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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