Android Factory Reset Without Losing Application Data

The lesson of the week is: how to perform an Android Factory Reset Without Losing Application Aata. Yes the infamous Factory Reset; we all cringe at the idea of re-installing the applications and loosing all the data.

After thinking about it, I have a solution for all of you. As wonderful as the Android platform is, it is still a slow degrading operating system; this means, by installing, removing, and performing the usual tasks, the phone becomes slower, it slowly degrades, and eventually becomes very slow. At that point, I always perform a factory reset to speed it up again.

Now, the question arise, you have data on your phone internal storage. For example: Angry Birds saved levels, that would be bad have to re-play all the levels again to get to the same point. Also there are important things like Call log, SMS/MMS, pictures, and videos that you need to save.

I am going to walk you through the process of backing up the applications, wipe, and restore without losing any important data.

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First, there are only few technical requirements:

  • A rooted phone. Without root access, the backup applications is unable to read all the application data. If you need to root your phone, you can start by reading my Root Android Post.
  • An external sd-card (Not required, but recommended), since I cannot account on how to execute every phone’s factory reset. I also cannot guarantee that the reset would not re-format the phone’s internal storage.
  • Understanding the filesystem location of the sd-card mount, like /mnt/sdcard, for newer phones, with internal storage, the card may be located on /mnt/sdcard-ext.

Secondly, install the following application from the Android Market:

Now, perform the following steps:

  1. Launch MyBackup Root, press the Android Menu button, select Options. Make sure to select Include System Applications, there are other options like Use Busybox and Use PM Binaries, these options are advanced and if you know what you are doing then select them.
  2. Once the new settings are saved, select Backup, then Application & Media, Select all applications, select all the media Photos and Videos and press OK, make sure to specify the correct backup location. When asked, select APKs + Data as Backup method. The process will take a while. Once the process complets, proceed to step 3.
  3. From the main MyBackup Root Select Backup Again; this time select the Data option, make sure to specify the correct backup location; when asked what to backup, simply select all. This time the backup should be much quicker. Wait for it to complete.
  4. Make sure Step 2 and Step 3 complete without errors, you can repeat Step 2 and 3 twice just to make sure you have a complete backup, if you do, please select a different backup filename.
  5. From this point on, do not make any modifications to the phone or change application data. If you want, at this point you can save the actual backup on a PC outside the phone by connecting the device as USB mass storage, and backup the directory rerware.
  6. Now actually perform the factory reset operation, which changes by device, consult your device documentation n how to do it.
  7. Re-activate and re-register the phone if necessary, with the same Google accounts as it was before the factory reset.
  8. Re-install MyBackup Root from the Android Market.
  9. Perform Step 1 again.
  10. Launch MyBackup Root and select Restore, choose Data, then choose the sdcard location, select the appropriate backup to restore (correct file), select all options, click OK to restore. The process may take a while. When done, reboot the phone.
  11. Once rebooted, launch MyBackup Root again, select restore, select Application & Media, select the sdcard location, now pay attention, only select the important applications to restore and pictures if necessary. Start with the most obvious ones, after, when using the phone and you realize that you are missing one, restore it from MyBackup Root. DO NOT SELECT TO RESTORE ALL APPLICATIONS.

At this point, the phone should be restored with the applications, and more importantly, the data.

I hope you enjoyed this article, leave comments if you find that the process needs modification for your device.

NOTE: Should MyBackup Root not find the backup, make sure the directory rerware is still there after the factory reset, if not, re-copy it from the PC’s backup to the phone, via USB Mass Storage.

  1. The paragon of undertsadning these issues is right here!

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