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10 best Android backup apps and other ways to backup Android
You should always back up your files. It’s one of the most important things people need to do with their electronics. You never know when things will go wrong, and you don’t want to lose any of your stuff when such events occur. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to back up your files and apps on Android. For this list, we’ll take a look at the best Android backup apps. Unfortunately, with native tools becoming more popular, the app scene for this is getting a little weaker. Generally speaking, unless you’re a root user, your best options are usually cloud storage and Google’s native backup, but we talk about that more in-depth below.
Also, don’t forget that Google plans on backing up your phone for free anyway, so make sure to take that into consideration.
The best backup apps for Android and other ways too
Price: Free (with Prime) / 100GB for $19.99 per year
Amazon Photos is among the best apps for backing up your photos. Amazon Prime members get free, unlimited backups at full resolution for all of their photos and an additional 5GB of storage for videos. We recommend Prime members look here first, and then just don’t let the app upload videos so you don’t worry about hitting data caps. For those paying, you get 100GB for $19.99 per year, which is still a very nice deal. Google Photos is pretty good as well, as long as you don’t mind paying for the data.
In terms of features, Amazon Photos does pretty well. You can set it to auto-backup when you charge your phone, and only backup over Wi-Fi, features that are quite nice if you have limited data caps. The UI is a little antiquated, but it’s easy enough to work with.
Autosync by MetaCtrl
Price: Free / Up to $9.99
Autosync is a series of backup apps by MetaCtrl. They are available for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and MEGA as separate apps. Each one lets you back up files automatically. Files also sync both ways. Thus, if you upload something to Drive, Autosync for Google Drive puts it on your device and vice versa. Users can choose sync intervals, the types of files that go to the cloud, and more. It also includes Tasker support. The premium features include support for files larger than 10MB, multiple folder syncing support, a passcode setting, no ads, and improved support options.
The developer also has an all-in-one option that works with all of the aforementioned services, and we have that linked at the button below. It’s a wonderful set-it-and-forget-it option with manual controls if you prefer that too. It takes a few minutes to learn, but otherwise, it’s one of the best backup apps for sure.
G Cloud Backup
Price: Free / $3.99 per month
G Cloud is a cloud storage option, but one specifically for device backups. It can automatically or manually backup your SMS messages, contacts, photos, videos, music, documents, call logs, and other various files. It can even backup your settings in some cases. You can configure automatic backup for favorable circumstances like when your device is charging and also connected to WiFi. The service gives you 1GB for free and you can earn more free storage with various little gags in the app. It also boasts a $3.99 option for unlimited storage. This isn’t like Google Drive or OneDrive or anything like that. It’s a cloud storage service specifically for phone backup material and that’s kind of neat. G Cloud has no association with Google whatsoever.
Migrate (root only)
Migrate is a handy tool for root users who flash a lot of ROMs. It basically backups up everything. That includes apps, app data, app permission settings, SMS messages, call logs, contacts, screen DPI settings, and even your default keyboard option. You back everything up and the app creates a flashable ZIP file. You flash your new ROM and then flash the ZIP created by Migrate. The ROM boots up, you let the restore process finish, and that’s it. This is still a very new app with plenty of little bugs. It is, after all, still in beta. Thankfully, the only people who can even use it are root users so you all know what you’re in for here. This competes favorably with Titanium Backup if we’re talking about strictly backing up apps and such.
Price: Free / $99.99 / $1.99 per month / $19.99 per year
Pulse SMS is a text app that also backs up your text messages. The cloud service backs up everything in all of your conversations and restores them when you sign in on a new device. Additionally, it has support for most other platforms in the form of a native app like on Windows or a web app for iOS devices. The UI is pretty decent and customizable. Outside of the few minutes it takes to sync your texts, the app usually works pretty well.
The only downside is the cost. This used to cost much less but now runs for a single $99.99 payment for lifetime access, $1.99 per month. or $19.99 per year. We get the cost since servers are expensive to run, but this did cost $69.99 once, and $10.99 a few years ago, so it’s gone up in price quite a bit. Still, it’s the easiest way to backup texts that aren’t tied to an OEM like Samsung.
