One of the benefits of rooting your Android phone is the ability to backup your apps, settings and all other data. But what if there was a way to backup Android data without root access? Would you still be as keen to root your phone?
If you are looking for a full backup and not just an app on your phone, take a look at the Ultimate Backup Tool (UBT). There are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Download the tools
You will need to download the Ultimate Backup Tool from the XDA Developers site. Look for the latest Windows version. At the time of this writing, it is v1.3.2.
1. Download Ultimate Backup Tool
2. Depending on the version you downloaded, you may need to get the Android SDK.
If you need to download the Android SDK, move the ”adb.exe”, “AdbWinApi.dll”, “AdbWinUsbApi.dll” and “fastboot.exe” from the zip to where you have UBTv1.3.2. If this is a little confusing, there’s a great video explaining the whole process on the download page.
Using Ultimate Backup Tool
Ultimate Backup Tool will only work on Android devices running 4.0 or higher. If you have a Nexus 7 or other non-rooted device running 4.2.1, you may not be able to find the developer options. Here’s the way to activate the Developer Options in 4.2.1.
After extracting the files from the zip file, start the Ultimate Backup Tool by clicking on the UBT batch file. You should get a Command Line window that looks similar to the following:
When reading it over, one thing you’ll notice is the SMS messages are not backed up. To back them up, take a look at our solution to back up SMS messages.
If you haven’t connected your 4.0 or higher Android device yet, you can do so now. If nothing happens, you may need to use option 14 to refresh. Otherwise, you should see the name and version number of the operating system you’re running in the first box.
The next box down is the backup options. If you would like to set a specific location for the files to backup to, you can do that by choosing the first option. Options 2-7 are the backup choices.
- Set path
- Back up all without system apps
- Back up all with system apps
- Back up app and device data
- Back up apps
- Back up device shared storage/SD card contents
- Back up a single app
A good general backup choice is option 4 - ”Back up app and device data.” This option will back up everything on the device and the device data, just not the actual applications.
If you want a complete and total backup, you can use option 2 - ”Back up all without system apps.” This should back up the app APKs as well.
Once the backup is initiated, you’ll need to look at your phone or tablet. If you want to encrypt the backup, you can enter a password. If not just click backup data.
You will see the different information and app names or package ID flashing across the screen.
Do not shut off your computer or disconnect the phone or tablet while the backup is in progress. Wait until you see the “backup completed” window pop up on your computer.
To restore the apps and information, use option 8 – “Restore” and follow the steps in reverse.
Ultimate Backup Tool is one of the easiest ways to completely backup Android data without rooting. If you are one to switch devices often or are having problems with your device and need to send it in to get fixed (but don’t want to lose any of your information or progress), it’s great.
What apps do you use to backup Android data without rooting?
Image credit: jaguaralani XDA Forum