How to Backup your Android device

Backup your Settings:
Go to Settings > Privacy, and make sure that “Back up my settings” and “Automatic restore” are checked off. Go to Settings > Accounts and Sync, select your Gmail account, and check off all the “SYNC” options available. With these settings in place, your contacts, system settings, apps, calendar, and e-mail will be restored whenever you set up a new Android phone with that same Gmail account. Wasn’t that easy!?

Photos & Videos:
Okay, this one is a bit trickier. Google doesn’t have a native photo backup service yet, so you’ll have to look for third-party apps to safeguard your photos. Here are a couple of different methods that are available:

1: Drag and drop. This is the old-school way to backup your files from your Android device. Connect your phone to your computer via USB, set it in Disk Mode and locate the drive (on My Computer). Open the drive, find the DCIM folder, and drag the photos you’d like to back up onto your hard drive. Ehh… sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

2. Dropbox: This is my preferred method of backing up photos. Never heard of DropBox before? Dropbox is a cloud-based service that allows you to store you files on the cloud so that they can be accessed anywhere from any device. Simply go to the website to learn more and sign-up for a FREE account. Then go to the Android Market (AKA Google Play Store) and install the Dropbox app [Market Link]. When you launch the app for the first time, you will be prompted to upload your existing photos & videos to Dropbox. Wasn’t that nice and easy? I love Dropbox.

Text messages:
SMS Backup + is a simple Android app that backs up and restores your phone’s text messages. This free app automatically sends your SMS threads to Gmail and stores them under a new label, “SMS.” [Market Link]

Need to backup all of your apps? Luckily, you don’t really need to do that anymore. Google keeps track of the apps that you have purchased via your Google Account. So when you restore your device or purchase a new one, all of your purchased apps will appear in the “My Apps” section of the Android Market. You may just have to click install if they don’t automatically re-install on their own. Still interested in manually backing up your apps? Check out our lesson here on how to backup apps and save them to an APK file:

Third-Party Backup Solution:
Don’t like what you read above? Want a simpler method that just works with a click of a button? There’s an app for that! MyBackup Pro is one of the best backup apps currently available on the market, allowing you to decide exactly what you want to back up and when. The $5 app backs up everything on your Android device easily: SMS, photos, apps, call log, contacts, system settings, bookmarks, and more. [Market Link]