We all have data on our phones we can’t afford to lose. Seeing as these days, we literally have mini-computers in out pockets, that we can use for countless things, we accumulate a lot of data that is important to us. One big example of this kind of data is our contacts, or our messages. Can you imagine if you lost them? But don’t fret, there’s always a solution!
If you are using a recent Android device, I have good news for you, seeing as Google already does you the favor of backing up your contacts and other device data onto the cloud, which then associates with your Google Account. If your device gets damaged, lost, stolen, all you have to do, in theory, is grab another device and log into your Google Account, and it should automatically sync your data to the new phone. And it’s great (when it works), but what if you want a local copy of your data just in case something happens? Well, that’s what we’ll do today:
Luckily, Android lets you easily backup your contacts, without the need for any app or much hassle. All you need to do is open your People app (or appropriate Contacts app), press the menu key, and select Import/Export. A menu like this should pop-up:
From here, you can choose to backup your contacts by choosing “Export to storage”, which will save your contacts on your SD card, or internal device memory which you can then transfer anywhere you’d like. The file generated will be a “.vcf” file, commonly known as “vCard”, which is fairly popular and compatible with multiple applications. If you want to put your contacts back onto your device, just choose “import from storage” (make sure the vCard file is on the root of the SD card!) and Android will automatically find it and begin importing your contacts. You can see more info here.
Here’s where it starts to get a bit trickier. By default, the stock Messaging Android app does not allow for message import/export, so we’ll have to use an external app for this one (unless you’re already using another app for SMS and messaging, like GoSMS or something similar, that does allow you to back up from within the app itself). I really like Super Backup, since it has a free version and the interface is clean and easy to use. It’s full of useful backup features, but for the one we’re looking for, all you have to do is follow these steps:
Open the app and select “SMS Backup”:
Then, select “Backup” if you want to backup all of your messages, or “Backup Conversations” if you just want to backup individual messages:
Lastly, just give it a name and there you go, your messages are now safe on your SD card, and the app even prompts you to email the backup somewhere:
And that’s about it for backing up basic information off your phone. Carrying these files around with you in case of an emergency or just having them safely stored at home, can come in handy for sure. You never know what might happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!