Problems with back-up / restore (standard app)

I restored back-upped data yesterday (in the course of this problem here: Unable to install storage upgrader under Kola Nut 1.8.7) and encountered a number of problems. I thought it was better to start a new topic on this, to see if others have similar problems and solutions.

I backed-up everything possible with the back-up app (i.e. contacts, messages, photos, calendar, music, bookmarks and apps) and copied the other stuff directly to my computer. But:

  1. the bookmarks are gone
  • music: all the playlists are gone (I haven’t been able to check if the music is complete)
  • there are some photos on the FP, but when I go to the OpenCamera-app and the standard camera app I don’t see the photos I took there
  • all contacts reappeared double / twice
  • all tasks are gone (duplicate of 6.) [RESOLVED]
  • ALL data in apps are gone
  • all preferences are gone (duplicate of 6.)
  • all icons on the FP windows are gone (background photo is gone as well) (duplicate of 6. --> the launcher (=FP OS homescreen) is an app)
  • the calendar and task categories are gone (duplicate of 6.) [RESOLVED]
  • all davdroid settings are gone (duplicate of 6.) [RESOLVED]
  • etc.etc.
    update: calendar dates were also 2 times or more on FP1, solved this by deinstalling DAVdroid, reinstalling it and setting up the connection to posteo calendars again.

And when I now look at the restore-app it does not give me the possibility any more to back-up photos or music (no way to activate them):

I now read in another thread that this app is problematic (Backup and Restore -- videos disappeared) so I think it would be good if there was a warning about this in every manual that asks you to do a back-up, or possibly even a recommendation? (what do you think, @Douwe?)

Also: are there any tricks to get some of the data back? to get the photos back into the photo apps? to reorganize playlists? and for the future: a better world no, I mean: a better back-up app (not from google-shop)

Thank you very much!

Edited by @Stefan to keep the list up to date.

Well the standard backup app doesn’t back up app data which is why we always recommend titanium backup in the forum.

I guess photos by open camera count as app data as well.

I don’t know which of the other data the backup app should be able to backup though, but the thing with the music and photos being greyed out is obviously a bug.

It depends on where the data is saved. Of the things you write, most are actually saved on the device which were not backed up as @paulakreuzer said: Data in apps (like bookmarks, tasks, calender, playlists) and any preferences are saved locally and require different backup methods.
If your contacts are double now that’s at least better than having them lost :grin:
If your music was on the SD card, it should still be complete

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I still think at least a WARNING about the standard back-up app should be included in the official fairphone manuals. When I see them and follow the step-by-step guides I don’t check in the forum as well if they - unofficially - warn about something recommended by Fairphone officially.

it is also the photos from the standard photo app that are gone.
and what do I do about the bug?

The standard back-up app specifically lists bookmarks, but does not restore them. Why is this?

[quote=“Vinni, post:3, topic:10825, full:true”]
It depends on where the data is saved. Of the things you write, most are actually saved on the device which were not backed up [/quote]
what a shame. I thought I had specified for all app data to be stored on the sd-card, but apparently not, or at least the apps don’t connect any more. I lost some 1,5 years of monitoring data this way. and lots of minor infos (individualized shopping-lists etc.) as well.

re contacts: yes, of course. :wink: But that will take ages of deleting the surplus data etc. Some are even there 3 times (?) and with different contents. Quite a miracle this.
The music was / is on the SD card, (and I specifically backed-up the music as well via app, only why I don’t know. Might have saved the time for that and just copied them on the PC, which I also did of course). Restoring the playlists will be difficult / impossible. I use the standard music player app and there I can only make playlists from ,recently added’ as far as I see it. So over the last nearly 2 years I added playlist by playlist at separate time. All gone.

did I mention that all individual ringtones are gone as well? :frowning: (thought they’d count as music)

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Have you set the storage options again for those apps? Also, if you mean that you set your default write disk to SD card, note that this does not mean that all apps will go onto the SD card. Also, most settings will go to the internal memory regardless for security reasons.

Probably a side-effect of losing settings. You’re likely seeing contacts from different accounts, as well as the stored backup. There are a number of topics about this on the forum if you need help fixing this.

