I have a Nexus 7 2013 and now with Android 5.0 I would like to get rid of all the try and error I made with my first tablet through a factory reset.

I want to backup and restore most of my apps but not all. So I can't make a full backup, I must be able to select which apps to backup (and later restore).

Do you know any app or tutorial backup a selection of apps from your Android (without root please)?

I just don't want to loose my games' progress and apps' preferences.

2 Answers 2


Though you don't want to make a full backup, you might still wish to take a look at Full Backup of non-rooted devices to get an idea what is possible. That page also mentions some helpers for your issue:

  • Simple Backup runs from your computer and, as the screenshots indicate, can also be used to backup a single app (so you could use it for each app you want to backup)
  • Helium Backup (formerly known as Carbon Backup) is an app you can install to your device. Select the apps you want to backup, start the process – and it creates a separate backup file for each app. Which means, you can restore them separately/selectively.
  • It's also possible to do this via the command-line, which might be a little non-intuitive.
  • Not on that page, but making the latter a little more easy: Adebar is a tool I wrote (and am still on it – it's far from being complete yet). It creates you scripts for backup/restore (where you simply can comment-out/remove those apps you don't wish to take care for), plus more. Possible drawback: Adebar is written for Bash, so you will need an OS that has this (Linux, and possibly also Mac should do).

There's one thing all those have in common: they require ADB-tools to be available. For that part, you can take a look at Is there a minimal installation of ADB? to avoid installing too much with too much hassle ;)


If you find another app promising easy backups without requiring root or ADB, be aware it might leave your apps' data out! To my knowledge, before Android 4.0 only root-apps were able to backup app data, and with 4.0 only the option via ADB became available. Make sure to read the description of such an app very carefully.

To pick an example (experience of the OP, sadly): There's an app called App Backup & Restore. On a quick view it sounds like a perfect match. But looking deeper into the description you will find:

App Backup cannot backup data or settings of apps for you, but it only backup the apk files.

Which means: It only cares for the apps themselves (which you always could re-install from their respective sources anyway – with the added work of looking them all up separately, and maybe some of them disappeared, or are no longer available in a specific version you might want for some reason – so this app still has a good reason to exist), but doesn't cover their data.

  • Thx Izzy. Meanwhile I found App Backup & Restore that enables me to select every app (even system apps) I want to backup and doesn't require root or ADB. Backups are exported as .apk files. Seems legit?
    – dialex
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:55
  • Almost – if you don't want the app's data. .apk usually is just the app without data. From the app's description: App Backup cannot backup data or settings of apps for you, but it only backup the apk files. So you'll lose your settings and all data entered into the app, including game levels etc., unless backed-up otherwise.
    – Izzy
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:59
  • oh sh!t... too late. thx anyway
    – dialex
    Nov 15, 2014 at 14:23
  • 1
    If it had been that easy, I hadn't left that option out of my answer. But I should have left a warning – my bad, sorry. Will edit that in, might save somebody else a lot of trouble.
    – Izzy
    Nov 15, 2014 at 18:06
  • I would upvote it again if I could :P Thanks again Izzy, it was really my fault, I'm an Android noob and I was trying to avoid rooting the device, so that application was really tempting :P
    – dialex
    Nov 17, 2014 at 10:01

Without root it's impossible, the quickest way is to root your device and use titanium backup.

  • 1
    Not quite correct (see my answer). Though I won't say anything against TiBu :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 13, 2014 at 22:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .