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.

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