LineageOS backup tools


I hope this is the right category for this topic.

I find myself confronted with a problem. I finally decided to migrate from the unofficial Lineage OS build from June to the official one and wanted to backup my data. However, I can’t seem to find any tool with which I can easily backup my apps and phone settings.
I already exported contacts, text messages, calendar, and most data with in-app export & backup options to my laptop, and I did use the search function and found topics like this one or this blog post, but none of them seems to do the trick for me.
The unofficial Lineage OS build only lists “Factory data reset” under “Backup & reset”, so that’s no option. Since my FP is rooted, I also can’t use Titanium, and trying Helium brings up USB debugging which I can’t find on this Lineage build and therefore can’t use that one either. Google is not an option for me and MyPhoneExplorer doesn’t seem to backup the data I need.

can anyone help me with this?

The unofficial LOS build had root, this is required for Titanium, so you could use it.

You can also export your own data by copying it to your PC when you connect your phone via USB.

Or do you mean you want to save app settings? Apps itself could be backuped any time by any backup tool, e.g. OAndBackup on F-Droid.

If you want a full everything backup you can use the backup tool in your recovery.

But actually you don’t need because the official LOS build does not overwrite your app partition. In some cases, it may still be necessary to wipe cache, but for me, this was not necessary.


I tried Titanium, but that shows me an error message after installation indicating that I can’t acquire root privileges.

thanks, I will try OAndBackup!

I just want to make sure that I don’t lose my data.
I would like to save app settings and phone settings. I use apps like wherein, for example, I pinned over hundred different places and don’t want to lose that information. those are offline apps without export options.

oh, and the recovery tool in my Lineage OS build looks like this:


I’m somewhat surprised about your backup facilities in recovery. You sure that you’re in TWRP recovery? I mean, not the recovery app, but inside recovery (during reboot, press Vol up, AFAIR). Your screenshot looks like you’re in some app…

OAndBackup will backup your apps, but AFAIK not your app storage, like settings and the like.

Maybe Titanium works after enabling developer settings and inside, root. Or somewhat similar it was, I can’t remember exactly at the moment.

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The recovery tool of LineageOS is the TWRP recovery. You boot into it by pressing Volume Up when starting or rebooting the phone or by selecting Recovery in the reboot dialogue of LineageOS. You can make a backup of the current state of the OS there, but beware: It doesn’t handle your data like pictures, contacts, ringtones etc. … you need another way to backup those.

If you followed the migration instructions, you flashed addonsu along the way to enable root. This roots the official LineageOS in principle, but
make sure Root access is enabled for Apps (or Apps and ADB) in Settings - Developer settings.
If you don’t see Developer Settings (I forgot whether it is visible by default), go to Settings - About phone first and continuously tap on Build number until it says you are developer now, Developer settings will be visible afterwards.

This is for the official LineageOS, right? @_nl is still with unofficial build:

Best regards

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Thanks for noticing, I got that wrong :thumbsup: .

Actually, OAndBackup does save app data (i.e. settings, game data, …) in addition to the app itself - just like Titanium does. You only need to tell it to. In addition to that I recommend to back up calendars and contacts separately because a slight change in the preinstalled apps that save those data can cause problems when restoring.

Note, however, that you need busybox which is not installed by default, neither on LOS unofficial nor on LOS official nor on FPOpenOS (and probably also not in FPOS). A little more on this issue can be found here.


It’s a special backup problem I am asking here:
I am in contact with a young refugee from Eritrea. He still is in the beginning of learning German and doesn’t speak English. But he uses his smartphone, a Galaxy S3 with a Samsung Android 4.3 OS. I consider to put him a Lineage 14.1.2 OS at his phone. Probably he doesn’t know much about smartphones and somebody else has set up his device with the apps and data he needs and uses. So I would have to make a complete backup and reinstall it back at the Lineage OS at his phone. Would you advise to use Oandbackup for such a purpose together with an extra backup of contacts and calendars? And nothing, also no settings, will be lost?
I am not so sure about that because I didn’t do such a job before!

Yes, I can totally recommend OAndBackup for that. You should know, however, that OAndBackup needs root access in any case, i.e. on the old as well as the new phone. I wouldn’t assume that his Galaxy S3 operating system is rooted.

That depends on the app. But the general rule is: if the app itself is the same on both phones - including the version! - you can safely assume that it will be possible to successfully restore the data, including settings. For non-system apps this should be the case.
That is also the reason why I recommend backing up contacts and calendars with a separate tool. Both are present on the phone as data of preinstalled system apps. Backing them up by export (contacts are usually backed up to a .vcf file; calendars are usually backed up to a .ics file each) makes you independent of app versions.

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I did a test and I am not so happy with the results.
I own an old Galaxy S5 from 2014, on which I worked with Lineage 14.1.2. This phone uses the same CPU and SOC as the FP2, but you can already get an unofficial Lineage 15.1 (Oreo 8.1) -version for it. First thing: You have to get used to the changes at the settings, and there a quite some!
And after playing back Oandbackup, I didn’t find o lot of my former settings. I did get the apps, I did backup, but a lot of settings are gone. So it is still something more to do to get a running system again.

