How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: How Do You Backup Your Mobile Data?

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

Unlike your desktop or the server at work, it’s pretty darn easy to misplace a mobile device. This week we’re interested in hearing your tips and tricks for keeping your mobile data backed up and synced so a missing smartphone doesn’t mean missing data.

However you back your data up: via cable, over the air, by manually dragging files or setting up a script to batch copy your contacts, we want to hear all about it. Sound off in the comments with your best trick for keeping your mobile data secure so that should your phone go missing your data doesn’t vanish with it.

Check back on Friday for the What You Said Roundup to see how your fellow readers are getting the job done.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/15/12

Comments (24)

  1. Ken

    Droid Rzr. Rooted with Titanium Backup (paid). TB makes a weekly backup of my whole system and sends it to My Dropbox account. All good.

  2. Rohugh

    Backed up weekly to desktop via Blackberry Desktop.

  3. r

    I don’t, never keep private info on my mobile phone

  4. Daniel

    Dropbox and tar go well together.

  5. Grant

    I use FolderSync to copy files via SFTP to a machine at the house, where they are on a RAID array and daily incremental backups are kept for 6 months. I do limit FolderSync to WiFi, and I use it on two way mode. This way I can drop things in the right directory at home, and they just appear on my phone next time I hit WiFi, and anything I put in the right directory on the phone (as well as all of my pictures) are automatically backed up at least once a day when I hit the home network.

  6. Braxx

    I never have anything to back up on my mobile phone so I need not worry about it.

  7. Ryan

    Google. I have my photos, contacts, calendar events, apps, documents, everything synced to my Google account. Specially since they introduced Google Drive. Then I turn on 2-step verification.

  8. henrique

    On and Android I use custom recovery to make a Nandroid backup every once in a while

    Most of the contents of the SD are music, so everything is duplicated in my pc in the first place. Pictures get copied to the PC religiously every time I get back home

  9. Elessar

    My Blackberry: Daily Blackberry Protect back-ups (all organizer data); weekly full device backups (stored on Dropbox.)

    iPhone: iCloud for daily back-ups, iTunes backup weekly.

    The best part is that I’ve never needed either…


  10. UltimatePSV

    Since my phone is rooted, I use Titanium Backup to backup all my apps and app data, then mirror it over the network.

    After that, I use ClockworkMod Recovery to make an image backup too. I copy those to my computer.

  11. Dai-kun

    Since I use an Android phone and an Exchange email account, contacts and datebooks are synced to my account. For SMS, I back up using SMS Backup & Restore Pro, which dumps all the texts into .xml file. That’s about it I think ^^;;

  12. Daniel

    Everything of interest on my Android phone is synced over the cloud to my PC.
    Mail, contacts, calendar are going straight into my google account (no local storage for these), and pictures are uploaded automatically to SugarSync (and to Dropbox, but I think I’ll turn that one off).
    There’s nothing else on there that’s important to back up. If so, it will get SugarSync’ed…

  13. TheFu

    rsync. I’d prefer to use something with differential backup sets, but that seems to be asking for too much.
    I’ve tried other solutions, but never quite believed they actually worked to the point that I’d restore.
    I do go out of my way to keep important data out of Android specific folders.

    Nokia N800
    The N800 has a fantastic built-in backup tool that can be restored for a complete image of your device with all OS, settings and user data included. When an image is needed, I just use this.
    For more efficient incremental backups, rsync is all that is needed. Pulling the data from an ssh server on the N800 with incremental rsync options works nicely. This provides backup sets. has examples.


    Google contacts, calendar & email (Eudora gets it too). Password everywhere program. Dropbox, teamviewer.
    In other words, using cloud transfer of my data

  15. Whisker

    Nokia Ovi Suite is pretty good. Another awesome feature in it, which I didn’t find for Android users, is texting through PC while having the phone connected via USB. This is great while you are at work, and texting on the phone is time-consuming.

  16. ViralGold

    Titanium backup :D
    Then move to Ext SD Card and also copy the folder to my computer > memory stick :D

    Can’t be too careful these days :p

  17. George

    As i don’t have a smartphone, all i do is use the internal backup feature that backs up my calander and contacts as a vcf file on to my memory card and then just use mass storage mode and a USB cable and backup with copy and paste and it is just easy as i use this to download new music and podcasts onto it anyway

  18. Dave

    Google – Android using wifi I sync everything!! Has to be done for peace of mind.

  19. Akoolo

    I bought another simcard, then save most of my contacts their, for my music and photo, i have mem that i keep having the contents copy at work /home pc

  20. brodiemac

    Dropbox for my settings backup and documents. For my pictures I use Sweet Home:

    GPS is turned on for my drive home
    Pull into driveway, Tasker sees I’m home, turns on WiFi
    Sweet Home recognizes my home WiFi, downloads pictures to my computer
    Picasa organizes photos, tags people in them
    Carbonite backs up the new pictures

  21. Rishabh

    I have been using MyPhoneExplorer for my Android for about a month or so, and I can say that it is pretty useful to backup data as well as contacts, messages, call logs, calender and alarm settings, apps, and even the whole system backup (though it returns me some error at the end of the whole system backup, i think it is because of an unrooted phone). It also allows me to explore all the files (as the name suggests) and monitor my android. I guess you had an article on android screen sharing and controlling it if one had root access on it. This program allows me to do the same without rooting. It may have some other features which I haven’t discovered yet. Overall, it is an excellent backup solution.

  22. Chuck Norris

    Moborobo works great for backing up my Android phone to my PC which I then back up to the cloud and/or my external hdd.

  23. ksavai

    Google acct sync, Titanium Backup, SMS backup Pro. All to the cloud.

  24. Nicole Hayward

    I got an android ( not rooted ) i’m using a free app called G Cloud backup that backs up everything automatically to the cloud. A very simple yet effective app!

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!