Remember to back up your app settings in Android

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There are a lot of things that can leave you re-configuring all your apps from scratch, and while it would be annoying to have to log back into 10 different services you don’t remember the password for, redoing your home screen, lock screen, and other heavily customized apps would be even worse. Tasker has perhaps the greatest potential for failure on my own device, with a data loss there meaning hours worth of tinkering down the drain.

Luckily, backing up these settings is not that hard. Titanium Backup is a root-only app which is basically the reference app for Android backups, and most people absolutely love it. Bryan has previously gone in-depth with it, so I won’t cover it in any more detail here. Simply put, it’s an all-in-one solution that backs up absolutely everything. Only one of my two devices is rooted, though, and even on that device, I don’t actually use Titanium Backup much despite having it installed and knowing how to use it. The reason is simply that I think it’s a bit too much at times, providing more than I actually need.

That’s why I tend to stick with backing up the apps that have the most settings to lose. These types of apps always have backup systems built in, and those backup systems tend to be fast and easily accessible. WidgetLocker, Go Launcher EX, and Tasker are the three examples of this that you see in the image above, and those are some of the apps I have that I frequently back up. I do it with a little twist though, and that twist is Dropsync. By pointing Dropsync to the folders that these apps save backups to, it will automatically pick up the backup files and put them in my Dropbox. Aside from that – meaning I have local backups (Dropbox folder on my computer), easy access to them for restoring, and online backups – Dropbox even stores your old file revisions for 30 days, with an option to store them indefinitely for $39/year. So, for things like Tasker that I back up very often, I can go back and access the last 20 backups I made in case something goes horrible wrong and I didn’t notice that it had when I made the last backup.

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titbackup qr - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereI understand perfectly well why people use Titanium Backup, but I simply feel more in control with my method. While it doesn’t back up all apps, it backs up the apps I care about, and in a way that I find to be more convenient. How you back up is sort of besides the point though, as long as you do, and do it in a way that isn’t in itself a disaster waiting to happen (like backing up to the device itself only). I’ve seen several worst case scenario stories in the last week alone, and it just means that there are people out there who aren’t backing up up like they should. You can download Titanium Backup at the link below.

Download: Google Play

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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