I'd like to factory reset my Lollipop smartphone. But I have many pictures, downloaded from the web, shared by friends or taken with the stock camera, which I have tagged with my contact names, added google map geolocation, categories. I've done all of that within the native Android gallery app.

If I copy such images to another folder, the copy does not show the infos I previously added. It is the same if I make a copy on my laptop. So, is there any app to export those metadata, which are not supposedly included in the image file?


  • Which device model are you using? Is it Samsung Galaxy? Metadata (EXIF) usually is saved directly on the file, but since you said that copying the files doesn't show the info, then the metadata might be separated.
    – Andrew T.
    Apr 13, 2015 at 2:19
  • Galaxy S5 under lollipop. We are talking about data we manually add after the picture was taken, or to any picture file. (category, description, tags ... and geo location)
    – skyrail
    May 29, 2015 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


Take a look at Titanium Backup, it will backup all the data saved in the Contacts app and Gallery app and you can either transfer it to a new phone, or extract the sql-lite db's contained in the backup and (hopefully) get your data into a spreadsheet or something. (as mentioned here)

An alternative method (without root) is to use the adb backup command. Since you're restoring your phone you might want to just adb backup -all -apk -system -shared and that will get everything. For just the data you want you can instead use -all -noapk -system -shared and it will be faster, but no apks. You can easily unzip the backup and locate your /data/Gallery.apk or Contacts.apk and unzip those to find a sql-lite database (or many). You can either extract the database or transfer the whole /data/Gallery.apk to your restored device.

Hope this helps

  • any other solution not requiring rooted device?
    – skyrail
    Apr 12, 2015 at 18:25
  • Yes. Use adb backup command. You can backup all app data to your computer. I'll update my answer Apr 13, 2015 at 0:43
  • Thanks for valuable advice. I finally accessed to sqlite db content, using Simple ADB Backup, untar ab files, then browse db file with any sqlite browser. My best bet was to explore com.sec.android.gallery3d db content. but I did not find wished infos about pictures. They are are displayed by the gallery and downloaded either from twitter, facebook, instagram to.specifics albums (same name as provider app).. Do you have any other idea where metadatas can be stored?
    – skyrail
    May 29, 2015 at 11:54
  • In the images themselves. I looked over your question, You may not see it on the computer right off the bat, until you get some professional metadata extractor. The native Gallery app does store metadata in the images. I don't know about face tags. Nothing will be in the Contacts app, anything important will be in Gallery.apk. Focus your search on the db's in there. Was everything readable, or was it encrypted? May 29, 2015 at 19:04
  • I removed password, so ab file is unencrypted. May be some infos may not be readable or present in db files, unless I use full adb sdk instead of simple adb backup? I checked a few pictures and found gps coordinates, even manually added through native gallery app is stored in the file. But nothing about other fields.
    – skyrail
    May 30, 2015 at 15:26

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