I have a Moto G with the bootloader unlocked, and cwm v6.0.4.7 installed. I'm still one the stock ROM, and am looking into installing cyanogenmod

Before I do this, all the articles I see advice me to do the following: 1)Create a Backup using CWM 2)Format System partition 3)Clear Dalvik Cache 4)Flash the new Rom

Now my question is, where is the backup created by Clockworkmod stored? Won't it be deleted when I clear the system partition & the Dalvik cache?

Will I be able to go back to my original ROM if I follow the above steps?

  • 2
    Your backup would be saved in the SD card under the folder clockworkmod, depends upon which SD card you choose there. System partition is a different partition so you need not to worry about that folder, but I wager that your flashing instruction would involve formatting data partition as well, so if you get the option in CWM to not to flash /data/media then you can let the folder remain in internal SD card, else, move it to external SD card or PC, and then do the flashing. You can revert to stock ROM using that backup, or Recovery flashable ZIP or fastboot flashable ZIP.
    – Firelord
    Sep 19, 2015 at 7:30
  • And then there is the question Where is my ROM backup made in recovery mode saved?
    – Firelord
    Sep 19, 2015 at 7:32
  • @Firelord: when I go to the clockworkmod folder us ES File Explorer, I can see only two files: .last_install_path & .recovery_version I do not see a backups folder within it. Sep 19, 2015 at 7:40
  • Did you take the backup? Which SD card is it?
    – Firelord
    Sep 19, 2015 at 7:50
  • 3
    possible duplicate of Where is my ROM backup made in recovery mode saved?
    – Izzy
    Sep 19, 2015 at 9:51

2 Answers 2


Contrary to expected location of the back up being stored in sdcard/clockworkmod/backup,it ends being stored in /data/media/clockworkmod/backup, upto KitKat and I guess it to be same in later versions for reasons explained below.

Reason for this as given in the Reddit Post Transferring CWM backups to my PC? is

"In Android 4.2, backups are placed in a secure directory, inaccessible to other apps" That's why you can't find the folder with a file explore or when connecting to your computer via USB.

Whether it is TWRP / CWM / Philz recovery, clearing "internal storage", does not wipe this folder, unless explicitly cleared, hence back ups remain safe (I am on 4.2.2 and this holds true (if you choose to store on device rather than external SD) and would welcome if others can comment validity on later versions)

Coming to your question

  • Clearing System Since backup is stored in /data/media, it is not affected by clearing the /system partition (using TWRP also, clearing internal storage leaves /data/media intact )
  • Dalvik Cache pertains to app optimisation (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7541281/what-is-dalvik-and-dalvik-cache) and is rebuilt every time it is cleared. This has no connection with back up storage location
  • Reverting to original ROM On carrying out the steps mentioned in your question and flashing nandroid backup, you can safely revert

The backup can be transferred to PC using adb pull /data/media/clockworkmod/backup


It is stored in /sdcard/clockworkmod/backups/<software version with time stamp>/, which on merged storage becomes: /storage/emulated/0/clockworkmod/backups/<software version with time stamp>/

It isn't supposed to be a hidden folder, but it might be in case someone changed something, including the CWM developer. Refer @beeshyams answer for further details.

Also, this is in reference to versions of Android below 4.2 JB for merged storage, but can be applicable up to 4.4 KitKat if the device has a separate SD card partition, i.e., no merged storage. Now, CWM does offer a choice of locations for the backup, not limited to USB OTG, external SD or internal SD partition (whether real or emulated).

Try connecting your device to your computer and see if the folder shows up there.

  • Is there a reason why that folder would show in up PC and not in Android? ES File Explorer should be able to show, if the folder exists.
    – Firelord
    Sep 19, 2015 at 14:52
  • Not in case it was hidden either in Unix form of via ES File Explorer itself, and the OP has not set ES to show hidden files, or he forgot that he hid it. Possibilities. Sep 19, 2015 at 14:54
  • OP is already able to see hidden files (see this comment) which explains that ES File Explorer is set to show hidden files already.
    – Firelord
    Sep 19, 2015 at 14:56
  • Oh sorry. It could still be hidden by ES itself. Sep 19, 2015 at 14:57
  • But, ES hasn't introduced its own file hid mechanism, at least I didn't yet encounter it. It simply follows *nix way of using ..
    – Firelord
    Sep 19, 2015 at 14:59

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