easy access to your data wherever you are. Dropbox also provides a powerful backup plan should all of your data be lost. Simply sign up for an account, then start saving all of your important files to your Dropbox folder rather than (or as well as) your home folder on your PC or tablet. Your Dropbox folder is completely private, but you can create subfolders within it that you can easily share with friends, family, or colleagues while keeping the rest of your data safe.

The beauty of Dropbox is that it works on just about every platform — Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phonem … they’re all covered. You can ask Dropbox to watch your photos folder on your Android device and automatically make a back up copy. If you’ve been working on a huge presentation for work, save it to Dropbox, and if your laptop dies during the presentation, there’s a copy on your Android phone or tablet, synced exactly with the laptop copy. The easiest way to understand the power of Dropbox is to try it out; it’s free and well worth checking out.

Download: Dropbox from Google Play

Price: Free

Have any of these tips inspired you? Do you have any smart tips for keeping all of your data safe? Let us know in the comments!

This story originally appeared on Tecca.

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