Backup Your Mobile Phone

Category: Backup

Recently I lost my phone, and along with it, all my contacts, music, text messages and apps. It's been expensive and time consuming to reconstruct everything, so I'm looking for a way to back up all the data on my cell phone. What do you recommend?

How Can I Back Up Data From My Cell Phone?

Many people have a lot of vital data that exists only on their mobile phones: contacts, email, notes, appointments, documents, pictures, and especially text messages. If a phone gets lost, as they often do, it would be a great relief to have backup copies of the data it contains.

You didn't say what type of phone you have, but there are plenty of options. Do you want your backup of data online, where you can access it from anywhere; or on your desktop computer where no one but you has access to it? Either way, there is a solution for most mobile phones.

  • If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, it will be automatically backed up by iTunes each time you sync the device.

  • Backup mobile phone

  • iDrive offers online backup and restore for iPhones and Blackberries. The Basic service is free and stores up to 2 GB of data. The next step up is $4.95/month for a single user storing up to 150 GB, and it runs up to $14.95/mo. For 500 GB.
  • Many Windows Mobile phones ship with Microsoft ActiveSync, software that synchronizes documents, pictures, and contacts automatically between your phone and PC.
  • Verizon customers can use Backup Assistant, a downloadable app that backs up your mobile phone's address book. One feature that I like about Backup Assistant is that you can view your contacts online, and view, print, add, delete, or edit them from the web. The app keeps your phone and the web copy of your contacts in sync. And if you lose your phone or upgrade to a new one, Backup Assistant will restore your contact list to your new phone. One big thing missing from Backup Assistant is the ability to backup any music and apps that you have on your phone. Backup Assistant is free, as long as you register your account on the Verizon Wireless website.
  • Most phones come with a CD that contains software that you can use to connect your phone to your computer. Load the software on your computer, connect the phone to the computer with a USB cable, and you can manage the content on your phone, such as address book and music. If your phone didn't come with software, see BitPim below.

Backing Up Text Messages

But conspicuously absent from the above methods is backup of text messages! For that, you must turn to the free online Microsoft MyPhone service or another online backup/restore service. To use MyPhone, you will have to create a Microsoft Live login ID if you don't already have one. Then you can download the MyPhone application to your phone, install it, and begin syncing on a schedule or manually. MyPhone is in beta and doesn't always work. But you can save all your data including text messages; even search for words in text messages.

Another option is, which was launched in 2003 just to store your phone's text messages "forever". You just forward a text message to a TreasureMyText phone number. Then you can access your saved texts on the Web. You can also share your text messages with other TreasureMyText users, or keep them private as a whole or individually. You can choose to send a copy of a saved text message to your email address. A little tedious, due to the one-by-one forwarding, but it works.

Finally, BitPim is a program that lets you backup data from many LG, Samsung, Sanyo and other CDMA chipset based phones. This includes the PhoneBook, Calendar, WallPapers, RingTones and the Filesystem, including text messages.

Do you have comments or questions about backing up your phone? Post your thoughts below...

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Most recent comments on "Backup Your Mobile Phone"

Posted by:

23 Oct 2009

Bitpim can backup text messages and is free :

Posted by:

29 Oct 2009

What about mobiles like Nokia?

I've not seen a USB, or any other connector, for either of my phones.

One is probably too old and the other uses Bluetooth to download to the PC but I've not seen an option for backing up addresses or phone numbers.

Information on those sorts of phones would have been useful for me and, I guess, thousands of others with similar issues.

Posted by:

29 Oct 2009

Bob, thanks for covering a very useful topic, but you have left out Nokia and other cell phones with SIM cards - used with AT&T wireless service. Is there a way to back up the contents of the SIM card to the optional microSD memory card that can be installed on most of these phones? I can't seem to find this covered in the Nokia user guide that came with my phone.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I left it out because I couldn't find a solution. Sorry...

Posted by:

30 Oct 2009


A few Linux notes:

There is Barry for Blackberries:

You can remove and read most sim and microsd cards, therefore you can copy them with a program called "dd" for an image-level backup.

For an iPhone/iPod Touch, use iFuse, which is based on the FUSE filesystem driver, so you can access the phone without needing to "jailbreak" or void any of your warranties.


Posted by:

01 Jan 2011

Thanx Bob.So far i read,was a fifty-fifty helpful writing.but that doesn't solve problems totally for all of up,that's for sure.this is helpful for many high configuration mobile,all those supporting only usb and internet may be.but what do we do when we have a phone,not supporting usb or internet fully?but supporting only wap,gprs class10,usb1.2 etc.?even when we dont have a data cable or supporting CD?I just wanna know the solutions for lower configurationed cellphones like Nokia 1100,2100 Samsung x100,x160,x200 etc. and so on.Isn't there a solution for those before the user lose it?

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Backup Your Mobile Phone (Posted: 22 Oct 2009)
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