Edit: Went back to LOS 14.1.2, looks as if there are too much bugs within the new 15.1-version.

Ok, so if Oandbackup doesn’t do the job (I was curious because I don’t use it and it gets mentioned so often) …

I would try the following (if I really would want to do this, priority always is a working phone for the user :slight_smile: ).

I recommend a test run with your own spare phone to get to know what you’re dealing with here.

  • Try to find a guide on how to set the phone back to factory settings to get a clean original Android 4.3 back on the phone in case everything else fails.

  • Sit down with the phone and the user and take notes … every installed App, every App setting that seems important, every OS setting that seems important, every account with login credentials (which the user should be able to provide), every PIN or password which is needed for phone operation (encryption, SIM PIN, screen lock).

  • Try to determine where certain data is located, in the cloud or on the phone (contacts, e-mail, pictures etc. …). Can’t hurt to know.

  • Sync everything in Internal Storage with MyPhoneExplorer (Windows only) from the phone to a local PC. This should easily take care of contacts, organizer, notes, call logs, SMS messages, pictures, files (set up a complete sync of Internal Storage here, this should take care of extra folders like e.g. Alarms or Ringtones … no idea whether they even exist in Android 4, but doesn’t matter).

  • Copy the synced data somewhere safe (where a sync back which goes wrong can’t reach :slight_smile: ).

  • With MyPhoneExplorer you can also extract every App APK (this feature is a little bit hidden, listed under Files).

  • Copy everything the phone offers via USB connection to the PC … that is of course kind of duplicate, but you can’t be safe enough.

When LineageOS runs on the phone …

  • Set the OS settings according to your notes (as far as they are available).

  • Install the Apps back. You can try MyPhoneExplorer for that, but the original source/store would be preferable.
    Set all the App settings according to your notes.

  • Sync everything back from the PC to the phone with MyPhoneExplorer (careful with the sync direction here).
    But don’t blindly copy the whole old Internal Storage over, folder structure might have changed … do stuff like Ringtones and such manually.

  • Set up possibly missing accounts again and check whether the login credentials work.

  • Let the user test the Apps and features he needs the most.

I’m almost certain I forgot something, so really do a test run :wink: .
And prepare to be the culprit for every little thing on the phone from then on, you talked the user into changing the OS, everything was working perfectly before, you have to fix everything, even if it is a new issue with something that wasn’t on the old phone :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: .

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Hi Heiner,

I’m sorry, I think I misunderstood your first post. You really wanted to know if the system settings (not app settings) can be backed up and restored, right? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is: probably no. Because the settings are also internal data of a preinstalled app and the changes in this app across different versions of android usually make restoring the settings impossible (i.e. you actually can restore them but the app will probably crash afterwards).
Actually I know no way of backing up and restoring the system settings. I always had to manually set things again - but as reward you also discover the new settings you got with the new operating system :grinning:


Of course you can backup and restore the system settings. I know Titanium Backup can do it and I bet oandbackup can do it too. The issue is just that if you switch to LOS you upgrade the android version and there might be some settings that won’t be restored correctly with a different OS version.

This almost sounds too good to be true :star_struck:
What exactly do you back up in Titanium for the system settings?

Just search for “settings”. There should be a Settings and a Settings Storage.

I did it again just yesterday at my old Samsung S5, switching from LOS 14.1 to LOS 15.1. Before the installation of the new OS I did a TWRP backup. But when I tried to get that back to the system, I have got an error, something like “can’t write the modem file” and I had to do the hole setting and app installation again. But it works! The only error I have found till now is, that I can’t use my BT keyboard properly. With LOS 14.1 it worked.

Again I have learned something and I like to let you know!

At the LOS 15.1 version I have put all the apps in a way and order I like to use it, but still there was this error with inverted “y” and “z” and with wrong special characters. And the DB Navigation App kept asking for the Google Services. So I decided to install Open Gapps pico for the Oreo 8.1 version.
The result: Lots af uninstallable apps I don’t want at all at my phone, a deleted setting of my app pages and other apps, which didn’t run anymore properly. So I had to go back and to reinstall the TWRP backup I have done before fortunately.
But there was one advantage with the new Open Gapps version: The BT keyboard properly, probably caused by the new installed Gboard app.

Playing back the backup I got the message I already have had before: Can’t re-establish the modem file, partition is read-only! So I took the modem out of the files to backup. And the restore went flawlessly! And all the stetting I found as I have left it before installing the Open Gapps! Nothing to correct!!! So that works as long as the OS is the same, it seems.
But the problem with the BT keyboard is back again under LOS 15.1, the Gboard app doesen’t help obviously. states that Oreo (8.0 and 8.1) is still beta quality.

Did you install GBoard yourself, or did it come with Open GApps? Open GApps pico should only give you the minimum to run the Play Store.

It came with OpenGapps with a lot of other unwanted stuff. May be a real pico version comes later?
The LOS 15.1 for the Galaxy S5 and probably all other LOS 15.1 is beta and unofficial as well.