If your phone crashes unexpectedly, or worse, gets lost or stolen, you’ll not only cut your phone costs, but a lot of data as well. To get around this, you’ll need to enable cloud backup for as many things as possible so that logging your account into a new phone automatically transfers most of your data. But not everything be backed up this way, which is why it’s still important to back up your phone regularly.

While third-party apps like Titanium Backup and Helium allow you to take a full backup of your Android smartphone, they’re not for everyone. Most users don’t know how to get their phone, or want to install ADB drivers. Don’t worry, it might take a few more steps, but you’ll get there (almost).

(See also: How to Safely Delete All Data from Your Android Phone)

Here’s how to back up almost any Android smartphone.

Backup to the cloud

  1. On your phone, go to Settings > Accounts & Sync.

  2. under account, and check “Automatically sync data”.Next, click Google. Now, tap the Gmail ID you use to log into your phone.

  3. Here you turn on all options to sync all your Google-related information to the cloud. This includes your contacts, photos (uploaded to Google+, or privately if you prefer), app data, calendar events, Chrome tabs, your Google Fit data, and more.

  4. now go Settings > Backup & Reset.

  5. Check backup my data.

This saves app data and all your phone’s settings, including Wi-Fi passwords, to your Google Account. When you sign in with this Google Account on another phone, all your preferences, photos (via Google+), and contacts are automatically imported. This data is synced periodically and you restore it by simply logging into another device with the same account. This doesn’t include your text messages and various other types of data – you’ll have to back them up yourself.

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Local backup of media, messages and apps
Next, you’ll need to save the music, movies, and other media you’ve saved on your phone’s memory card. The process is simple – just connect your phone to the PC and copy everything on the microSD card. This is a manual process, so you need to do it regularly.

media

  1. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. If you’re using a Mac, make sure you have the Android File Transfer app installed before doing this.

  2. Open my computer on your PC, or discoverer on your Mac.

  3. Navigate to the SD card and copy all the files you want to save to your computer.

  4. After the copy is complete, you unplug your phone.

Short message

You easily save all text messages and call logs to your Gmail account with an app called SMS Backup+. Try these steps:

  1. Download SMS Backup+.

  2. Open the app and tap connect.

  3. Select your Gmail account from the popup.

  4. Now grant SMS Backup+ access to your Google Account.

  5. Now go back to the app and click backup. This will save all your text messages to your Gmail account.

  6. Log in to Gmail from any web browser and you’ll see a new tab on the left – Short message. Click it to view all backed up text messages.

  7. To restore this information, just tap recover Backup+ in SMS.

  8. tap OK in the popup window.

  9. You will be asked to set SMS Backup+ as your default SMS application.tap Yes. This is required to restore the message.

  10. Now the app will automatically restore all your messages and call logs. Once the process is complete, the application will display a popup to restore your default SMS application.tap Yes.

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application
The next step is to backup and restore installed applications.If you’re using the same Google account on a new device, you easily redownload the app – just open Google Play, click hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) in the upper left corner > My Applications. You install all previously purchased apps from there.

(see also: How to Quickly Install Apps on Android)

On the other hand, local backups be restored faster and also don’t waste bandwidth. This is also easy to do.

  1. Download ES File Explorer.

  2. Swipe the screen to the right to display the ES File Explorer home page.

  3. tap application It’s below the blue Android robot icon in the upper right corner.

  4. Tap and hold any app until you see a check mark on its icon.

  5. Now click on the tick icon in the upper right corner, the one inside the box with the dotted box. This will select all applications.

  6. tap backup That’s on the bottom row. This will save a copy of all the app’s apk files.

  7. To view the saved apk file, click User application At the top.From the pop-up window, select backup application.

  8. Click on any app’s apk file here to install the app without internet.

  9. To save a copy of these files to your computer, connect your Android phone to the PC via USB.

  10. The phone will appear in My Computer like a pen drive. Open it.

  11. go Internal Storage > Backup > Apps.

  12. Copy all apk files here. If you format your device, or replace your phone, you quickly copy these apk files into it, then reinstall the app by placing them in the same folder on your phone, then following steps 7 and 8.

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By following these steps, you save copies of all your contacts, text messages, media, apps, Wi-Fi passwords, and app data. Of course, doing it piece by piece is a bit of a hassle, and the best way to back up your phone is to use a third-party backup tool. We used Titanium Backup and it’s great, but it requires root access on your Android phone, which is usually what more advanced users expect. Even its interface is too clunky for most ordinary people.

(See also: How to backup your WhatsApp messages)

Helium is a great app for those who don’t have a rooted phone yet. It also has a nice interface, but it only works on select Android phones from some international manufacturers. If you buy your phone from Micromax, Karbonn, Lava or countless other brands, you won’t be able to use Helium. Additionally, using Helium requires you to have your phone driver installed on your computer.

How do you backup your Android phone? Let us know via comments. For more tutorials, visit our how-to section.

By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...