Hot topics

Best backup apps: never worry about losing app data again

AndroidPIT backup 9981
© nextpit

As disaster can strike without warning, it's important to do a backup of everything on your device. You can back up your calendar, contacts, photos and other data automatically with your Google Account or with a USB cable. But how can you backup your app data easily? That's where these backup apps come in. There are a lot to choose from, but here's our pick of the very best ones.

Android and data backups: why do we need backup apps?

Android has lacked a flawless backup solution for years. Only with root access is it possible to create a complete backup, making an iPhone-style switch an excruciatingly complicated affair. Enviously, we look upon iOS users who can upgrade their iPhone and, at the push of a single login, have all their old data and settings magically restored. Since Android users can't move over their app data easily like this, we have backup apps instead.

The following backup solutions will help you back up your app data, but often root privileges are required for the app to get access to relevant parts of the file system. What this means and how it works is explained in our article on how to root:

Want to save your SMS messages, calendar, contacts and call logs? With the exception of text messages, this data is stored in your Google account and automatically moved from your old device to the new one. We talk about this further in our article on how to back up and recover text messages.

Want to back up photos and music files? These can be simply copied to the computer using a USB cable and thus do not require a special backup app. But if you'd rather not go to the trouble, then you can let Google Photos take care of your images.

Jump to section:

SMS Backup+

To manage and secure your messages you can use SMS Backup+, an application that automatically synchronizes SMS, directly to a selected Gmail account by creating a special folder in your mailbox. With this app, you can also set up automatic backup of SMS, MMS and call logs or decide to save the SMS at regular intervals or after a specific period of time from receipt.

For the app to work properly, you must enable the IMAP option in your inbox. To do this on Gmail, go to your account settings and select Forwarding and POP/IMAP>Access IMAP. Now tick the Enable IMAP entry. Now you just have to start the app on your smartphone and enter your login details. In a moment the app will start transferring all your messages to your inbox.

AndroidPIT moto g6 review 5741
All you need is a simple app to backup SMS and WhatsApp messages! / © NextPit

We know that since WhatsApp first appeared, SMS are no longer as popular as they used to be. Only a few who are fond of it prefer to continue communicating with traditional messages. For those of you who can't be without the world's most popular messaging app, backing up your text messages is a thing of the past, so we've prepared a guide that will show you how to back up your WhatsApp conversations and transfer them to another device:

Titanium backup

Assuming you have root access, no other backup app comes close to Titanium Backup. This exhaustive app can save almost anything: apps, application data, messages, system settings, widgets, backgrounds, you name it.

Its recovery services don’t just work on stock devices but also across most hardware, Android versions and custom ROMs. Anyone who likes an experimental Android experience and has flashed their device will appreciate Titanium Backup.

Pros and cons


Extensive backup options Confusing interface
Access to system apps How to use it barely explained
Almost total control offered through fine-tuning  
App management  
Removal of bloatware and old data  
best backup apps titanium backup
Left shows the overview screen, right is the main menu in Titanium Backup. / © NextPit


Helium (formerly Carbon) comes from the makers of ClockworkMod and is one of the few backup apps that puts on a winning performance not only through its functionality but also with its attractive design. Even without root privileges, it is possible to use Helium to backup not only your apps but also messages, Wi-Fi passwords and application data. Backups of media files such as photos, music and videos are not possible with Helium.

The paid version provides a backup schedule, cloud connectivity and the removal of all ads. 

Pros and cons

+ -
Simple solution Limited range of backup options
Doesn't require root access Some apps take a while to backup
Full cloud connectivity  
Automated backups possible  
best backup apps helium
Backups and restorations don't require much explaining in Helium. / © NextPit

Other backups apps

Backup Your Mobile

Backup Your Mobile is a free backup tool that's handy for root and non-root devices alike. With it, you can back up various data such as SMS, MMS and call logs, contacts, dictionary and more. User apps and some system settings can also be backed up. If you're a rooted user it also allows you to back up secure system settings such as app data and WiFi passwords. Backups can be automatically scheduled and stored locally or uploaded to Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive.

