Backing Up An Android Phone To A PC: A Helpful Guide

Look at all that information you have sitting on your Android smart phone! Pictures, contacts, video, audio . . . the list goes on! What happens if your device goes to cell phone heaven? How do you prevent losing all that information? Simple. Backup Android phone to PC and your worries are over.

What Does It Mean to Backup Android Phone to PC?

Your Android phone is much more than a phone. It’s a mini-computer, with far more computing power than almost any computer had two decades ago. Most Android phones have a very large storage capacity – 32GB, or sometimes up to 64GB. That’s a lot of data to risk losing!

What Alternatives Exist to Backup Android Phone to PC?

Cloud Backup

Many cell phone providers either include or offer for a fee Cloud backup services. These are usually for specific files on your phone, such as your contact list and your photo gallery. There are some drawbacks to those backup services, however.

Cloud Backup Completeness

The Cloud backup service your phone carrier makes available can vary widely, and it’s really up to them what files they’ll back up. You may also have separate backup services through such sites as Google, but now you’re beginning to scatter your data far and wide between competing services. Which one is where? How many copies do I have? How do I manipulate or retrieve them?

Speed and Connection

Another drawback to Cloud backup is the obvious one: you have to connect to the Internet to access them. Sadly; there are times, particularly when traveling, that cell or Wifi service is just not available.

Backup Android Phone to PC Alternative

A great alternative, even if you use Cloud backup services, is to backup Android phone to PC. This has several advantages:

Everything in One Place

If you backup Android Phone to PC, all your files are in one place. They’re all on your PC. Plus, if you use a backup service like iDrive or Carbonite, all your phone files are backed up again.

Ease of Access

If Wifi is not available, all you need is a USB cable to transfer files to your PC. You can have access from your PC to your phone virtually any time you’re around your PC. If you are backing up to a laptop, then you can even take all that information with you when traveling, and access it directly on your computer.

You Choose

Rather than having your phone provider choose what’s going to be backed up, or how much they will charge you to do so, you’re now able to get all the files you choose downloaded and protected on your PC.

How to Back Up an Android Phone to a PC

There are a number of ways to back up your Android phone to a PC. We’re presenting some of the ones available, but there are more if you wish to research them.


Synchdroid is freeware that allows you to backup Android Phone to PC via either a USB cable or via Wifi. SynchDroid can back up the following data types: SMS, Contacts, Call Logs, Bookmarks, Audio, Videos, Camera Photos, and SD Card Photos.

Using SynchDroid

SynchDroid supports two connection methods: USB cable and Wifi. Both methods require the SynchDroid app to be downloaded to your phone and PC.

Via USB, you first download the SynchDroid app to your phone and PC. You then connect your phone to the PC. Then you turn on the USB debugging mode (contact your phone manufacturer to find out how). Then, click ‘Connect’ on your SynchDroid app and follow the instructions.

Via Wifi: Open the SynchDroid apps that you’ve downloaded previously. Then, open the SynchDroid app on your phone and enable the Wifi connection to your network. The app will then receive a verification code: type that in, and you’re connected.

At this point, the app will display a window allowing you to choose the files you want to download. Restoring the files from your PC to your Android phone follows a similar procedure.

Treating Your Phone as an External Drive

A considerably less elegant solution is simply to plug your phone into your PC or Laptop. When you do this, most Android phones will simply assume that you want to charge the phone via the USB cable. If you click on that notification, the Android system will give you some options. Select the File Transfer option, and your phone will show up on your computer as an external drive.

External Drive File Transfer

Now, open two side-by-side windows, with the left window being your PC’s directory tree, and the right being your phone’s file structure.

In the left window, set up a directory called ‘Phone,’ with subdirectories for all the items you’d like to transfer (Photos, Contacts, Music, etc.) Now, navigate through your phone’s directory tree until you come to each of those file directories. You can then drag and drop the files directly into your PC.

Restoring the files is done in the same way; just from the PC to the phone rather than vice versa.

If You’ve Rooted Your Phone

If you have rooted your phone, (gained access to your Android operating system at the highest level) then you should investigate a product called Titanium Backup. It has many superuser capabilities and a lot of power. Caveat: be cautious before you root your phone. Rooting can void your warranty. So the best advice is, check before you root.


We’ve presented you with three options here for backing up your Android phone to your PC or Laptop. They go from the simplest (using your phone as an external drive) to the most complex (rooting your phone and using a product like Titanium Backup).

While Cloud backup services are convenient, they are also limited in scope and can be costly. Moreover, you don’t have access to those files from anywhere, and you are limited to the upload/download speeds of your Wifi or phone carrier’s system.

We recommend that you strongly consider the additional safety and security of backing up your Android phone to your home computer system.


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