I backed up to an SD card using Helium before factory resetting my Samsung Galaxy S5. Helium could find my backups and gave the option to "restore" before factory reset - after, it's not.

I've tried this method:

  1. Start Helium
  2. Pick any "dummy app" to create a backup from
  3. Exit Helium
  4. Check where it placed the backup files, and which files those are (a backup consists of multiple files)
  5. Copy your backup files to that location
  6. Check if for each app there are all the files you've checked above1
  7. Start Helium again, it now should find the backups
  8. Restore whatever you wanted to restore

But it still only sees the recently backed up apps, not the many others I've pasted there.

What is different about my previously backed-up apps that it is not recognizing?

  • 6
    Just a suggestion, in case the Helium issue does not get solved: you can use those backup files (those with .ab extension) with adb to restore the backups. Example usage: adb restore com.carly.app.ab.
    – Firelord
    Nov 24 '15 at 6:20
  • That looks like you've already seen my corresponding answer (your method seems to be copied from there), so you've also seen the suggestion @Firelord made. I vaguely remember we had a similar question, and it turned out a file was missing for each app. Unfortunately, I cannot find the post :( Could you compare a "new" backup with an "old" one, to see what kind of files exist for the resp. app?
    – Izzy
    Nov 24 '15 at 12:28
  • @firelord I'd love to try that, but another thing that's confusing me about this app and backup is that I don't see the files - I see all the folders that look like the backups, but they look empty. The strange part is, the folders of the "dummy" backups I create, as per Izzy's method that I tried, those folders look empty too, but the app still sees them and gives me the option to restore.
    – user138314
    Nov 24 '15 at 14:53
  • @izzy Are the files hidden somehow?? Sorry I'm not too good with this stuff, but is there something silly that I'm missing to make the files visible? I mean, I guess they could be actually empty, but the fact that the app took a bit of time to backup leads me to believe there had to be SOME kind of files moving, right? Also the fact the app sees the new backups I make without showing me files.
    – user138314
    Nov 24 '15 at 14:53
  • 1
    @Carly AFAIR there were no hidden files involved. Is the number of files from an old backup and from a new backup identical? The backups only consisting of "empty directories" irritates me. As they reside on the SD card usually, it shouldn't be a permission issue either. Could you try ls -la (from a terminal or ADB shell) on those directories?
    – Izzy
    Nov 25 '15 at 8:18

It's because the files within the com.koushikdutta.backup/files are deleted whenever

  1. You uninstall Helium Backup, or
  2. The phone has been factory reset

If those files are missing, Helium Backup will fail to recognize any of your backups, even if they exist and is easily restorable.

Requiring those files to exist in order to restore backups is honestly quite a retarded system.


If you have the premium version of the app (which enables cloud saves) then backup any of your apps to Google Drive, this will create a folder in your Drive which Helium will use for future backups. Then upload your old backup to the Google Drive folder created by Helium. Open Helium again and choose restore from cloud/Google Drive and your old backup will show up.

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