How To Backup and Restore Your Android Phone

Weary of rooting your device? Maybe you just want to try that new experimental ROM? There can be many reason to be worry about messing with your phone, but with all the built in back up features rooting provides you, its never been easier to just hit “restart” and try again. So here’s how to backup and restore your Android phone so you can take full advantage of it fearlessly.

I. Before You Begin

1. If you have not already rooted, you need to do that and flash a custom recovery image. So if you have Donut on your phone you need to follow this procedure (just do the How To Downgrade/Unroot procedure and the How To Root procedure so that you have a custom recovery image, don’t load a ROM, Radio, or SPL yet).

If you have a Nexus One, do this procedure to gain root, then do the next procedure but STOP after Section II.

2. Once you have a custom recovery image then you can proceed.

II. Boot into Recovery

1. Depending on your phone it is a different button combo to get into recovery mode, but simply turn off your phone then turn it back on by holding down Power and [whatever your button is listed below] until you get to your custom recovery screen. (If you get to an ! screen, that is the original recovery screen that came with Android and means you did not flash a custom one, go back to Section I and do the unroot and root procedures then come back):

G1, Dream, MyTouch, Magic, Hero – Hold HOME and Power while the phone is off to get to recovery.
Nexus One – Hold Volume Down and Power to get to bootloader mode, then use the volume keys to get to the Recovery option and press the power button to reboot into recovery.

2. Once you are in recovery mode, you can go to the next step.

III. Performing a Nandroid Backup

1. Once in recovery mode, simply use the trackball to select the option that says Backup (on different recovery images it says different things but it will say something like backup or Nand backup or Nandroid backup).

2. Once you push that it will backup your entire phone to your SD card. Now that you have that (I would recommend copying the entire nandroid folder to your computer so you never delete it off the card on accident), you can now load ROMs, Radios, etc. and know you can always get right back to this point by putting that Nandroid backup on the root of you SD card and get it back.

IV. Restoring a Nandroid Backup

1. Simply put the nandroid folder back onto your sd card (if you removed it).

2. Boot into recovery mode.

3. Select Restore (may be called Nand or Nandroid restore as well) and wait for it to finish.

4. Once done, click reboot phone and you’re back to the way things used to be.

If this procedure helped you, please consider donating to the original developer or at least sending them a thank you.

Now that you are rooted, head here to learn some of the fun things you can do!

For all the devices we have rooting procedures for, head here.


Something Wrong? If you notice an issue with the procedure (broken link, steps out of date, etc.), use this form to let us know! Otherwise, if you just are having trouble with the procedure, reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

  • church

    Is there a guide to backing up the stock Rom without rooting? I have an Orange UK desire and the stock Rom has not surfaced yet. I would like to make a backup of that before flashing stock HTC Rom. Thanks

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  • Kyle

    Hi, I recently tried rooting my phone and unfortunately when I restarted the phone I get the LG loading splash screen and nothing ever happens…tried to restart in recovery mode but get absolutely nothing…it’s an Optimus S for Sprint…any help? Also I can’t get it to connect to USB since it does nothing….did I make a paper weight or is there a way back? and what files would I need as well as where could I get them?

  • http://TheUnlockr.com TheUnlockr

    Sorry but we don’t have that phone on the siteso wouldn’t know how to help you or what you did to root it. Google for a solution or check with whoever helped you root it.

  • http://TheUnlockr.com TheUnlockr

    Sorry but we don’t have that phone on the siteso wouldn’t know how to help you or what you did to root it. Google for a solution or check with whoever helped you root it.

  • http://TheUnlockr.com TheUnlockr

    Sorry but we don’t have that phone on the siteso wouldn’t know how to help you or what you did to root it. Google for a solution or check with whoever helped you root it.

  • mrsilent

    Does not backup radio basebands. Bricked my milestone by installing new bb. Nandroid restored but WILL NOT RESTORE BASEBANDS. Wish people would clarify that.

  • mrsilent

    Does not backup radio basebands. Bricked my milestone by installing new bb. Nandroid restored but WILL NOT RESTORE BASEBANDS. Wish people would clarify that.

  • mrsilent

    Does not backup radio basebands. Bricked my milestone by installing new bb. Nandroid restored but WILL NOT RESTORE BASEBANDS. Wish people would clarify that.

  • Jonathonheat5

    man idk what to do:/ i open the recovery flasher and press back up recovery imagae but it keeps on saying backup failed help anyone? im on a mytouch 3g 2.2.1

    • Siphomie4life

      It used to happen to me on my G1 it was usually because the phone wasn’t charged enough to complete the task try that and if not try backing up using mybackup pro works great

  • Dr-almoamni2007

    after i use one click root >>>>>>>its root now thanx
    but i cant get to recovery screen >………..just warining sign triangel
    ???????????ples helpe
    also what is the best arabic room >>>>htc magic tmobile
    and do i need unlocker code for gsm in new room ?
    how i get it ?
    do i lose the root also ?
    pleeeeeeeeez

  • Dee

    “Weary” and “wary” are two different words.

    Raise the bar a bit, please. Thanks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YHIFNOGGM6IEEWNFB6CC5ZUWLA Bey Bey

    for some reason after rooting my my sensation i cant download apps from the market any more, it will start and disappear outta nowhere

    PLEASE HELP!!!

  • Iamrebel125

    when i flash a custom rom will it delete my apps?

  • Tatum

    What if your phone does not work. The corner of my phone got smashed and the touch will not work. We talked to Bell and they said we could back it up, but we can’t. Please help!