Price: Free / $30-$50 / $29 per month (business use)
Resilio Sync is among our favorite cloud storage apps and easily one of the best backup apps. It works almost exactly like any other cloud storage service. However, instead of backing up to some mystery server somewhere, you back up your files to your own computer. It takes a little while to set up because you need to connect your phone and your computer together so they can sync up. Otherwise it works like any other cloud storage app. You backup your files and they appear on your computer where you can do what you want with them. The files are encrypted as well for an added layer of security. This is a great option for people who like the idea of cloud storage, but don’t want large companies holding their private data. The free version works fine for basic uses. You may need the pro version if you want more control.
Price: Free trial / $2.99
Solid Explorer is a file browser app with plenty of functionality for backups. It supports micro SD cards along with various cloud storage services. Thus, you can backup your files all in one interface. It’s not the only file browser with this access and we also recommend MiXplorer Silver and its above average cloud storage support. In any case, the process is relatively easy. You go in, pick the files you want to backup, and then back them up to either your micro SD card or your cloud storage account. Additionally, Solid Explorer has support for FTP servers and other forms of self-cloud style data backup.
Price: Free / Up to $7.99
Swift Backup is one of the newer Android backup apps on the list. The app supports both rooted and non-rooted devices. Non-root features include apps, SMS (with experimental MMS support), call logs, and applied wallpapers. Root access adds app data, permission data (useful for Magisk users), and WiFi network configurations. It uses the cloud to backup data and includes support for Google Drive, Dropbox, ownCloud, Nextcloud, and custom WebDAV and NAS as well. The premium version adds things like scheduled backups for things like call logs and launcher icon shortcut backup. The UI is a bit of a learning curve for some, but it’s a respectable backup app regardless.
Other ways to backup your stuff
There are other ways to backup various parts of your device. You won’t typically see the kind of depth that you’d see with one of the applications listed above, but with a little housekeeping, you can have a device that restores pretty much everything within an hour without the help of a backup applications. We’ll cover these briefly but our own Jonathan Feist covers them more in depth in his Android customization series.
Google Backup and OEM backup apps
Price: Free (usually)
Android has the capacity to backup all of your stuff for you. You can access the options in the Settings menu of your device. It can backup a bunch of info, like the apps you have installed, some system settings, and more. OEMs such as HTC, Samsung, and LG usually have backup apps pre-installed on their devices as well. You can easily backup your contacts, SMS, passwords, call history, and other stuff. How much you can backup depends greatly on whether you go with your Google account or an OEM account. They’re all usually free, come installed already, and usually work pretty well.
Price: Free / Some apps cost money
You can access most of the files on your device. Using a file manager (or by hooking your phone up to a computer in MTP mode), you have immediate access to all of your music (in the Music folder), videos (in the Video folder), and even your photos (in the DCIM folder). It’s quite easy to move all of these files to your PC for safe storage while you switch phones. You can also back then up to the cloud (share to the cloud storage app of your choice) and even use your Micro SD card if your phone has expandable storage. It’s tedious and it’ll still take a while to transfer everything over. However, it’s a reliable solution and it doesn’t require your personal data hitting the cloud at all.
Price: Free / Varies
Tons of apps have cloud syncing features all on their own. Many browsers, including Google Chrome and Firefox, let you sign in to an account where you can sync your Internet history, bookmarks, logins, and other browser data. Apps like Pocket Casts let you sync your podcast subscription list. Some cloud storage apps like Dropbox, Google Photos, and Microsoft OneDrive can automatically backup your photos. Many, many games have cloud saving via Facebook or Google Play Games. You can even save your contacts to your Gmail account and they will automatically sync with any phone that logs into your Google account. Password manager apps like LastPass are great for backing up your login data. Before going down the rabbit hole to back up everything, check out what may already be backing itself up on your device!
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If we missed any great methods or backup apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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