I did a huge amount of googling but the information out there is overwhelming and I either have to get a 1:1 reply on this or try and test different options - which would suck if I fail. Basically I got a Nexus 4 a few days ago, and I rooted it, staying with the same ROM. Right now there are lots of apps, customisations, user settings, custom desktops and saved passwords/account information. How can I make a 100% backup of all the information so that it's 1:1 with what my phone is right now when I do a restore? I have made an 'adb backup -apk -shared -all -f' and a clockworkmod recovery backup, I also have the Titanium Backup app, but all of these seem to cover different parts of data to be backed up. Is there a one-stop solution?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


I'm afraid there isn't really a "one-stop solution". As you already noticed, all the different backup types have different goals, all of them have their pros and cons (see also our backup tag-wiki for an overview):

  • while a Nandroid backup covers the entire system at partition-level, it's not the easiest when you want to only restore parts. On its own, it's an all-or-nothing. Luckily, there are other tools which can deal with those backup files: you can restore single apps with Titanium Backup, and even read single files from them (see: How do I view/mount nandroid file on device?).
  • Titanium Backup covers almost everything on an app-and-settings level, and can read from Nandroid backup files -- but it cannot create a full Nandroid backup. Also, restore between different ROMs can be a little tricky (but that applies to all solutions), at least when it comes to system files. Still, it does a good job even then when using its "migration mode"
  • ADB backup is a good thing, but only available with Android 4.0 upwards and also restricted to "apps and settings". Additionally, it requires a computer to attach the device to for backup/restore. The latter can be avoided using apps like Helium - App Sync and Backup, which run directly on the device and use ADB as backend.

I found the best solution on rooted devices is a combination of Nandroid (offered e.g. by ClockworkMod Recovery) and Titanium. For non-rooted devices, choices are rare: neither of the two are available there, which leaves the user with ADB backup as the only half-way complete solution.

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