Pros and cons

+ -
SMS and call logs included Backing up to new devices unreliable
Cloud compatibility Video ads
Automatic scheduling of backups  
Screenshot 20171018 144127 1
The root and non-root options are clearly indicated / © NextPit

Super Backup

Super Backup can not only back up messages and contacts but also applications, call logs, bookmarks and your calendar. Super-user privileges are only required for backing up settings and app data. You can set it to automatically send a copy of any back ups you create to your Gmail address, and it now supports the same with Google Drive. You can’t back up all media formats with Super Backup Pro, but for those files it does support, the operation is self-explanatory and simple to carry out. The Pro version is devoid of advertising.

Pros and cons

+ -
Easy to create backups No automated backups through alternative cloud storage solutions
Ability to send backups automatically to Gmail Can't backup media
No root access needed  
best backup apps super backup
Clear and simple: Super Backup. / © NextPit


For those who are reluctant to let their data stray too far, MyPhoneExplorer allows you to create a complete back up locally on your computer. Simply connect to your PC over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a USB cable through the Windows program and you’re ready to go. The tool focuses not only on backing up data, but it also provides additional functions such as sending SMS messages via PC and app management (start, uninstall).

Pros and cons

+ -
All data available offline Requires Windows
Backs up all file types  
best backup apps myphoneexplorer
If you're attached to your back ups, MyPhoneExplorer transfers everything to your PC. / © FJ Softwaredevelopment


The target group of MyBackup is newbies. A simple interface and deliberately limited backup options make the app very approachable. It also includes root-requiring options to back up application settings, data and APKs.

Regular users can create back-ups of their programs, messages, system settings, APNs and contacts and call lists. Cloud storage is only available from the manufacturer itself, and it’s limited to 100 MB. If you want more space, you will need to pay for it.

Pros and cons

+ -
No need to register Only one cloud storage option
Offers local backups Selection of media made difficult
Simple interface  
No root access required  
best backup apps mybackup
My Backup Pro: only if you sign up do you gain access to cloud storage. / © NextPit


Thanks to the automated backup of photos through Dropbox or Google+, as well as music through other cloud storage solutions, there is hardly any need for full back ups of smartphones or tablets. One of the most important uses of backup apps, however, is for backing up application data and settings, so you can transfer these over to a new device with ease.

In this regard, Helium is the best solution for unrooted devices, but super-users still stand to benefit from the extended options it provides. For the smartphone hobbyist, Titanium Backup is the Swiss army knife of backup apps, being simply littered with options.

Have you tried any of these apps? Which backup apps do you trust?

The current best Samsung phones to buy

  Editor's choice S23 with a bigger display 2023 flagship 2023 foldable flagship 2022 fodlable flagship 2023 compact foldable 2022 compact foldable Affordable flagship The popular mid-ranger
Image Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23+ Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Product Image Samsung Galaxy A54 Product Image
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23+
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Not yet tested
Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
Review: Samsung Galaxy A54
  • $1,199.99
  • $999.99
  • $799.99
  • $1,799.99
  • $1,799.99
  • from $999.99
  • $999.99
  • $699.99
  • $449.99
Go to comment (18)
Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
Senior Editor

Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • 4
    Loki666 Oct 27, 2018 Link to comment

    This is why people rightfully shit on Android. Before you flame me, understand that I'm an Android user. But I'm going to tell it like it is rather than being a blind fanboy. The very idea that you have to do anything beyond connecting your phone to a PC via USB or connecting to your cloud provider of choice and having a backup of EVERYTHING done automatically or through a manual invocation is ludicrous. Simply put, backup/restore of Android is a hot mess. It's one of the many half-baked aspects of Android. When I moved from Windows Mobile to Android a few years ago, I was simply stunned by how crude a number of aspects of Android were and continue to be today. If iOS weren't such a locked down, boring world, I'd move to it to avoid crap like this. Apple as currently constituted will never get my business.

    • 1
      Tamas Balint Dec 6, 2018 Link to comment

      So true. Walking in the same shoes. Android now is almost as lame as IOS. Actually rooting I wouldn't need if I could do application data backup.

  • D. L. 8
    D. L. Dec 30, 2017 Link to comment

    You can back up most things these days, either individual apps have this function (but you need to transfer to Cloud if only local backup) and many will connect to most Cloud providers. A file manager is essential for some operations. FX File Manager or Total Commander, my choices.

    Most OEMs have in app settings to backup SMS, call logs, etc. Google does the heavy lifting for most things, and you can find the backup file in Drive. As for pictures and videos, Google Photos is the way to go, with automatic uploads. The same thing for Google Music, as long as you sign-in, the free account will automatically upload any music files on the phone. (I just recently realized this, because I never hit the library tab in the app) I tested this by going to my Google Music account online from a browser, and all my mp3's were there in library.

