How to Backup Galaxy Nexus Apps & Data without Rooting

by Mayur on April 11, 2012

in Android, How To's

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has a smart feature integrated that allows you to take full backup of your device and then restore the backup when required using Android SDK tools. Wug’s Galaxy Nexus Root Toolkit for Samsung Galaxy Nexus makes this task way easier and surprisingly you don’t need to root or unlock bootloader to perform a backup. Also, this toolkit doesn’t requires to have Android SDK installed when on Windows.

Note: This Does NOT backup all of your SD card data such as pictures, music, files, etc. So, it’s recommended to manually copy the entire SD card contents to your computer. The new version of toolkit offers new backup utilities, thus to let you Backup your SMS, Call logs, Contacts and APN. It does this by installing the applicable 3rd party app on your device to accomplish the task if chosen.

Guide Backup All Installed Apps and Apps Data on Galaxy Nexus

1. Download Nexus Root Toolkit v1.5.2 and install it on your Windows system.

2. Important - Configure ADB Drivers for your device using the toolkit. Refer to this detailed tutorial and make sure the drivers are setup properly before proceeding ahead.

3. Next, enabled USB Debugging on your device and connect it to computer via USB.

4. Open the toolkit. Ensure your device is connected by selecting ‘ADB-Device On’ and clicking the ‘List devices’ option.

5. Click on the ‘Backup’ listed under Backup + Restore in the toolkit.

Nexus Root Toolkit

- Click on the ‘Create Android Backup File’ option to backup all the user installed apps.

Note – It’s recommended to NOT include System apps + data, as it will only backup all user installed apps and their data. This is preferred as you can restore the backup after installing the latest firmware (when updated manually) or after flashing a custom ROM.

Create Android Backup File

- A create an android backup (.ab) file window will pop-up. Select OK. Next, specify the location on your computer to save the backup file. Device will be rebooted.

- A new window will pop-up. Now unlock the screen and hold the device in your hand. Press OK if you’re ready to initiate the backup.

6. As you confirm, a Backup interface will appear on your phone.


- Enter a password if you prefer to password protect your backup (optional). Make sure to remember the set password as it is required to restore the backup file.

- Click ‘Back up my data’ button. The backup process will start automatically, you can notice the activity on phone. (Please be patient and do not operate the device.)

- Once the backup is complete, it will be stored on your computer in the specified directory. You’ll also get a confirmation message as shown.


Similarly, you can Restore the backup using Nexus Root Toolkit. Upon restoration, all apps and their data such as password and settings would be restored.


~ We tried this procedure on Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0.2 and it worked like a charm. The restore process went flawless and all the user apps were intact with data.

Hope you found this guide useful. :)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Yance September 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I can’t install this Nexus Root Toolkit on my Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. Try to disable windows UAC but still not work. Is this application not support in Windows 64bit?


jazzfreek September 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I’m not sure if it works with win64 or not because I have not tried it yet. I remember there was also a problem with win64 when I was rooting my Incredible but there was some sort of workaround. If it was me and I couldn’t get it to run, I would try using the XP Virtual Machine that you can install with Win7 Ultimate. Just an idea…


sendo September 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm

brilliant…thank you


Deepan February 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

first of all,Thank you so much,ur guide helped me lot to manually update my phone to android 4.2.1…Everything works perfectly well…While backing up my data i followed ur instruction , i was able to restore during installation ..All of my apps were restored properly ,but all my media files(songs ,pictures) were missing
:(..need ur help please


Mayur February 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

This guide clearly describes that it backups only your apps and apps data. It’s explicitly mentioned that you need to manually backup the SD card data prior to flashing.


lengkonk October 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Hello, thanks for the article. All work perfectly. I have change my 4.2.1 YAKJUXW become 4.3 TAKJU JWR66Y.

The problem occurs when I try to restore my backup data using NRT V.1.5.2. which is no option for TAKJU JWR66Y on the list of model type, so when I checked connection (by clicking List devices) I got “No ADB Devices found” message. Should I download the latest NRT app? Please advice.

Thanks in advance


Mayur October 31, 2013 at 7:52 am

Not a problem if device is not listed there. It clearly states that ADB drivers aren’t working, you can try either with the latest NRT or manually configure the drivers (refer our other posts).


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