How to Backup and Restore your Android Device with adb

By | 2014/11/09

Backup your Android Device with adb! No root required. This procedure backs up your device to a single file which can also be easily restored.

1. Enable USB Debugging on your Device


2. Run adb devices to verify device is visible

$ adb devices


$ adb devices
* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached 
06649f1ef0ec7bc1        device

3. Backup with adb backup

The command to create a backup is:

$ adb backup -apk -shared -all -f mybackup.ab

As an example, consider tacking on the date to the file name:

$ adb backup -apk -shared -all -f nexus5_444_2014110501.ab

For best security, provide a password on your device for the backup.

The backup can take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your backup.


Restoring from backup

Restoring replaces your phone contents with the backup.

To restore, use:

$ adb restore mybackup.ab

Example restoring my backup file:

$ adb restore nexus5_444_2014110501.ab