What Data Does Android Back Up Automatically?

Much of the data on your Android phone or tablet is backed up by Google (or the individual apps you use) automatically, but what is being saved for you, and what do you need to save for yourself?

We’ll explain exactly what data is backed up automatically and what isn’t, so you can rest easy knowing your data is safe—or take steps to back up some application data on your own.

What Google Backs Up Automatically

Google has a service built into Android, aptly called Android Backup Service. By default, this service backs up most types of data you care about and associates it with the appropriate Google service, where you can also access it on the web. You can see your Sync settings by heading into Settings > Accounts > Google, then selecting your Gmail address.

RELATED: Take Control of Your Smartphone’s Automatic Photo Uploads

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you some idea of what’s backed up automatically. Google includes the most important things, so you don’t need to worry about losing your email, contacts, apps, saved Wi-Fi passphrases, or even most passwords.

What Google Doesn’t Back Up

Now that we’re covered what Google does automatically back up, let’s take a look at what they don’t:

Make sure, before you reset or sell your phone, that you have any of these items backed up manually if you want them.

The Gray Area of Backups

Like with most things, there is a gray area here: things that can be backed up, but are also contingent on other variables—like developer integration in third-party apps, for example.

Again, if there’s anything important you want to keep in one your apps, consult the app’s settings or documentation to figure out whether it backs up automatically or not. In some cases, you may have options to back up your data manually and bring it to your new device in the form of a file.

Full Phone Backups

Most people shouldn’t have to back up their Android phone or tablet manually—Android’s default backup features should be more than good enough. However, some people may want to back up data that Android doesn’t back up by default: game saves, app settings, or whatever else.

If you want to back up and restore your Android data manually, you have a couple options:


In short, Android already backs up the most important things by default, but be sure to enable Photo Uploads so you have a backup copy of your pictures! Advanced users may want to use a local backup tool, but most people shouldn’t need to, as it’s not that difficult to start from scratch after performing a factory reset.