This should be simple, but apparently, it is not.

I want to make a full backup of my Xiaomi MI A2 (ROM, App, Data, All) to my Windows PC via USB.

If there is a problem (boot loop, crash, anything), I want to restore the entire backup to it so that it stays EXACTLY the same as before the backup (same ROM, same apps, same data, anyway, all the same), like a time machine.

How to do this?

  • Did you find a solution for this?
    – Giorgio
    May 22, 2021 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


Flash (or temporarily boot) a custom recovery like TWRP, and you'll be able to make a Nandroid backup. It typically includes the boot image, the system image and your internal data (excluding Pictures, Musics, Downloads etc.).

When you restore a Nandroid backup, everything goes back to the exact state before the backup.

You won't be able to back up the boot image and the system image easily otherwise.

You can read more at the tag wiki of our tag.

Note: Even booting temporarily into TWRP requires an unlocked bootloader (if it's previously locked). If you haven't previously unlocked it, be aware that doing so wipes out all data on your phone, including your internal storage where your pictures, musics and downloads reside.


If TWRP is not an option for you (locked bootloader, unsupported device etc), you may want to check out Helium. Helium is a no-root adb-based solution similar in principle to TWRP. It transfers (bi-directional) apps and also the critically important app data. There are two installs, the app on your android and the companion program on your PC.

If (big if, I know) you know where all your files are, you could just use an ftp server on your android to push to and pull from PC.

Check out Where Android apps store data? if you'd like to go that route. And if you're new to FTP, there's a good tutorial at https://www.guidingtech.com/use-ftp-server-file-transfer-android/

Hope this helps.

  • Sorry, but this is not helpful. Helium is not the similar to TWRP in principle. TWRP doesn't care whether the app permits its backup or not, as it works on file level, while Helium uses backup service of Android and that service backs up an app if the latter permits it. Besides, OP wants a solution which makes an exact copy of everything. Helium obviously cannot do that.
    – Firelord
    Nov 12, 2018 at 7:19
  • 2
    My intent with mentioning Helium was to provide a partial solution option in case TWRP was not an option for the OP. With my own constraints, TWRP was not possible.I'm not aware of an "exact copy" solution and if there is one, I'd lovbe to learn about it. Will keep an eye on this thread for that.
    – clg
    Nov 12, 2018 at 18:15

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