I'm using Jelly Bean on a tablet and a phone on the same account. After logging into a particular wifi network on one device, I noticed that sometime later (weeks) the other device had some acquired the settings (including password) and logged into the wifi automatically.

I was unaware that android had a form of wifi profile sync. Is there any information out there about this functionality? How does it work? What other data is sync'd between devices?

  • It's done this for a while, I find it a useful feature, can't find any official documentation of it though.
    – Peanut
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 23:44
  • Definitely seems useful :)
    – Hubris
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 23:50
  • Maybe -- but how are those data exchanged? If such things happen via 3rd party servers (even Google's) without the user's consent, I'd consider it a security risk! Is there any documentation on this?
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 23:58
  • @Izzy Found some docs, check my answer. I assume that the users consent is given automatically when they use Android, maybe in the terms and conditions somewhere? However you can always turn off the option and the docs say that will also delete any backed up data on Google's servers.
    – Peanut
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 3:43
  • Ah! Going to bed yesterday I already got the idea: that could have to do with the Google backup (which I don't use). So there is really a part of that which works, and even merges data from different devices. OK, but this is something the user gave consent </ShockMode> :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


If you go to Settings -> Backup & reset there is a Back up my data option which states:

Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers

In addition to this on the Android OS support site it says:

a wide variety of your personal data is backed up autonmatically, including your Wi-Fi passwords, Browser bookmarks, a list of the apps you’ve installed on Google Play, the words you’ve added to the dictionary used by the onscreen keyboard, and most of your customized settings. Some third-party apps may also take advantage of this feature, so you can restore your data if you reinstall an app. If you uncheck this option, your data stops getting backed up, and any existing backups are deleted from Google servers.

As for the security concerns although I assume they must be sending plain-text WiFi passwords according to the Backup Service developer guide they're at least using a secure connection to do it over.

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