I backup my data from my Android phone to Google Drive. I then performed a full factory reset. I was given the option to exchange data with another phone, but not restore from Google Drive.

When I go to Google Drive from the app, I'm able to see the backup. I can view the files, but the only option I'm given is to delete them.

Is there something I'm missing? Why can't you restore incrementally from Google Drive? And how do I get my data back without having to do another factory restore? Finally, why wasn't I given that option when I perform the factory restore?

  • 1
    That's one of the reasons this type of backup is what I discourage from (it's not a backup if I cannot chose when and what to restore – but I'm preaching the choir here I guess). If you don't mind the command line (adb shell), you might be able to trigger things via bmgr (the "backup manager"). I've never played with it so I cannot give detailed instructions, hence just this comment as pointer. See here for more – and please let us know the outcome!
    – Izzy
    Feb 25, 2020 at 7:15
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    It doesn't appear that this will work with the existing backup. So is what I have on Google Drive useless?
    – Qballrail
    Feb 25, 2020 at 18:27
  • No idea; I've stopped using Google stuff years ago, my devices run LineageOS w/o GApps.
    – Izzy
    Feb 25, 2020 at 20:53
  • you could maybe download to pc and analyze file format, maybe it can unpacked and restored manually
    – alecxs
    Feb 26, 2020 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


Here's a real-life case on someone who'd gotten Google Backup to restore indirectly without root: screenshot

As I recall, a manual trigger for the G Backup restore function was planned for the Pixel series, but this was over a year ago that I'd read about that so I'm not sure what became of that; at that time, an ADB command existed to trigger such behavior, but I'm unsure what the prerequisites and/or limitations are.

My post here also briefly touches on G Backup and other methods I'd explored to solve my own issue with restoring a backup file's data. Note that there is versioning requirement for the standard restoration method(s) to work, i.e., you can only restore onto a device running the same or higher of Android (if even then).

Finally, here is a guide I wrote (and fixes) for an Android game, but the same functionality can be applied to more general usages as well.

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