Back up is the process of storing files, documents, applications, contacts and other important data in a secondary storage media for future reference in case the original one is lost, stolen or damaged by any means. From this, we can tell backing up our data is an important task as no one knows when or how our data and applications might get damaged intentionally as well as accidentally. So, in this article I am going to describe you various methods which we you can follow to keep your data and applications safe from such damages.
There are two types of backup that we can perform in our android smart phone viz. nandroid backup and application backup. While Nandroid backup is used to back up an exact image of our system including system files, applications, data, recovery, boot image, and secondary ext partition (if any), Application backup backs up your data and application. Also another difference among Nandroid Backup and Simple Application Backup is in terms of environment requirement needed for them to perform the task. The former one requires you to flash a custom recovery while the later one requires you have a rooted smartphone. It is to be noted that some applications used to backup our data can also backup system applications, but not all can do this.
Here are the steps you need to follow to perform an Nandroid backup of your android system. Also since Nandroid backup takes large memory, 150+ MB, depending upon your data and applications, so it is required that you have enough free space in your sdcard otherwise you might get an error while backing up your system.
1. Flash a custom recovery in your smartphone, if you don't have already. You can flash Clock Work Mod recovery from within an application called Rom Manager (Be sure it is compatible with your phone otherwise you may even brick your phone) or you can get one from koushikdutta.com and flash it manually. Samsung Galaxy Mini/Pop users can follow these simple steps to flash clockwork mod recovery on their smart phone. Similary, Galaxy Ace users can flash the clockwork mod recovery from here.
2. Reboot your phone in recovery mode. Use applications like Rom Manager, Root Manager, etc Or Manually press Home plus Power Button (Depending upon your hardware, it might be different combination).
3. Go to Backup and Restore option in your recovery and select Backup option.
4. Wait till the backup process is finished. It may take about 4-10 minutes depending upon your applications and data.
5. Reboot your device when it is finished.
You have now successfully done a Nandroid Backup of your smart phone. It is always a good idea to do a nandroid backup once a month. If you ever get system issues or instability problem just restore the previous back up you made when your system was stable and working just fine. Also, it is necessary to do and nadnroid backup when you are about to flash a tweak or anything that may change system settings. This might cause you to lose data that were installed after the backup was done. The backup is however stored in your sdcard inside backup folder of clockworkmod folder.
That was all about nandroid backup, now i will tell you how you can perform a simple application backup. As you can see the applications and data installed after a backup are gone/deleted when you restore it at a later time. So, it is always a good practice to do a nandroid backup once a month or two and also backup your data and app regularly at least twice a week. It will ensure that all your data and app are safe and secure.
Application back up is done with the help of various applications. You can find tons of applications on market that can perform such task and choose the best one for you, but here I will list some that are most popular and worth a try. Titanium Backup Pro (most popular and used by many android users), My Backup Pro, App Monster, App Control, Install Manager Pro, Root Manager are some of the mostly used backup utility on android platform. The methodology of backing up your data and smartphone may vary with the variation of app you are using. So, it is recommended you read the help file found on app accessible through menu button or visit the developer's site for more details on how to use them.
Titanium Backup allows you a one click batch backup and restore of apps and data including system applications. So, it is preferred over other. Similarly, another notable point of App Monster is you can backup the apps as you install them automatically and also have the flexibility to delete the backup when you uninstall an application. You are recommended to try these and find the one that best suits your requirement. Don't forget to tell me which one do you use or like the most at the comments below.