When I try restoring from a helium backup, it says restoring forever and does not complete, therefore I want to restore the backup manually by moving apk to their folders. The zip however only contains a backup.json file and a bunch of com.identifier.name.ab files with PNG for their icons. What is this ab extension? Can I restore manually? I did not encrypt the backup. I have root, if it is required.

Also note that I am using an unofficial build of cyanogenmod. My phone is an SM-G800F kminilte


The file with the .ab extension is what you need for that (AB = Android Backup). You can restore it manually from your PC using adb restore com.identifier.name.ab. Requirement for that is the ADB installed on your computer; details on that can be found via the tag-wiki – and if you don't want to install the entire Android SDK, take a special look at Is there a minimal installation of ADB?

Some notes from the comments moved up here:

  • No, neither nor are restoring backups (at least not as of this writing). Both use for backups, which is a completely different concept using a completely different format.
  • TitaniumBackup can read both, ADB and Nandroid backups, and extract those parts from them you wish. I don't know if it can do a "full restore" from .ab backup files – but if those were single-app backups (like those created by Helium), I wouldn't be surprised.
  • Yes, of course adb restore restores the app data from .ab files. That's what it's for :)
  • caution, advertisement: For a batch backup of all your apps and data, as well as a batch restore, a device documentation, and more, take a look at my Adebar (Android DEvice Backup And Report). Works on Linux and reportedly on Windows with Cygwin.
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