I recently backed up and factory reset my Samsung Galaxy S5, stock and running Lollipop. All the apps that were previously on the device were re-installed and run fine, and the phone mostly performs as it is supposed to.

However, I have just realized that I have missing files; my daughter's telephone number is no longer listed in my contacts (found out the hard way trying to speed dial during an emergency as I was driving), and some music files are missing. By and large the phone was restored to its original settings and works just fine, it's just that there are a few but important to me files missing here and there.

Is there any way to identify and recover all missing files? There are probably more that I just haven't found missing yet.

  • 1
    What method did you use to back it up?
    – user43185
    May 9, 2015 at 14:55
  • I used the Backup and reset function in the User and Backup drawer...
    – Kaizaro
    May 10, 2015 at 3:15
  • The automatic Google cloud backup isn't always reliable, according to support.google.com/nexus/answer/2819582 it restores Google Calendar settings, Wi-Fi networks & passwords, home screen wallpapers, Gmail settings, apps installed through Google Play (backed up on the Play Store app), display settings (Brightness & Sleep), Language & Input settings, Date & time and third-party app settings & data (varies by app).
    – user43185
    May 10, 2015 at 18:04
  • Wow, thanks kindly, I was under the impression the phone would be restored to the exact same status it was in prior to the reset. Going forward, what method(s) might you recommend that are more reliable in terms of restoring the saved data? Thank you, again.
    – Kaizaro
    May 10, 2015 at 20:34
  • You can use ADB (see incoming answer).
    – user43185
    May 11, 2015 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Google backup is unreliable and won't back up everything, however it should be fairly easy to make a backup yourself next time.

You can use ADB to make a full backup. You'll need to install ADB first: on Linux sudo apt-get install adb usually works, on Windows you'll need to download it from somewhere.

Turn on USB debugging (in developer options, to access go to settings > about phone and tap build number 7 times) and connect to a computer via USB. Then open a terminal/console window and do adb devices to check the phone's connected, and then adb backup -all -f C:\backup.ab (where backup.ab is the absolute path to where you want it backed up from).

Source: http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-nexus/general/guide-phone-backup-unlock-root-t1420351

  • I'll flesh this out in the morning/tomorrow/when I have slept; the XDA link seems helpful, and it shouldn't be too hard to find other guides on Google.
    – user43185
    May 11, 2015 at 19:54
  • Thanks so much, Josh! I apologize for having been away, I had exams which I have just finished so I have more time at hand now... will give it a go, much obliged!
    – Kaizaro
    May 17, 2015 at 14:17
  • Oops, forgot completely about expanding this... If there's anything you don't understand, Google is your friend :)
    – user43185
    May 17, 2015 at 19:30

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