I want to access the data for two apps (Mozilla Firefox and Google Authenticator) on my non-rooted[1] Android 6.0.1 phone, to transfer it to a new phone.

Unfortunately, both of these apps have android:allowBackup and android:debuggable set to false in their manifests, which prevents backups using adb.

They store their data here:


Using the Android dev tools, can I just install a custom build or modified APK of these apps with the appropriate flags set? Or will that wipe the app data, or would the certificate mechanism prevent me from installing such an APK?

[1] Rooting using Towelroot is not possible due to a reasonably up-to-date kernel. "Kingroot" is perhaps possible but looks too fishy to me. I understood that unlocking the bootloader would wipe the device, losing my app's data.

  • 1
    Without root access, you can't just overwrite the installed version of the app. You can only install modified version, if it has been signed with the same certificate as the one that is currently installed. – GiantTree Jun 22 '19 at 17:04

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