Backing up your phone

If you need to do a factory reset on your phone, you'll probably want to back up your phone's data. But even if you aren't having trouble with your device, it's a good idea to back it up regularly. For many of us, our smartphones are essential to getting through the day and it's worth taking the time to back up what's important to you.

Android Sync

If you're using an Android phone, and you have Sync on, then your Google contacts, Calendars and Wi-Fi network passwords are automatically backed up. Note, contacts saved locally on your phone that are not in your Google contacts will not be backed up by syncing.

The following are not backed up by syncing your phone:

  • Text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • Playlists
  • Alarms
  • Applications
  • Application data such as saved games

Backing up Contacts to the SD Card

If you have a phone that uses an SD card and you'd like to back up your contacts to it, follow the steps below:

  1. Tap Contacts
  2. Tap Menu key
  3. Select Import/Export
  4. Select Export to SD card

When you want to put these contacts back onto your phone, just choose "Import from SD card" in step 4.

Backing up an Android Phone using the onboard backup

Many Android phones have a Backup and Restore option right in the reset menu. Using this, you can set an account to back up your app data, Wi-Fi passwords and other settings. This generally doesn't cover photos and music and those will need to be backed up to a computer or SD card. To use the phone's back up feature:

  1. Settings > Backup and reset
  2. Enable both "Back up my data" and "Automatic Restore" and set a "Backup Account"
  3. When both of these are enabled, your app data, Wi-Fi passwords and other phone settings are backed up to Google's servers; this also restores your app settings when you reinstall your apps.

Note: On some devices, the option for Automatic Restore will not appear until you have set up a Backup Account.

Backing up an Android Phone with an App

Some Android phones give you more control with a native Back-Up app. You can choose between Manual and Auto-backup and configure it so that regular backups are stored in your phone or on the SD card. If you do choose to back up to your phone, you'll need to move those files off your phone regularly. If your phone doesn't have a native Back-Up app, there are several apps available that you can use to back up your device as well. Here are some popular ones:

G Cloud Backup

Super Backup: SMS & Contacts

App Backup & Restore

My Backup Pro

Titanium Media Sync

These apps will give you a greater level of control over what you back up and when.

Backing up an iOS Device

If you've got an iPhone or iPad, check out this article for information on backing up (as well as resetting) an iOS device.

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