Nandroid Backup: What It Is and How to Create One

If you want to flash a custom ROM on your Android device after it’s been rooted, there is a good chance that you have come across the words Nandroid Backup more than once while doing your research. It’s necessary that you know what a Nandroid backup is, how to do one and how to restore it, just in case something is to go wrong.

Basically, it is a mirror image of your Android device. A Nandroid backup will save absolutely everything on your device, including pictures, music, ringtones, system settings, stored passwords, etc. You will have an exact replica on everything you have on your phone. That also includes a copy of your custom ROM, your games and your progress in them. That’s what I call a complete backup.

Nandroid_Backup_Safe

It is always a good idea to do a Nandroid backup from time to time since you never know when malware may somehow get on your phone, you accidentally lose your data or have to deal with a buggy Android system.

The recommended way to create a Nandroid Backup is through a custom recovery, and it’s the only way to go if you ever want to restore your backup. Various custom recoveries have Nandroid backup capabilities, but if you wish to use the most popular ones, then TWRP or CWM are the ones you want to use. If you use any one of these and can’t find your backup, try looking in “/0/TWRP/Backups” or “/data/media/clockworkmod/backups.”

After you have flashed (used, executed), choose the option that lets you make your Nandroid backup. You won’t be able to count on touchscreen capabilities here, so you will have to use the volume up and volume down button to navigate to your option. For example, if you are using CWM, you will need to:

1. Boot into the Bootloader by pressing the Volume down and Power button (will work with most devices).

2. Boot into recovery mode.

3. Open Backup and Restore.

Nandroid_backup_CWM

4. Select Backup, and if there is enough space the backup process will begin. Once the backup process is over, you will be taken to the CWM home screen.

Nandroid_backup_CWM2

The restoring process is just as easy. All you have to do is following the below steps.

1. Boot into recovery.

2. Choose Backup and Restore.

3. Select Restore (which is right below the backup option in the first set of instructions), and if there is more than one Nandroid backup, just choose the one you want to restore. That is it. It’s that easy.

The backup file will be located either in a corresponding storage location or on your device’s microSD card. You will need a microSD card with a large capacity since Nandroid backups can take up a lot of space. Your Android system alone uses a few GBs, and then depending on what you have installed on your phone, your apps and data will take up even more GBs. If you want to play it safe, get an SD card with a large capacity.

Don’t forget that Nandroid backups will not work with different recoveries, so you won’t be able to use a TWRP Nandroid backup with a CWM recovery. Make sure that you have at least 75% of battery, just in case, even though a full 100% is even better.

If you don’t want to practically pull all your hair out when you accidentally erase your data or lose it because of malware, have the habit of creating a backup of you phone about once a month. That way if something were to go wrong, you have nothing to worry about. You already read how easy it is to create a Nandroid backup, so there are no excuses. Don’t forget to give the article a share on your social media accounts, and let us know if you have created a backup of your phone recently in the comments.

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