I was using Rootbox(based on AOSP/AOKP/PA) (4.2.2) for some time so i made a backup of all my apps+data (system+user) and now i changed rom and i went to a Samsung stock based rom (4.1.2) .What apps are safe to restore to my new rom because i am very confused?I tried google it and i found that system apps+data must not be restored but i am not sure yet. and what about user apps , is it safe to restore my user apps + data without having issues ?

thanks in advance! and sorry for my bad english ...

1 Answer 1


There are multiple things to be considered.

First, you're absolutely correct: you should avoid restoring system apps. There might be some exceptions (as e.g. SMS, contacts, calendars are maintained by system apps as well), but let's postpone that for now.

Second, user-apps should be safe to restore, including their data.

Third, just to be sure, before restoring anything on a different ROM/device, you should take some pre-cautions: Go to TiBu's settings, watch out for the "Troubleshooting" section, and enable "migration mode" as well as "use system SQLite" (this combination saved my day more than once). While in "normal mode" e.g. SQLite databases would be simply replaced (which might cause the "owning app" to crash if the structure had changed), with "migration mode" TiBu attempts to only merge the data.

Forth, with above precautions taken, you could carefully try to even restore some of the relevant data (SMS, WiFi APs, etc.). To be on the absolutely safe side, a dedicated backup app for SMS etc. would be the better idea; contacts e.g. could be synced via Google or exported to .vcf using the Contacts app itself, similarly calendars (sync or save to .ics using a 3rd party app).

Last, just in case and to be on the sfe side: Restore your apps/data one by one, and check for possible side-effects in between; continue with the resp. "next app" only when you're sure everything is fine. Once running into trouble, remember which app that was; then and restore all up to where you got allright (in case it was a system-app) or simply uninstall the troublemaker (in case of an user-app), skip the "trouble app", and continue carefully with the next.

After-thoughts from the comments:

  • the above applies to system apps and user-apps (the "one-by-one" especially applies to system apps, as you cannot uninstall them it something fails; though in most cases it suffices to "delete data" for the affected app in Settings→Apps – if you still can go there, that is)
  • the above applies as well when restoring a backup on a different device (as basically, that can be called a "different ROM" as well, right?)
  • possible side-effects might include force-close-loops of the affected app, even on device start – which again would require a factory-reset if it was a system app (or a user-app which wants to start at boot). With some luck, a start in is possible in those cases, and you might be able solving the issue from there.
  • example case for a failed restore (from my own experience): I once restored the SMS from a different ROM (didn't know about the migration option then). Results were I couldn't open the SMS app at all (force-close). Other apps accessing the same database crashed when trying to do so (e.g. contacts). "Delete data" didn't solve it back then, so I had to factory-reset.
  • worst cases (at least if you left out system apps themselves; their data is OK) are always solved by a factory-reset. Really worst-case (you restored some system apps and broke it) is solved by re-flashing the ROM.
  • Thank you very much , your advice was very useful.I have some questions though.First of all in the last paragraph says to restore apps one by one ,you mean the user apps right? Another question is if this guide works also in case i want to restore to another different device too because i noticed that you mentioned it in some points. Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 13:23
  • The one-by-one refers to both, especially data of system apps (which I would start with if you need those, as a fail here might require a factory-reset, if "delete data" doesn't solve the possible side-effects). And yes, this also applies to restore on a different device, which I also did this way a couple of times. // If this answers your question, please don't forget to mark it accordingly (e.g. click the check-mark next to it), so others can identify it such :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 13:40
  • ok,can i ask you a last thing?What are the possible side effects that may occur if an app don't be restored correctly ?I know that the app may crash but what else might happen except that,is there a possibility to face other difficult to find issues like slow app performance etc? I hope that was not a stupid question and also i hope i didnt waste a lot of time of yours but i need to clear up some things before do anything that lead me into trouble :) Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 14:08
  • Not at all. Nobody forces me to answer :) See the updated answer, I've included the facts we collected so far in the comments, as well as what you were asking for with your last comment.
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 14:44

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