How to Recover Your Android Settings With Google Backup and Restore

Google syncs really well with Android devices. What can happen occasionally is you could inadvertently delete something from your Android device. Because of the almost instant sync, this information is also deleted from your web account.

An example of a disaster could be something as simple as a contact getting deleted or as devastating as wiping your entire device. Luckily, Google has some backups in place for just such disasters. Keep in mind these backups are not perfect, however they do offer a slight sense of security in case something does go wrong.

Google Contacts has a pretty cool backup option. What it lets you do is restore your contacts as they were a specific day or time. For example, if you make a mistake and you delete the phone number or address or even a partial phone number address out of contact, you can easily restore it with a few clicks.

To restore your contacts, you’ll need to go to your Gmail account on a computer and navigate to Google contacts. From here you’ll need to go to the More tab. In the “More” tab should see an option for “Restore contacts”.

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In the “Restore contacts” pop-up window, you’ll see a bunch of different options. If it was a minor mistake, you can simply restore from 10 minutes ago. If it was something a little more major or you are not sure when the change happened, you can go back as far as 30 days. If you need to restore anything beyond 30 days, you have to go to a backup you created… If you’ve made one. Once the contacts are restored on the Google website, it will sync back down to your Android.

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One of the biggest inconveniences about resetting your phone or tablet is getting everything back the way that you had it. Google has your back here too…kinda. For whatever reason, you may need to totally erase your phone or it might accidentally get erased. The first thing you’ll be asked to do is sign into your Google Account. An option when you are initially setting up your device is to have Google backup your settings and information. If you didn’t do this when you originally set up your device, you can do it now.

You will need to go into your devices settings menu. Depending on your device, you may need to go to the privacy tab or the backup and reset tab. Basically what you’re looking for is a check box that says “Backup My Data“. What this will do is backup basic information like Wi-Fi passwords, Data and other settings and associate it with your Google account.

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Once everything is backed up to the Google servers, you should be good to go. When you sign into your Google account on a new Android device or a reset Android device, this basic information will be there waiting and ready. In some cases, things like your backgrounds, settings and notifications for ring tones and messages can also be automatically reset.

Another option in the same window is to automatically restore application data if an app is reinstalled. In most cases, this will just restore the settings, not the actual information in the app. If you have a note taking application and you deleted it, you will still likely lose all of the information you stored in those notes.

Google likes to be helpful when they can. This doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook though. To be 100% safe, you’ll still want to do a backup of your contacts and save any important settings and data. As much as you should rely on Google to backup your data, you shouldn’t rely 100% on it. Never put all the eggs in one basket.