How to Backup Data on an Android Phone

One of the great aspects of owning an Android phone is how much the phone can do! From basic functions like calling and texting to more fun functions like video and pictures, Android phones can do it all with ease. However, the more we use our phones, the more information we generate. Backing up this information is critical, just in case your phone has a tragic encounter with a sidewalk or a cup of coffee, and the information cannot be restored. Fortunately, there are several easy methods to back up your phone and keep precious data safe.

Backing Up to a Computer via USB

1. Attach the micro-USB cable that comes with the phone to the phone.

2. Connect the USB cable to the USB port on your laptop or desktop computer.

3. Your computer will take a moment to recognize the phone.

4. A window will pop up offering you some choices.

5. NOTE: If you have an SD card in your phone, a second window will open up representing the SD card on your computer. Close this window (for now).

6. Select “Open Folder to View Files”

7. In the file menu, there will be several folders. Select “Android”

8. In the “Android” folder, select “Data”

9. Data from all aspects of the phone, including movies, books, music, and video, can be found in this folder.

10. Drag-and-drop any data that you would like to back up to your desktop.

11. To back up photos, go back to the main menu. Select “DCIM”

12. Drag-and-drop data that you would like to back up to your desktop.

13. Other data is contained in different folders that are labeled and are generally easy to follow. Select any folders from the main menu to back-up data to your computer.

14. Remember to select the “Safely Remove Hardware” option from the bottom of your screen in order to remove your phone

Backing Up to the Internet

Google offers back-up services to Android users automatically. Google back-ups are ideal for contact lists, calendar applications, and other Google-related services. To opt for Google back-up, do the following:

1. If you do not have an existing Google account, go to and create an free account.

2. Sync your account to your phone (check out the “How to Sync E-mail Accounts to Android Phone” tutorial).

3. Go to “Settings”

4. Go to “Personal” or “Privacy” (this differs by Android version)

5. Select “Back up my data” and “Automatic restore” to enable back-up to Google servers.

This is part of our Android Basics/Tips and Tricks series. Great for anyone new to Android, or anyone just looking to learn a few tips and tricks! For all our Android Basics, head here.

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