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I'm planning to buy a new Android phone and I'd like to be able to transfer the progress I have made at several games to the new device, so I won't have to play all the levels again from scratch.

I currently have an HTC Desire and will buy an HTC Evo 3D.

There's probably no simple/general solution to this.

But I was wondering if anyone did something similar and could provide some advice (e.g. where to look for files that might hold game progress information).

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There are two places you should look for, the external memory (SD card or a directory that is used for similar purpose) and the internal memory (the /data/data directory). You may need to be rooted to access the latter.

In the best case scenario, the game saves all your progresses in the cloud, then you just need to reenter your login and it's all restored. This is typically only the case for online games.

Some games may provide a menu to export the save data or an external app to do so, if they exist then you should preferably use them.

17

If you are on Android 4.0 or up, you can use the adb backup resp. adb restore command even without rooting your device. The syntax is:

adb backup [-f <file>] [-apk|-noapk] [-shared|-noshared] [-all] [-system|nosystem] [<packages...>]

To do a full backup, this would e.g. mean adb backup –apk –shared –all –f /backup/mybackup.ab (resp. adb restore /backup/mybackup.ab to restore the backup on the new device). But keep in mind this would mean "all-or-nothing" -- you cannot restore single apps this way. So you rather might want to include the package names of the apps to transfer. To find those, e.g. look up the apps on Google Play -- you'll find the package names in the URL (id=<package_name>). Your backup command then would look like:

adb backup –apk –shared –f /backup/mybackup.ab com.foobar.app1 org.foobar.app2 net.foobar.app3

Restore stays the same, as adb restore always restores everything from the backup file (no selection of parts available here).

For a list of available ADB commands, see e.g. here.

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  • Awesome! My EVO3D has Android 4.0, so when I upgrade to another device, this will come in handy. Jan 24 '13 at 13:02
  • 1
    This is the best answer for those with adb. For instance, backup/transfer Square Enix Final Fantasy 5 game savecan be done without transferring apk or extras: adb backup -f backupfile -noapk -noobb com.square_enix.android_googleplay.FFV_GP and then restore it to another device that has FFV installed already: adb restore backupfile -- the whole file is about 8KB and the game will be right where you left it on your other device.
    – lilbyrdie
    Jul 14 '14 at 19:45
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    Exactly. That's the way Koush's Helium Backup and Sync works, by the way. So you start the game on your phone while on the bus, and on reaching home continue on your tabby exactly where you left on the phone :)
    – Izzy
    Jul 14 '14 at 20:50
  • If Helium Backup and Sync doesn't work, it might be worthwhile trying out this manual way. I backed up and restored ONE app successfully using this method and from then on, Helium worked...
    – AndyO
    Jan 16 '18 at 13:34
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You might also look into an app like Titanium Backup or MyBackup Pro and choose to save user apps + data and then restore to your new phone.

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  • +1 My Backup Pro looks like a viable option, even for non-rooted devices. However, I'll first try to find and transfer the data manually and if that doesn't work I'll consider purchasing the app. Mar 28 '12 at 12:35
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I recently transferred game progress using my computer from an LG phone to a Droid Maxx. I will use Fallout Shelter as my example because the website said game progress/purchases could not be transferred.

  1. I created a folder on my desktop for files from the LG and looked through the phones files until I found com.bethsoft.falloutshelter.
  2. I moved that to the folder I created on the computer. I had started a new game on the Droid Maxx so I could find where to put the file from the computer.
  3. Once I found the com.bethsoft.falloutshelter file on the Droid Maxx I replaced it with the copy I put on my computer.

I loaded up the game and all of my progress and purchases had been transferred to the Droid. This works for games, photos, and music. I do not know if this works with iPhones.

0

If you use Dropbox, Astro File Manager, and APK Extractor apps, you can move games and all saved data to your new device without root.

  1. Open Astro FM, hit the top-left button, then hit location
  2. Open Dropbox and set up an account
  3. Find the game files/folders in Astro FM and long-press, copy files to the new Dropbox account
  4. Download APK Extractor and open it, find your game, and hit extract
  5. Go back into Astro FM and find the extracted file and copy that file to Dropbox
  6. On the new device, open Astro, go into Dropbox, and copy files to new device in the same location they came from on the old device
  7. Finally, copy the extracted APK file to SD
  8. It will ask if you want to install, hit yes, and enjoy

Note: you need to allow outside apps by going in settings then apps, check the box that allows outside apps

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Honestly, if you don't want to root, you're screwed, and even then it rarely works properly.

You can manually back up some of your games or use non-root backup apps, and the few that use the cloud are a blessing, but most game progress just won't back up and is lost in the process due to lack of root access.

Backup apps work for about 30-40% of games but aren't worth violating your warranty by rooting IMO. If you want to violate your warranty on your new device, go right ahead, but don't say I didn't warn you. If your phone decides to brick on you one day, you lost your money.

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  • 3
    This is nonsense -- at least with Android 4.0 and up, a complete backup is possible without rooting (apps as well as their data -- see my answer). And whether one needs root or not is quite subjective. Also the "warranty argument" is relative: it doesn't count in the EU, for example.
    – Izzy
    Jan 24 '13 at 13:17
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You should check out Helium - App Sync and Backup which work's without root. The Google Play Store page for Helium has a video showing you how to use it (or click here).

It's worth mentioning, if you don't want to purchase premium use the PC download feature, which let's you store the backup on your PC, then restore it on another device.

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  • This really deserves more upvotes
    – Mark
    Jun 20 at 21:29
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I did it with Minecraft, you just have to find your game progress in your old phone storage (I recommend you to do this with a File Manager). If you can't find it, look for it on Google for a specific game (find on Google where is the progress for that game stored).

Then install Wi-Fi file transfer from Google Play on the old phone so you can access your old phone from your new phone. Then download data progress on your new phone. And then just put downloaded data on the place where the game progress is on the new phone.

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