So, I was thinking that ADB is a superior method of backing up any device then using an App, out of privacy concerns if not for the flexibility. However, when I try to extract a system database I get an error:

adb -s X50L0000000012374 pull /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.db D:\BACKUP\contacts2.db
adb: error: failed to stat remote object '/data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.db': Permission denied

I need to extract stuff like:

  • Contacts
  • Call logs
  • Alarms
  • Calendars
  • Browser Bookmarks

Surely, I must be doing something wrong? I red that ADB is crucial in android forensics, but I can't imagine the police not succeeding to gather evidence because, get that, suspect's phone is not rooted...

  • 2
    The items you are after cannot be accessed by adb without root privileges. Wherever you came across that particular adb pull command that you used the resource should have had mentioned that it is possible only using root. Otherwise, you would get permission denied. There is no workaround so long as you want to use adb to get those items.
    – Firelord
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 3:22
  • Why oh why? I just want to be able to back up my phone easily without having to rely on google or other third party apps. Thanks though, you can post it as an answer...
    – user362679
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 6:57
  • 1
  • The only way to backup private app data (if the app allows it) is to use the adb backup command. If the app denies it (no data is retrieved for that app) then you can't access the data without root.
    – Robert
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 8:28
  • android 5.1 can maybe rooted via exploit. qualcomm device can maybe accessed in EDL mode. backup contacts and sms with MyPhoneExplorer if you know screen lock pattern, will work without root
    – alecxs
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 13:09


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