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How to restore an Android backup

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Gone are the days where you had to manually transfer every photo and contact from your old phone to your new one, thanks to backups through OneDrive, Google Drive, Google Account or directly through your computer.

Restoring data to your phone is a great way to make sure you don’t lose any of your favourite applications, contacts, photos and passwords, and thankfully, it’s easy to do. But how exactly do you go about restoring an older backup to your Android phone? Find out how in this Canstar Blue guide.

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What is a phone backup?

A phone backup can be done in two different ways: on the cloud and on a desktop computer. Cloud-based backups store your data on a remote server whereas desktop backups store your data on your personal computer. There are pros and cons to each option but essentially the purpose is to protect your data if you lose your phone, if it’s stolen, it no longer functions or if you get a new one.


Read more: How to backup an Android phone


How to restore Android backup from OneDrive

To restore a backup from OneDrive to your Android:

  • Step One: Download and open the OneDrive app.
  • Step Two: Open the folder that contains your Android’s data. Make sure the contents appear in List view and not in thumbnail view.
  • Step Three: Tap the More icon (the three vertical dots) located next to the file you would like to transfer and tap Save. To select multiple files at once, tap and hold a photo or video, and circles will appear next to file names. Click these circles to select the files, then tap the More icon and then Save.
  • Step Four: Select Save to this location to view folders located on your Android device.
  • Step Five: Pick a folder where you would like to save the downloaded files and tap Save.

Your backup data has now been restored onto your Android.

How to restore Android backup from Google Drive

Google Drive App

To restore a backup from Google Drive to your Android, follow the steps below (Note: this is generally done when transferring data onto a new phone, and you cannot restore a higher Android version onto a lower running Android).

  • Step One: Turn on your phone.
  • Step Two: Select the language in the welcome page and select LET’S GO.
  • Step Three: Open the Copy Apps and Data page and tap on Copy Your Data.
  • Step Four: Open the Connect to WiFi page and click on your internet network details to connect.
  • Step Five: Open the Bring Your Data From page and select A Backup from the Cloud. Sign in with your Google Account and tap I Agree.
  • Step Six: Tap Backup to Restore.
  • Step Seven: Select the data files you would like and tap Restore.

If you don’t want to backup certain applications, make sure to unselect them before you tap Restore.

To restore a backup from your Google Drive to your Android using the Google Drive app:

  • Step One: Open the Google Drive App and log into your Google Drive Account.
  • Step Two: Tap on the Home tab and select Backups.
  • Step Three: Locate the files you want to restore, and select Download.

Your data is now on your Android phone.

How to restore Android backup from a Google Account

To restore a backup from a Google Account to your Android (this is assuming that you’ve set up automatic backups with your Google Account).

  • Step One: Open Settings on your Android.
  • Step Two: Open System > Advanced > Backup > App data.
  • Step Three: Select Automatic Restore.

It is important to remember that restoring information does have limitations, with some older apps unable to be restored and requiring you to download them again, and that you can’t restore a backup from a new Android to a phone running an older Android system.

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How to restore Android backup from a Windows computer

To restore a backup from your computer to your Android using Windows:

  • Step One: Plug your phone into your computer using the USB charging cord.
  • Step Two: Tap Charging this device via USB.
  • Step Three: Open USB For and select File Transfer.
  • Step Four: A file transfer window will appear. Drag the files you want to transfer to your Android.
  • Step Five: Safely eject your cable. Your files are now on your Android.

How to restore Android backup from a Mac computer

To restore a backup from your computer to your Android using a Mac computer (note: your computer must be running Mac OS X 10.7 and above to be able to perform these file transfers).

  • Step One: Download and install Android File Transfer onto your computer. You can download this application from the Android.com website.
  • Step Two: Open Android File Transfer.
  • Step Three: Plug your phone into your computer using the USB charging cord.
  • Step Four: Tap Charging this device via USB.
  • Step Five: Open USB For and select File Transfer.
  • Step Six: A file transfer window will appear. Drag the files you want to transfer to your Android.
  • Step Seven: Safely eject your cable. Your files are now on your Android.

Why won’t my Android restore a backup?Android phone restarting

There are generally a few reasons as to why your Android phone won’t restore a backup. The main reason is that your internet connection may not be strong enough, or that you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi connection at all, which is preventing from the backup from being downloaded and restored. Alternatively, you may need to ensure that your phone is running the most current software and hardware, as that may be preventing you from running applications or downloading backups.

What data is restored in an Android backup?

When you backup your Android phone, it generally saves the following information, although this will vary from models and brands:

  • Contacts
  • Calendar events and settings
  • Wi-Fi networks and passwords
  • Wallpapers
  • Apps
  • Display settings (brightness and sleep)
  • Language and input settings
  • Date and time
  • Selected photos and videos

If you run into any issues backing up or restoring an older backup, it’s best to contact Android or your phone brand directly to help resolve the issue.

Photo credit: fizkes/shutterstock.com, BigTunaOnline/shutterstock.com, TY Lim/shutterstock.com

Original Author: Luciana Lawe Davies

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