What's a good way to back up an Android phone? So far I've just been copying files over manually, but this seems like a dumb way to do it.

Here are the requirements I want; not all of them have to be fulfilled.

  • [deal breaker] data must be backed up in a way that another phone of another manufacturer can read it (so no proprietary solutions). If I loose or permanently damage my current phone, I want to be able to restore to a new one.
  • [deal breaker] my phone does not have an SD card slot, so I don't want to use one
  • [deal breaker] I need to backup media (videos, photos, audio, docs etc), SMS, and WhatsApp texts.
  • E-mail, contacts, apps installed, settings etc can be lost, that's okay.
  • I would prefer a free solution
  • I don't mind any amount of setup/preparation/tinkering, so long as its a reliable backup.
  • A complete image of the phone is also okay, so long as it can be restored to a different/new phone if needed (like how Macrium Reflect works).


  • I'm using a Moto G71 5G running Android 12
  • I use Windows and Ubuntu for my computer (in case you need me to use a tool on my PC).

2 Answers 2


I use an SDCard for files. And I use MyPhoneExplorer for contacts, messages etc.

MyPhoneExplorer will also copy files. So, it will work for you. You need to install a client on the phone and the main program on Windows. You make a connection and can download things manually or just backup the whole phone (or parts of it, selectable via checkboxes).

Review on MyPhoneExplorer for Windows

Access your phone from your PC MyPhoneExplorer allows you to monitor your Sony Ericsson or Android phone from your home computer.

A connection with MyPhoneExplorer is established very quickly, and the package detects the device either via USB cable, Bluetooth or Wifi. The installarion process varies a little depending on the device, so check out the instructions on the MyPhoneExplorer website. the Once you've synced, you can pretty much access everything on your PC. Perhaps one of the main uses for it is to co-ordinate your contacts. This is made very simple through MyPhoneExplorer and you simply need to click the 'Phone' or 'SIM' option under the 'Contacts' tab.

Likewise, MyPhoneExplorer gives you direct sync to Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes and Thunderbird.

The interface is very clearly laid out and displays all the information from your phone in a format that's much easier to read than on the device itself. For instance, you can access and manage your organizer, alarms, messages and phone settings, viewing everything in large format. What's more, because it has its own caching system, the transfer of files from phone to PC, and vice versa, is very quick indeed.

In terms of presentation and performance, MyPhoneExplorer can't be faulted. In fact, the only niggly thing about the program is the fact that it installs an eBay toolbar in your browser by default (it's easy to skip this step though).

Disclaimer, I am not associated with the software or softonic.


Being on Linux, I use adbsync¹ for media and files – including backups of apps & data created by Seedvault (the Google-Backup-Pendant included with some custom ROMs like LineageOS) and (rooted) solutions like Neo Backup or Titanium Backup. In addition to that, Adebar¹ generates scripts to backup several things (including e.g. SMS) – but thanks to the restrictions put on adb backup in the past few years (and especially with Android 12+), backups of app data is quite limited unless you can use the "rooted feature" Adebar also offers.

Both are free/libre solutions, and both run fine on Linux – but should work as well on MacOS and Windows (the latter via Cygwin) which I got confirmed at least for Adebar. With adbsync I also keep files in sync across devices (a feature to be used with care, as it's not error-proof).

¹ Disclosure: I'm the author of both, adbsync and Adebar

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