If backup and restore is anything like backing up via adb, it doesn’t back up data from the SD card. This is also because it backs up to the SD card (to avoid duplicate files there), and you’d copy all the files from the SD card to a computer anyway. If all your music is on the SD card, it isn’t part of the backup. The reason it’s greyed out is then because there is no music content in the backup.

Update on “the saga continues”:
I just managed to restore the connection via Davdroid to calendar and tasks (via and thunderbird).

Good news

: tasks are ok (including the 3 main categories).

Bad news

: all calendar data on the FP calendar are there at least twice, most 3 times, some even up to 6 (!) times! they are all ok and single on the posteo and thunderbird calendars.
I can’t possibly erase them all by hand, that would take ages.
What can I do? I already restarted the computer and did a new sync, still the same. normal data in posteo calendar and thunderbird, far toooooo many on FP1.
Strictly speaking that probably has nothing to do with the back-up app, but my lovely FP1 is certainly not making me very happy today :cry: :cry:

I just de-check PC sync as “anzuzeigender Kalender” (visible calendar), and now the data is ,only’ double. Except for birthdays, them I still get 4 times.

If I was in your position I would sync all my data to the computer now (tasks, calendar, contacts, pictures, ringtones…). There is is much easier to handle them. There are tools which combine contacts with the same name and merge the information, there are tools to delete multiples, there are tools to refresh the calendar, removing duplicates…
I’d then wipe my phone entirely and then sync everything needed from the computer.
Of course that does not give you back the lost data that was not backed up.
(MyPhoneExplorer does a great job regarding that, search the forum for it)

I have to tell you, that it’s all there: How to backup and restore your Fairphone 1 :confused:

Please note: backing up your phone will not make a complete backup image of your phone with the standard Backup and Restore app on the phone and it won’t backup data created from installed apps.

###Regarding Calendar

Make sure all your calendar entries are online (in and turn off all data connections (WiFi + 3G). Then try the following:

Btw, there is also a Contacts Database.

Yes, I saw that today ;-).
My problem was that I saw no need to read about back-up, because I had been using the back-up app regularly and thought I knew about it. Learning it the hard way… :smirk:

So I would suggest to add a sentence here:

Warning: This storage upgrader will erase all data on your phone. Back up your device before downloading this file! Even if you think you know all about back-ups, do read our info


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Update: Just saw that most text messages are doubled as well.

Since @therob asked for a current state of affairs, here it is:

contacts: 2 to 4 times (mostly 4 times)
text messages: most 2 times
calendar dates: 2 times (this goes for 2 of my 3 calendars united in 1 calendar)

all preferences gone, playlists etc. (I know, this is my mistake with wrong backup).

but also bookmarks gone, even though the standard app says bookmarks are saved, and also no photos in the standard camera app any more (but saved on the SD card).

And something else which is quite funny and miraculous came up:
Yesterday I deleted all music from the sd-card to reinstall and put them into new playlists. They are definitely not in the music-folder anymore.
But: I can play music and see them in the music player app. I have no idea where the FP gets them from.

You are quite right. I think in fact, this app should be removed. It’s frankly disfunctional and can lead to data loss.


Some thoughts inside the quotes:

All linked Apps I did not try myself - so please have a look around the net before using it!

So, that’s all for the late night.
Let us know about some success…

Cheers, Robert

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Thanks for your help. Here’s an update:

contacts: 2 to 4 times
I don’t want to use an app for fixing that because apparently that can cause more / new problems. Also, some of the ,same’ contacts contain different information. So I have to check them one by one.
(I am now syncing contacts from FP1 to posteo and thunderbird, very challenging, because the database is a little different in each platform)

text messages: most 2 times
Again, there are so many infos on different apps on the internet, but I’d rather not try out any that are not personally used and recommended to me by trustworthy people, as there is too much at stake if it does not work properly. (esp. after the bad experience with the backup&restore-app that is standard on FP1). So I will do this by hand over the next weeks.

calendar dates: 2 times (this goes for 2 of my 3 calendars united in 1 calendar)

–> Is it a google calender? Then my first search pointed me to this…
if not --> maybe you can convert it to a google calender, use the app, convert back to your preferred one!

My FP1 is a google-free zone :sunglasses:
I solved the problem by deinstalling DAVdroid from FP1 and reinstalling it and connecting anew with posteo calendar.

bookmarks gone,

–> which browser you used before backup, which you use now?

Same two browsers as before. The standard webbrowser (all bookmarks gone) and Fennec F-Droid (all bookmarks gone). At least for the preinstalled web app it should have worked. :frowning: And from there the Fennec took its bookmarks originally.


–> Did you try: Make a new foto. Find the path where this pic is stored. Copy all your old fotos form PC to this location.

Yes, that is the way I have to do it now. But again extra-work.

I would not know, why (after a reboot?) the Camera app should not recognise the old ones…

I agree with that. :slight_smile:

A new weird thing happened with the music.
Because all playlists are gone and the music on the FP1 is now very chaotic I erased it all and wanted to start new.
But loads of songs are still on the FP1 when I open the standard music player or apollo app. I don’t know where they get it from, the music-folder on SD (where I saved them) is empty, the music folder on internal storage is also empty.

For messages and contacts:
I got it right, that you still have your backup with messages and contacts, from which you KNOW they contain no duplicates. RIGHT?
If yes: then why not just delete ALL of the Messages and Contacts and try a new restore process with the original backup?
It should be very unlikely, that the duplicated messages are already contained in the backup, if you did not noticed it before performing the backup.

What do you think?
If you anyway want to start with TitaniumBackup you can perform a backup of messages and contacts with it, just to be at the safe side to have the possibilty to restore all your doubled items, if something goes wrong with my proposal above!

Photos: come on…just to copy your pics to a specific folder is not that time-consuming…
So that is working now or not?

music: are you sure you can also play the songs? Maybe thats just the old database with entries pointing now to nowhere…

No, that is wrong. How should I know that? I restored from a backup of which I was sure it contained no duplicates. But see what happened.

I wrote why I don’t want to try it out. Not all duplicates (or quadruplicates) are identical.

Yes, of course I can play the songs. (in both apps, the standard and Apollo)

And you performed the restoring process for sure only ONCE, assuring before there where no messages/contacts at all?

To find the location of your music-files you just can use the search function of the FP built in File Explorer and look fo a song title (*.mp3-name) from which you know the apps recognised it.

Update photos:

No, it is not working.

I can see the folders for the two camera apps (containing about 5 pics each I took yesterday). And I see lots of other folders with photos with the gallery app.
But I cannot find the folders when I connect FP1 to the computer… Similar to the music problem I guess.

So much for your joke that it’s “not so time-consuming”. :neutral_face:


That’s interesting, the music players take the songs directly out of the back-up files on the SD card. That is probably also where the pictures come from.
Very strange, and another bad mark for the back-up app unfortunately - why doesn’t it restore them properly? Maybe has to do with SD location?.

it was NO joke…hoped for the reality…will try it at my FP later the day as well…

Maybe the problem arises form the differten storage layouts:
During BACKUP: int. (1GB) + SD0 (12GB) + SD1 (ext. SD)
During RESTORE: int (13GB) + SD0 (ext. SD)
Maybe it got confused about the SD0/SD1 assignments…

But: I think the backup App is from Android/Google itself, isn’t it? So not FP is responsible for it beeing bad programmed, but Google is! (assuming that is the reason of your problmes)
Only FP could have checked it…if they had time to do.

It’s actually com.mediatek.datatransfer, which means that even if it is originally part of android (not sure it is), MediaTek have likely made significant adaptations. It also means that the app will be different in FP2.

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As I wrote above: The bookmarks are saved as “app user data” which goes together with “app settings” and was unfortunately not backed up by the backup-app.

You could make a titanium backup now and then merge duplicate messages and contacts with the tools provided by @therob. If anything goes wrong, just restore your titanium backup.

Merging contacts does not mean removing any information but joining information of different contacts. I sync my computer contacts with my phone contacts regularly and no matter where I do any changes to the contacts, it is always merged correctly.
= - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = -
Just give it a try.