Android is well-known for its open source nature and customization capabilities, without which it would be another closed ecosystem like iPhone and Windows OS. Google has been always generous to release the source code of the OS under Open source agreement which is of great use to the developers. Since Android is a Linux-based operating system, many developers have worked their magic to root Android, install custom recoveries, tweaking kernels and much more.
Even though rooting your Android device and install some custom ROMs and kernels is for greater good, it’s worth mentioning that these custom Android tweaking might land you in trouble. So, it’s always a good idea to take a backup of your device before getting adventurous and risk the data on your device. However, the app data backup or SMS & call log backup won’t save you when something goes sideways with your OS. A Nandroid backup is what you need when you want to backup the entire system including apps, app data, messages, call logs, device settings and everything else.
What is Nandroid Backup?
Nandroid backup derives its name from the NAND flash memory which is the permanent storage on Android devices. A nandroid backup is the perfect image of your device taken from a custom recovery (or some apps even) at a particular instance of time and literally it saves everything on your device at the time of backup. However, the files in the internal memory and SDcard won’t be included in this backup as they don’t indulge in system functionality.
A nandroid backup includes the operating system itself along with apps, app data, game progress, wallpapers, widgets, system settings, passwords and the account information. But if you have a music album on your internal memory and the phone’s corrupted, you can’t restore the music file but you can get the saved playlists.
How to Create and Restore Nandroid Backup on Android Devices
A nandroid backup can be easily created from any custom recovery like CWM, TWRP, Philz recovery etc… The process varies with the custom recovery and the version but the generic process is absolutely same and simple. Nevertheless, it’s an important task and we don’t want to abandon our readers in the midway, so let’s see how to take nandroid backups on your device with the three most popular custom recoveries — CWM, TWRP and Philz recovery.
Backup and Restore using CWM Recovery
CWM recovery comes in various variants like the standard variant where you have to use hardware keys to navigate and select, the swipe version which uses swipe gestures to operate and the complete touch version which uses touch input to do the job. Do a bit of research on the standard variant as the hardware key functions vary with device.
- Install CWM Recovery on your device. Use the official CWM website or any trusted website like XDA for compatible CWM recovery for your device.
- Once installed, boot into CWM Recovery using any 3rd party app or the hardware combinations which will be device specific.
- In CWM recovery, you will find numerous options. Select Backup and Restore from the options.
- In the Backup and Restore option you will find a lot of sub-options which might be something like below (varies with CWM build):
- Now, to make a backup, choose any backup option (either to Internal or External memory) from the above sub-menu. The backup takes some time depending on the system size, so be patient.
- To restore a backup, select any restore option (either from Internal or External memory) from the above sub-menu and select any backup file to restore your device.
- You can also restore few modules of your backup by selecting the advanced restore option but choose this only if you know what you’re doing.
- If you want to reboot your system, select Go back to return to the main menu and press the Reboot System Now to reboot your device.
Backup and Restore using TWRP Recovery
TWRP has a simple touch interface and you can easily navigate between the options and select the desired option. It’s as simple as that!
- Install TWRP Recovery on your device. Use the Official TWRP website or any trusted websites like XDA for compatible TWRP recovery for your device.
- Once installed, boot into the TWRP Recovery on your device using any 3rd party app or the hardware key combinations meant for your device.
- In TWRP main menu, tap on the Backup option to enter the backup menu. It will show you a screen with available partitions to backup.
- Select the required partitions to backup, usually selecting everything is advisable. Additionally, you can also set a name to the backup and choose the storage location as well.
- Once you’ve done what’s needed, swipe the bar at the bottom to start the backup process. You’ll see a confirmation text once the backup is completed.
- If you want to restore the backup, tap the Restore button in the main menu. In the restore menu, select the required partitions to restore (leave them as it is) and swipe to restore the backup on your device.
- In this restore menu, you can also rename or delete the backup as well.
Backup and Restore using Philz Recovery
Philz recovery is an advanced version of the CWM recovery and includes all the features of CWM. So, the process will be similar to the CWM but anyway here’s the procedure to backup and restore your device from Philz recovery.
- Install Philz Recovery on your device. Use any trusted website like XDA to get the Philz recovery compatible with your device.
- Once installed, boot into Philz Recovery on your device using any 3rd party app or the device specific hardware key combination.
- In the Philz main menu, select Backup and Restore option.
- Just as in CWM, you’ll find a lot of backup and restore options in the Philz recovery as well. For reference, check the screenshot below:
- Select the backup method of your choice from the menu. The backup will begin immediately.
- If you want to restore any backup, enter the Backup and Restore option and choose any restore option.
- If you’ve multiple backups, choose the required restore file of your choice and tap on it to restore.
- After the device is restored, go back to the main menu and select Reboot System Now to reboot your device.
So, now you know how to create and restore nandroid backups on your device with either of CWM, TWRP or Philz recovery. Now you can proceeding with the tinkering without any worries of compromising your device data. It’s always a good habit to take a nandroid backup before modifying the Android system.
That’s all! Reach us in the comments section below for any queries or assistance regarding the process in the tutorial. Also, do suggest any modifications or additions to this simple yet useful guide, your feedback is important to improve our content and services.
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