People do a lot of things with their smartphone these days and they just keep adding and adding data into it and not minding the fact that one day a fatal problem with phone may come up (or people just loose their phone either stolen or left behind) and they hopelessly loose ALL data. Good thing is that backing up your Android phone cannot be easier and half of it is already done by Google for you without you even knowing it.

One thing to remember though, all apps mentioned in this tutorial are free. The Android Marketplace paid apps are not year available legally in the Philippines. Of course there’s a workaround but we’ll tackle that in a separate post. Right now we’ll focus on backing up your Android phone.

So what are the contents that you need to back up?

1) Contacts
2) Calendar Entries
3) Email
3) SMS/MMS
4) Data – Pictures, Music and other files
5) Applications

What do you need?

1) Google account – This is a must. You probably already has one because it’s the first thing that your Android phone asks from you when you power it on the first time. If you’re a Gmail user, you already have a Google account. As what I’ve mentioned earlier about Google doing half of the backing up for you, this is it. Your contacts, calendar entries and Applications (shady) will be backed up to your Google account. Creating a Google Account is easy. Just go to http://www.gmail.com and create a new account. That’s it.
2) SMS Backup+ – Free in the Android Marketplace. As what the name suggests, it will backup your SMS and MMS.
3) USB Cable – It comes with your phone.
4) Astro – Free in the Android Marketplace. It’s a very good file manager application and it can also backup your applications.
5) MyBackup – Free in the Android market. It’s an all in one backup solution but I still prefer using the ones mentioned earlier.

Now let’s backup your Android Smartphone!

1) Contacts and Calendar – For me, these data are the most crucial and I think I can speak for everyone. But thanks to Google backing up these two is the easiest. Remember the first time you powered on your Android phone and it asked for your Google account? If you have entered your credentials right, by default Google will backup all your contacts and calendar entrees in the cloud. Every time you’re online (wifi or 3g) it will automatically sync your contacts and calendar entrees together with the changes and additions that you made. Now, to check that you have done it correctly you can go to Settings>Account & Sync. You should see your Google account singed in there. If you don’t then just add it by tapping on Add Account and select Google. Remember, you must be online for the sync to work and it takes a little bit of time depending on the speed of your connection.

2) Contacts (Alternate) – Another way to backup your contacts is through exporting the list to your SD card. Simply to your your Contacts application, press the Menu button and select Import/Export. Just tap on export and it will backup all your contacts to your SD card.

3) SMS/MMS – I personally use SMS Backup+ to backup all my SMS and MMS to the cloud. When you launch the app, it will just ask for your Gmail account and you’re all set. It actually uploads all your SMS/MMS to your Gmail account and automatically labels all as SMS so it won’t show up in your main inbox.

4) Data – This is simple. Just hook up your phone to your computer via the USB cable that came with it. Make sure that you have enabled the “Mount as Disk” mode so that your phone will show as a mass storage device. By default when you connect your phone to your computer via USB a notification will show up and it will ask you wether you like to use your phone as a disk drive or just charge it. Just pull down the notification bar and select “Disk Mode” or “Mount as Disk.” Just copy all the contents of your SD card to any folder in your computer. You can name it “Android Phone Backup.” Now depending on the size and amount of data that you are transferring, it may take some time to complete the task. By no means at all, NEVER turn off, disconnect or do anything that will disrupt the connection of your phone to your PC. There’s a great amount of risk that you may damage the SD card and/or corrupt the files. After the transfer is finished, remember to safely remove the phone just like any other USB device.

5) Applications – I assume that by this time you have already downloaded Astro File Manager from the Android Marketplace. Open the application. At first glance it will look like Explorer or Finder. It actually performs that way and you do almost anything to manage your file system. Now to backup your applications: Press the Menu Button, tap on tools and finally tap on Application Manager/Backup. After all your applications have loaded, just select the apps that you want to backup by tapping on their corresponding check boxes. When you finished selecting the apps just hit the backup button at the top, wait for it finish and you’re done.

6) Everything – There’s a very good app called MyBackup that you can download for free from the Android Market. It basically backs up everything that we’ve mentioned in this post. The application is pretty straight forward. You just have to select the items that you want to backup and it will backup everything in your SD card. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I really prefer doing the methods I’ve mentioned above. You can use this app just for alternate backup. Hey, the more backups the better. Also this does a very good job restoring your SMS inbox. I don’t usually restore all my SMS when I do a factory reset but if you’re the person who likes every bit of their messaging history in their phone, this is the app for you.

By now, you have already backed up everything that’s important in your Android smartphone. You can now sleep tight and worry less about your data. Now if the dreaded event did come and you loose everything, you just have to restore everything from backup. I’ll have another post discussing the right way to restore your date. Also, I highly recommend that you frequently backup your phone so that you’ll keep your data up to date. Your contacts, calendar and SMS/MMS are automatically backed up in the background. I recommend backing up your other files and applications in a weekly fashion.

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