I want to unlink my main Google account from my phone and use a dummy account instead. I don't really use any of Google's services on my phone like gmail, voice, etc. For security, loss reasons and to prevent google from automagically providing me with "features" and synchronization which end up merging data in ways I don't want, I would rather keep my online Google accounts separate from my mobile phone. I have been reading through a few posts on how to backup or remove your account, but I would like to make a get some feedback to create a bona-fide plan before going forward.

I really just want my contacts, my apps & widgets (or at least their settings and fresh install of apps from market), my calendar, my music and pictures.

If I "remove my account" what will I lose? I currently have it set not to sync with gmail or talk or voice, and I believe that all my contacts are only local and not merged with gmail.

Is there any way I can just go in and copy some magic file that has my contacts, calendar, etc; do a factory reset, and then load back my files and configurations, or download the apps again and overwrite my configurations?

Call logs, old SMS, etc aren't really important to save. Anything else I might be forgetting that I would actually slap myself for later?

  • If you're open to a factory reset, as it seems you are, we already have questions on backup and restore. Jun 24, 2011 at 22:05
  • possible duplicate of How to backup an Android device? Jun 24, 2011 at 22:05
  • 1
    @Matthew Prefer not to root, it seems with adb I can copy almost everything off my phone. Does anyone know how the contacts are stored, those would probably be the only non "file" thing - right? I see a lot programs talking about apps, but I want to make sure I get the process down right, i.e. not learn and lose in the process.
    – Eric G
    Jun 25, 2011 at 6:42
  • The contacts are stored in a local database and their are tied to the account. You can probably export your contacts from the gmail site and just import them. You will also lose any applications that you purchased from the market. You will have to buy them again, period. In order to actually get the "settings", you will need to backup using a tool like Matthew mentioned in the link. And even if you do save them, they could be tied to the original account, so they may be useless. Jun 27, 2011 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


Here is what I have done so far for each thing to backup (For reference I am on Droid 2 Global CDMA, OS 2.2:


  1. Open "Contacts" i.e. "Contacts A-Z"
  2. Click the menu button
  3. Click "More"
  4. Import/Export
  5. Selected "Export contacts to:" -> "SD Card"

The file will then be exported to "/sdcard/00001.vcf". Every time you export it will increment. The VCF file is one of the those standard types of files and is human readable, so even if you have problems later you can at least salvage the information. Just connected by phone to PC via USB and copied.


I am not sure about third party apps or other versions of android, but it seems all of my photos are stored on the sd card using the dcim folder "/sdcard/dcim" which is easily accessible upon connecting with USB.


It looks like it was using one of my account's Google Calendars, I don't know if they permit a local only option with the default calendar. I plan to just export using my private feed to the next account or dealing with this separately since its not "not on the phone" http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=37111

After backing up the above and some specific apps with dumps, I decided to just go the root route (z4root) and I am now using adb to backup files (http://jonwestfall.com/2009/08/backup-restore-android-apps-using-adb/), I might also try Titanium or make a image once I figure that part out.

I will update others as I go.

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