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We have purchased 30 android devices with scanners to use in our warehouses to process stock(scanning UPCs, etc). We have setup one unit and just want to clone/image the other units with the setup. Nothing fancy; using standard apps; just need the apps and passwords and network setup copied/imaged to the other units for quick setup. Amazingly I can't find something like this. Sites have mentioned "rooted" - which the vendor said not to do. And others are suggesting MDM software which is nice; but way more than what I'm looking for. Isn't there a simple answer? Thanks

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  • Thanks Robert, For the backup & restore; where do a run this from; Would I connect the android to a Window 11 machine and run these commands from CMD? If yes in summary; plug device 1; enable then backup; then device 2 enable then restore? Why do you say "another problem" - hopefully only because it is a step? Data Trans via USB - not an option because it is Android 10 device. Tried the cloud backup/restore; but it didn't setup completely. Thanks Oct 14, 2022 at 18:23

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Android mass device enrollment requires special devices enabled for that.

Regular end user devices only have three possibilities:

Backup & Restore

Backup one device using adb backup -apk -all -f backup.ab and restore it to the other devices using adb restore backup.ab. Note that a lot of apps disallow backup which means their app data can not be cloned only the empty app. Another problem is that you first have to enable adb on each device before you can restore the backup.

Data transfer via USB cable

When an Android device is "fresh" (e.g. after a factory reset) the first time dialog comes up. In that initialization progress you can connect two Android phones using an USB cable and directly transfer data from one device to a second. Note that only devices running Android 12+ will allow to transfer app data of apps that disallow app backup. Also this method may not copy apps that were side-loaded to the source app.

Restore from Cloud Backup

If there is a Google account on the first device and cloud backup is enabled you can try to use this account to restore apps and data from Google cloud on each device. As you have to enter user credentials every time this still a bit of work for multiple devices...

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  • You can install and use TWRP Recovery without rooting the device, but unlocking the bootloader will delete your data. So backup your data first and save it to a PC. Then create your backup for your apps, et cetera with TWRP Recovery and copy that to a PC. Then just restore the recovery file on each device and copy the data. forum.xda-developers.com/t/…
    – Archerbob
    Oct 13, 2022 at 20:44
  • @Archerbob an unlocked bootloader is not root that is correct, but it is already 70% of the path for getting root. An unlocked bootloader can be considered as a security risk.
    – Robert
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:29
  • That's why one uses the appropriate fastboot commands for their device to re-lock the bootloader afterwards. After doing the recovery, reboot into fastboot mode and issue the command "fastboot oem lock" or fastboot flashing lock. You may need to install ADB and fastboot.
    – Archerbob
    Oct 14, 2022 at 7:32
  • @Archerbob Relocking is an option (if it is available, not sure if really all device allow to relock the bootloader). But you really have to know what you are doing. If you made a mistake and modified accidentally the system partition the device will not boot anymore after relocking. It might even end up in bricking the device you can't re-unlock the bootloader. Also certain devices may permanently disable features upon unlocking the bootloader (e.g. Samsung Knox). These features are not reactivated by relocking the bootloader.
    – Robert
    Oct 14, 2022 at 7:39
  • Thanks Robert, For the backup & restore; where do a run this from; Would I connect the android to a Window 11 machine and run these commands from CMD? If yes in summary; plug device 1; enable then backup; then device 2 enable then restore? Why do you say "another problem" - hopefully only because it is a step? Data Trans via USB - not an option because it is Android 10 device. Tried the cloud backup/restore; but it didn't setup completely. Thanks – Oct 14, 2022 at 20:00

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