    Now, that just leaves a few files like PDF's that can be moved to Drive easily. App data nit covered above is usually covered by so accounts, like Flipboard, Pocket, all browser's with sign-in, etc, and anything left is is not a catastrophe if lost.

    Notice, none of the above require a PC. One last option potentially, is to reverse transfer all your information to an older device to store data. Done wirelessly, saves data uploading to Cloud providers.


  • Allan Morris 7
    Allan Morris Dec 30, 2017 Link to comment

    I use Super Backup and its great. Pretty easy to use.


  • 27
    Sorin Dec 26, 2017 Link to comment

    It's exactly the application I need, make a backup and keep it safe.

  • Danielle Wilson 4
    Danielle Wilson Dec 26, 2017 Link to comment

    Nice Article Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

  • Aleksander Malinowski 2
    Aleksander Malinowski Apr 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Do u know maybe Xoperos solutions? I started use their product. Actually i am satisfied , but tell me if u know more backup solutions (for small company) or maybe you have some experience with Xopero too?

    John B.

  • Mark G. 28
    Mark G. Mar 19, 2017 Link to comment

    Just buy the fabulous Samsung Galaxy S7 (or any other Samsung), it has a easy to use feature which transfers all your settings, wallpaper, app data, sms etc to your new device. It can be used wireless or with a USB connection. Of course in order for it to work you need to have set up your account with Samsung and activate the back up options.

    Peace 🖖


    • 4
      Loki666 Oct 27, 2018 Link to comment

      Transferring stuff to a new phone is not a "backup".

  • John B. 9
    John B. Mar 19, 2017 Link to comment

    Great article Eric I fealt that you touched all the ways to make a backup. Keep up the excellent work. Really enjoyed the article.

  • 5
    nowk Dec 21, 2016 Link to comment

    I know a special designed android data backup and manage app, just few simple steps to transfer everything from your phone to computer, and you don't need to root your phone, just need enable usb debugging on your phone. By the way, it can't backup app data.

    • Rothman 12
      Rothman Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

      But since many Android as well as iOS users want to backup app data like WhatsApp, so a fabulous program, Jihosoft WhatsMate, to backup WhatsApp data is necessary for you.

  • Alex 17
    Alex Apr 30, 2016 Link to comment

    Superbackup is one of the best but instead back up your files to pc to stay safe!! because cloud may use your data !!and its not safe always!!and storing in SD or internal memory eats away storage!!

  • Georgian Stanescu 11
    Georgian Stanescu Apr 30, 2016 Link to comment

    The way I do my backup is as follows:

    I use App Backup + Restore(App) to keep a copy of the Apps APKs
    I then use Dameon Sync to backup Photos AND APKs to the computer.
    ANd finally I connect the phone to the computer and CTRL + A and copy.

    For me to get an Image style like on my phone I need to Root it, which I can't do. I attempted it and it broke it. I will try when Samsung finish Updating my phone.

  • Alex 17
    Alex Apr 29, 2016 Link to comment

    I backup my files using mobogenie PC suite and also super back up app

  • 46
    Deactivated Account Apr 29, 2016 Link to comment

    Why do you have Windows as a con. I do not use that app. I do back up my phone though windows. I really like it because I can changes things and delete files or pictures if I want to. Also up load music, videos, and other stuff. I will never use the cloud


  • surya kumar 16
    surya kumar Apr 29, 2016 Link to comment

    I don't need any one of them because I use twrp to backup everything

  • Albin Foro 30
    Albin Foro Apr 28, 2016 Link to comment

    Interesting article. I dropped my phone once, borking the hardware, which mercifully responded to a "hard reset" but wiped out all data and apps. I've backed up SMS with a small app ever since. Other personal data is multiply redundant with PCs, online email, etc.

    I'd caution users about the difference between "sync" services and true "backup" - Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive etc.are perpetually being rewritten and overwritten on the fly, and are much more prone to casual user error than a true "backup" that passively stores data and requires the direct intention and personal use of a password for any access at all. The user forums of sync services are full of emergency episodes of lost data that sometimes can be fixed by tech support and sometimes not. Users who auto-save valuable photos and other media to the online sync services should make a point of really backing up those media to a secure hard disk or online passive storage service.


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing