Recommended backup apps


I’m in the process of migrating from iphone to FP2 and LineageOS and there are quite a few things from the Apple/iCloud universe for which I have not yet found a proper replacement in my new Android world. I hope this is the right place to ask this kind of question.

One of those things is the automatic backup that was handled by iTunes/iCloud.

Is there a similar thing available for Android?

It seems that there are multiple “solutions” available (TWRP, Helium, etc.) but none of those seems to offer an “all-inclusive” solution to backup data, os and app settings.

What is the recommended way to backup an Android / Lineage OS device in order to minimise the work required to make a full restore?

Thanks in advance.

Do you have Google Services installed?

I do not know of a full backup solution that is really hassle free and easy to use. Here is how I do it:

In general, there are no files on my smartphone I need to backup, except for pictures and some music on the SD card. Everything else is already in the cloud: I sync my contacts and calendar to posteo.de via DAVdroid. I use IMAP for my email, so all mails are on the server. If I wanted, I could use Google Photos to automatically sync my pictures in full resolution to Google’s Cloud, as many of my friends do. I simply copy music and pictures to my PC regularly.

You can backup settings and installed apps to your Google Account, too. This allows you to login to a new device and restore the installed apps your settings from there. Several apps, like WhatsApp, have a setting to backup app data to the cloud, too.

Hope that helps

Do you have Google Services installed?

I don’t have Google Services installed - at least not from Google. I’m using [LineageOS for microG] (https://lineage.microg.org/) and am looking for a google-free solution, if possible.

Most of my data (contacts, mail, etc.) is already on some server, as well.
I suppose one could use automatic image-upload features offered by dropbox or nextcloud to “backup” pictures.

That would leave OS settings plus apps and their settings, and maybe SMS messages. Any recommendations for backing up those without using google?

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For Helium I don’t recall properly, but I thought it would back up everything. Titanium backup will at least do so. I believe it can store on SD card, but you could set up a task to send your backup file to your Nextcloud or the like.

Edit: No, I remember Titanium would only backup apps. Sorry for misguiding… So, you need 2 “apps”: One which backups the system (by request, can e.g. be done from within TWRP), and other for the apps, cache and data.

Edit2: There is currently another thread here with some references but no feasible solution, yet: Making a backup system image for recovery of FP 2 Open

On my own opinion, Titanium is a stupid tool: It backups too much useless things, needs “root” and being “illegal” to perfom really (the titanium paid version is only availiable thru googlePlayStore; since I have no google account in my phone (that’s why I want to backup it on my way: my phone is not being spyed/backuped by google) an endless loop…

The real backup tool, would be abble to backups and restore all systems parameters : wifi accounts, vpn, certificates, nextcloud & caldav/carddav accounts & parameters; And then could reinstall fresh phones unattended with apps & theirs data from binaries or from a store (google or f-droid)).

Personnaly, I spends hours downloading & retyping my accounts to davdroid, nextcloud SMS, foldersync (folder sync with my (next)cloud; not a foss app from f-droid), firefox sync capatibilities, etc… By the years, for me, installing a new phone looks like the infamous windows95 soo long installation when i was younger…

After 10 years using smartphones, effective backup tool is still being an huge missing piece of software, not being able to do a proper backup, nor “unattended install” of fresh phones… it’s a pity…


Once a Nokia 500 owner, I can say that the Nokia Suite software was able to do this with Symbian OS Nokia smartphones back in the good old days.
Useless knowledge now, I know … carry on :wink:


This kind of solution was perfect (not really sure) when only backuping, eventually when switching to a new “same brand” phone (like itume for iphones, or the blackberry suite for bb phones).
Unhapilly nowdays “GAFA” still didn’t care about consumers and think too much about theirs products as disposable when they are facing such questions…

As a thinkning matter, how many kids won’t have any photos of theirs youth in 10/20 years, just because of a bad usb key/sd card, a phone not backuped, an hard drive failure ? that’s pretty sad…

Still searching for a good backups application, wich I (or any reasonnably unskilled person) can operate on my own without having to “share” anything with companies, I don’t trust…

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Hi @def4a2e93a4faba6e495

well, perform a backup (and a successful later restore) is not an easy task. You have to find out what you exactly want and how the system is designed and what works in which way. You can find a lot of things in Symbian implemented easier compared to Android. Also in Apple you can find easier approaches. Still, some users prefer Android and own a FP2.

