Basically, I want to install an app with my settings already configured to a bunch of phones.

My thinking was

  1. Install app on phone 1
  2. Configure
  3. Dump app and Data to PC
  4. ADB app and data to phone 2
  5. Repeat step 4

I would rather not root, but it's a possibility.

1 Answer 1


The answer is: It depends. It's the way supposed to work:

adb backup -f myapp.ab -apk com.myapp # backup on one device
adb restore myapp.ab                  # restore to the same or any other device

But an app can "opt out of Backup" declaring ALLOW_BACKUP:FALSE (see: adb backup not working for certain app), in which case (without root powers) all you get is a 41 byte (or in some cases 0 byte) file with the backup header but no contents.

  • how can I do this in a rooted phone? adb backup ... gives me "error: closed adb: unable to connect for backup" . The phone is rooted
    – user17915
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 11:55
  • @user17915 Please check with our adb tag wiki if you met all requirements (and e.g. adb devices even lists your device). If you can't work it out, after checking with our existing ADB questions, please ask a new question. What I wrote works for both, rooted or not. There's just not much you can do about those apps having opted out.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 18:36
  • You can look into this idea: forum.f-droid.org/t/…
    – Cadoiz
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 9:24
  • 1
    @Cadoiz users normally don't have the option to recompile the APK. And even if, they could not sign it with the original key, thus rendering updates inoperable. So that approach hardly works to make all your apps backup-able, not even with root powers.
    – Izzy
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 12:02

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