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ICS devices support creating backups using adb backup, and restoring them using adb restore. Using adb backup, one can select that everything should be backed up, or only a certain package.

However, adb restore lacks all the options of adb backup. When I call adb restore backup.ab, where backup.ab is only the backup of a single package, the phone shows me a warning dialog saying that all settings are going to be lost after restoring the backup. Is it true that restoring a single package backup wipes all data on the phone? If yes, is it somehow possible to restore a single package using adb restore?

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I'd say the warning just relates to the settings of the app being restored, as they would be replaced by those from the backup. But I cannot tell for sure, as I have no ICS device (nor the SDK installed). –  Izzy Jul 17 '12 at 23:30
    
Izzy should be right- However, just to be sure, in the future, you could backup your apps and app data with ' $ mkdir ~/backupdir/ && cd backupdir/ && adb pull /data/app/ && adb pull /system/app/ && adb pull /data/data/ && adb pull /system/data/' - and then adb push it all back over. –  rm-vanda Aug 15 '12 at 17:17
    
@Bob did any of the suggestions get you any further? If so, maybe we could sum it up and place it as answer, which then would be useful for other community members as well. –  Izzy Aug 20 '12 at 14:56
    
No, sorry. rm-vanda's comment doesn't work like this on non-rooted devices. –  Bob Aug 20 '12 at 23:20
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I thought so. But maybe another hint might do: How do you extract an App's data from a full backup made through “adb backup”? -- extracting the backup at least let's you know what the "replacement" looks like. You still could make another backup before restoring from the old, just in case, which you then could extract as well. –  Izzy Sep 11 '12 at 16:14
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Picking up my comment on the question:

Is it true that restoring a single package backup wipes all data on the phone?

No. As I suspected in my comment, the warning just relates to the settings of the app being restored, as they would be replaced by those from the backup. I used adb backup to backup a single app on one device, and restored it to multiple devices. I didn't miss anything afterwards, all other apps (and data) remained untouched.

It wouldn't make any sense the other way, either. And Carbon - App Sync and Backup couldn't offer to restore a single app, as it itself would be gone then as well :)

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If you're rooted you can now use Titanium Backup Pro (5.6+) to restore from adb backups.

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