I want to find a way to restore my phone in case the process of rooting my phone or dual booting a custom rom breaks it. However, most of the ones I've looked at require the phone to be rooted before installing. I know I can create a nandroid backup through system settings, but I don't know how to recover that without rooting my device, or if there are better options. I'm not terribly concerned for any personal data on my phone (I can backup my pictures pretty easily), but I mostly just want to be able reinstall Android OS or reset to factory default in case my device breaks. Thanks!

Edit: I am going to ask a new question (one different enough to justify not simply modifying this one) with the new info I learned from the possible duplicate.


2 Answers 2


I know I can create a nandroid backup through system settings

No, you can't. Read the tag wiki of nandroid to clear your concept about nandroid backup, including how it is made.

I mostly just want to be able reinstall Android OS or reset to factory default in case my device breaks.

A factory reset wouldn't help since it only clears data, internal SD card and cache partitions while rooting mainly affects system partition. System partition is what contains the files needed for Android to run.

You can use the answers available to Full Backup of non-rooted devices. On a non-rooted device, those answers are more or less limited to the extent of the magic can perform. In essence, they would, when possible, copy an app's apk and its data. Some of them covers both system and user-installed apps.

Tip: If an app doesn't want to be backed up (such as Chrome), none of the answers there would be able to backup that app's private data - sad reality of our times.

As for re-installation and possible nandroid backup, the situation differs for device to device. Following are few generic things I can tell:

  • Your device is popular enough in developer community that at least one person has created and publicly hosted a custom recovery for your device and also hosted the stock ROM somewhere, either by themselves or by making a copy of what OEM probably provided . If there exists a way to flash the ROM without booting into a custom recovery mode, then you can take the moderate risk of rooting.

    Make sure you meet all the requisites to flash the ROM before you begin rooting.

  • Your device's OEM provides stock ROMs image which can be flashed from stock recovery or through fastboot (or equivalent) mode.

    Fulfill the requisites of ROM flashing and you can take the moderate risk of rooting.

  • You own a device with chipset from Mediatek and that chipset is supported by Smart Phone (SP) Flash Tool. If yes, then make the scatter file and use it in SP Flash Tool to make image of your device's partitions. You can call it the true nandroid backup. That backup can be used to restore the Android OS.

    Note: If you've a custom recovery for your device, then you can use SP Flash Tool to flash the recovery without bothering to root the device at first. Once the custom recovery is installed and device is booted into, rooting would be a piece of cake.

    Make sure you meet all the requisites before you begin rooting.

  • If there is no OEM or developer support for your device, then I suggest you don't take the risk of rooting. The ending might take away your peace of mind.

  • You may call it a partial answer since I can't possibly cover details for backup.
    – Firelord
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 5:12

Helium might be something you're interested in. It backs up mainly apps, but since you said you already have solutions for photos, this could work the way you need.

Helium is the missing app sync and backup solution for Android.

Helium does NOT require root. All Android users can use Helium to backup and sync Android applications.

Helium lets you backup your apps and data to your SD card or cloud storage. With Helium, you can sync app data from your other Android devices-- even if they are not on the same network. Set up backup schedules with Helium, and never lose data again.

That being offered, if you're looking for a way to back up the entire system, an ADB nandroid backup might be better, and can be restored without root. This has been outlined in another answer here.

  • It is not a solution as it can't backup android os(stock rom). Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 12:50

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