As an alternative for a backup tool running on Android itself you can backup your software with adb from your computer. Not too certain about app data, though, but its man page gives the impression it could do so. You can also copy files with it, so you can back up your personal data with it.

You can run adb from your FP2 as well from inside a root shell and place a backup file on your phone to be synchronized or moved to your cloud server automatically with a syncronization tool of your choice (or with adb, then you would have to write your own sync trigger).

Still, only OS needs to be saved by different means, e.g. from inside TWRP recovery.

Yes, Nokia had very good software for making local backups on SD or computer. “Everyone” moved to the cloud. They’re using Google Drive and Apple iCloud for these purposes, and it Just Works ™ for them. Titanium Backup is adequate for the rest of us.

Practically none, since practically everyone uses cloud providers. If you don’t you are the exception.

You can use public key cryptography (ie. something like GPG such as cryptomator or duplicati) together with the cloud, btw. If you assume your cloud provider works together with the authorities thats akin to uploading the data to NSA’s data center directly, but without giving them your key. It then depends on how strong password you used. Together with a password manager, you’d theoretically only need 1 strong password.

I can recommend TransIP STACK as cloud provider. The free option provides 1 (!) TB, hosted in The Netherlands, software based on OwnCloud.

Sounds really great. But how do they earn the money to run their business???

But: “STACK is available only for Dutch and Belgium users”

I can recommend Tresorit (www.tresorit.com). They are a Hungarian company and their solution uses Zero Knowledge privacy with full end to end encryption. The fact that this makes them GDPR compliant is interesting for European business users. Unfortunately they are not free - their cheapest solution costs about £7 a month with 200Gb storage.

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Well, the 1 TB package is free, but if you need more than 1 TB (like say 10 TB) or want them to make off-site backups you gotta pay. They also sell more services such as VPS. So they make money the very same way other freemium traditionally make money. It’s hosted in NL so GDPR applies in 3 months, and I recommend to use other software on top for the cryptography. Anything using WebDAV will work

That is to expensive for my purposes. For me 2 to 10 GB would be enough. But the server should be located within Europe and encryption would be appreciated!

https://www.jottacloud.com/en/ might be interesting. It looks to me that there is no free zero knowledge privacy cloud provider apart from SpiderOak and they have their datacenters in the US. Another alternative could be to have your own “cloud syndicate”, rent a VPS (virtual private server) and run your own cloud system (I would recommend Nextcloud or Seafile). You can split the costs between the users and it does not cost the world. I pay £10 / m for a VPS with 50Gb storage for example. BTW: https://www.seafile.com/en/home/ has zero knowledge privacy / encryption.

But how can I get it? The web site I have found is in Dutch language and no button to change it to English or German? Would be difficult for me.

I just had a look at the site and some reviews. It looks as the service is based on availability. You have to enter your email and you have to wait for them to invite you to register an account. If you want your free or cheap storage immediately you probably will have to look for another solution.

Another aspect:
I doubt, that Hungary is a democratic country with proper division of powers between government, legislation and jurisdiction.

Good thoughts, but I have to correct myself: Although the founder is Hungarian, the company is actually a Swiss company operating under swiss law.

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Oh, I am sorry, I did not know it was in Dutch only. If you need a Dutch VPN, I can recommend ProtonVPN (they have free end points available including in NL). If you need help with translating and you don’t/can’t use an online service, let me know, but yeah if it is meant for NL/BE only then maybe don’t bother trying. The STACK client is a modified OwnCloud client, and it uses standard WebDAV, so in that regard it should be useable for non-Dutch speakers.

For a whole lot of more comparison data, see:

Renting a VPS or dedicated server is very cheap with OVH’s budget line, Kimsufi (prices differ per country). If you only need 2-10 GB though, then I can recommend Google Drive or OneDrive with Cryptomator or Duplicati.

More cloud providers (using WebDAV):

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Saw one more option mentioned for cheap VPS/dedicated, online.net

VPS with ARMv8 cores.

2 cores, 50 GB SSD, 2 GB RAM, 100 mbit full duplex: 3 EUR/month.
4 cores, 100 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, 100 mbit full duplex: 6 EUR/month.
8 cores, 200 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 100 mbit full duplex: 12 EUR/month.

Their dedicated servers also have this cheap deal (with locations in FR and NL):

Intel Atom C2350, 1 TB HDD or 120 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, 1 gbit full duplex: 9 EUR/month

I would also mention/recommend Leaseweb (LSW) but I can’t, cause every year they increase their price with 6%. It adds up, and it is annoying & unfair.