android-backup-without root-ignore-time-machine

You know what Apple kills Android on? Backups. You can save a backup of your entire phone, apps and all, to iCloud. That’s built right into the OS. Android has nothing like that. Absurd. Saving your data should not be this difficult. Keeping backups is essential, too. Phones fail. Backups are essential.

The best equivalent on Android is to install a custom recovery and use a nandroid backup. It’s like a snapshot of your entire phone that can be restored at any time. Nandroids are critically important, especially if you do any work with custom ROMs. My nandroid backups have saved me from having a bricked phone more times than I can count.

But not everybody has access to a custom recovery and nandroid backups. What if you’re not rooted or can’t install a custom recovery? If that’s the case, you need an alternative. We rounded up four of the most promising alternative backup apps for Android.

See Also: 3 Desktop Email Clients To Backup Your Gmail Account To Your Hard Drive

Holo Backup

Indie developer OmegaVesko created something impressive with Holo Backup. It’s a simple program for Windows and Linux that backs up your phone data, apps, system apps, storage, and texts.


The best part? It doesn’t even need root. As long as you’ve got ADB and a phone on Android 4.0+, you can use Holo Backup. Though we’re sore about the lack of Mac support.

You can use Holo Backup over wifi as well. As long as you enable wireless ADB debugging in the settings, no cords are required.

Overall, Holo Backup is the best option for users without a custom recovery looking for a good way to keep backups.

Download Holo Backup


The guys at ClockworkMod created another alternative for people without their famous ClockworkMod Recovery. Helium is an easy way to back up your phone, with or without root.


Rooted users need only download Helium to start backing up to their SD card or PC. Non-rooted users can use it as well, though they’ll need a companion desktop app.

The free version works well enough, provided you don’t mind ads. Coughing up $5 for the premium key gets you regular backups and no ads.

Helium is another good way to keep backups on your PC. We also have to give it a nod for supporting Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Download Helium

G Cloud Backup

Like the name says, G Cloud Backup stores all your phone’s data in the cloud. You can keep up to 10 GB of data in the cloud.


G Cloud Backup saves photos, videos, music, system settings, and messages. Unlike other systems, it also focuses on security during the transfer to the cloud. It uses only SSL and 256-AES for storage.

If you’re rooted, you can save even more data like app states and settings. It’s a good deal overall.

The cost could become a factor. G Cloud Backup is free up to 10 GB. Subscribe for $2/month and you can remove the ads and get unlimited storage. Overall, not a bad deal.

Download G Cloud Backup

Super Backup

Super Backup is a longtime backup app that offers decent features in the free version. Download this app and you can backup apps, call logs, messages, and bookmarks to your SD card or Gmail.


The app differentiates itself by offering scheduled backups in the free version, a nice touch compared to other apps. It also requires no PC companion apps.

Give Super Backup a shot if you need something less fully featured but would like free automated backups.

Download Super Backup

Final Thoughts

Again, if you have the chance, I’d highly recommend using nandroid backups. They provide the best protection against failure as they back up everything. However, if that’s not an option, try some of these instead.

Want to backup your Windows PC? Check out our guide to creating a complete System Image in Windows 7 and 8.


  1. “You know what Apple kills Android on? Backups…. Android has nothing like that. ”

    Android has had a number of built-in backups from the start, syncing all to Google’s servers, three years before iCloud launched. Apple did have the convenient desktop backup option in iTunes however.

    • Backups and sync’ed cloud services are different beasts. A backup is something I can turn to if I accidentally delete all my contacts (or a malware does) and realize it a few minutes too late. A cloud-based sync’ed online address book isn’t.

    • From what I’ve read this is going to change with Android L (version 5.0) where all this comes as standard. Backup and restore everything on the phone with option to migrate it to a new phone as well.

  2. Many of android users try google account to backup android cell phone data.Now one good app – Samsung Messages Backup tool allows backup android phone photos,app,music,sms,contacts to pc.

  3. You can recover deleted contacts from Google contacts. You can also backup the contacts to your PC without even having your phone powered nor connected. Same goes for images and videos, calendar and the like. Even more: LG phones come with a backup app that backups the entire phone to SD like Nandroid and without Root. Also some LG phones have a desktop remote screen viewer very useful if you crashed the display. Other phones need root and TeamViewer or VNC.

    For most uses, Sync is better than scheduled backups. You don’t have to worry about it. It just works. You login on a new device and everything is there within seconds/minutes.
    Brag about Apple, I’ll love LG more =D

  4. Coolmuster Android Assistant, we can use it to move almost everything from android phone to computer, and we can also use it to manage apps, contacts on computer.

  5. Does Helium backup app data or just the APK of apps installed? I’m not rooted but want to root and do a backup before I do.

    • i am too seraching this kind of information. Do Helium and SUper Backup also back th apk file? EVen on un-rooted phones?

    • Helium backs up the app data and APK.

      For it to work, you do need a computer with the companion app since it needs to use ADB to pull this off.

  6. Helpful guide, use some backup tools, that’s the easiest way I think. Many good backup programs requires root, like Titanium backup, nandroid. Helium, SuperBackup doesn’t require.

    Of course if you have a Google account, you can use it to sync your android devices.
    I like to backup the data to my computer, so I can acess them easily and conveniently.
    I use this MobiKin Assistant for Android, it is a desktop backup tool that can scan phone’s files on pc, which allows file transfer between phone and pc.

  7. All of these except Helium lack backup of app data and Helium won’t connect to any of my PC’s.
    Total score Zero.
    Find an app that will backup EVERYTHING to local storage and tell us about it.
    Your article has no date making it almost useless.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here