Kim Barloso

Backing up your Android with Titanium Backup


Guide to creating an Android backup using Titanium Backup. If you are using Titanium for the first time, this guide will be great for you and will help you master the app and back up your most important /files on your phone.

Why Titanium Backup should every Android user have it installed? A reliable backup is the key to keeping your data safe. If you install lots of apps, play with settings, decide to update your Android firmware, you risk deleting your /files. It's no fun setting up your phone from scratch, or reinstalling apps. By using Titanium Backup, you can always go back to the original state in case of error or failure.

Most backup apps restore and backup your /files to specific areas. With Titanium Backup, you'll be able to backup your Android backups while keeping your app settings intact.

2. System Requirements for Titanium Backup

The Titanium Backup software is installed only with superuser privileges. By default, all but the development phones are unrooted. In order to work correctly Titanium Backup requires an Android phone, and you will need to have root rights.

3. Where to download Titanium Backup for Android

When you have fulfilled all the requirements of the app and have your phone ready to be backed up, download Titanium Backup from the link.

Download Titanium Backup

4. Backup settings

Titanium Backup uses an optimized version of the busybox toolbox. Busybox is a collection of Unix/Linux utilities and packages gathered into a single file. Generally, you do not need to change anything in the app settings.

If you experience problems with busybox or root access, however, press Problems? (Проблемы?) to update your superuser privileges. Try activating setting Force use system busybox as a last working option to solve the problem.

5. Backup in Android

There are several ways to create a backup in Android using Titanium Backup. You can make a backup of an individual app, all user settings and other settings. Let's take a look at the standard scenarios for creating an android backup.

i. How to create the first backup on your phone

  • Make sure that Titanium Backup starts without any warnings and your busybox is ok
  • Open the tab Restore (Резервные копии)
  • Open the menu (button), Batch (Пакетные действия)
  • Select the option Backup all user apps (if you want to back up your applications) or Backup all user apps + system data (if you want to archive everything). The contact and sms history is not always saved.
  • Run the backup process then go back to the main tab of the "Titanium Backup" application.
  • Do an individual backup of the system data, items marked in green: bookmarks, logs, calendar, shell, WiFi, etc.
  • The backup will be named TitaniumBackup on your sd-card.

Depending on the number of installed applications this process may take a few minutes. But you don't have to worry that your screen will shut down or the backup creation will stop - Titanium Backup will make sure this doesn't happen.

ii. Subsequent backups

A variety of batch operations are available. Once you have made the first backup, you may not want to make another backup right away - you will probably want to make one when you install a new app. And you might find this option in the list of batch operations...

Member that some applications may contain important data which change frequently. You can mark them separately (press Главное меню  -> Filters (Фильтры) then Create label (Создать метку) ) . You may want to perform regular backups for these programs.

If you have PRO/Donate version of an application, you may ask Titanium Backup to keep the most successful versions of your backups - Главное меню -> Preferences -> Max b-up history (Настройки -> Макс. кол-во р.к. в истории) .

iii. Backup validation

How can I tell if a backup was successful? The first entry in the list of batch operations starts the validation process.

iv. Android: scheduled backups

Multiple items can be set simultaneously. Even being paranoid, you can do hourly backups of your settings, plus daily backups of your or your user's apps. You can also save call and message logs every 3 hours.

v. Advanced backups

Some apps (especially games) require more than just the APK and settings. We call this "advanced app data". You can create backups with this data. To do so, you need to go into the TB settings and find option Backup app external data . If you choose to limit external extended data, the next setting you need is called Select external data by max size , and you can adjust the limits here.

Be aware that Titanium Backup includes data that is stored in directory /sdcard/Android/data/ . Some /files such as OBB /files are very large and downloaded directly from Google, hence do not store user data. These /files will not be included in the backup.

6. Restore Android /files

i. How to restore the backup after installing the firmware

  • Do not forget to copy the Titanium Backup folder back to your PC after formatting the sd-card (by performing a Vype).
  • Download the software from the Market
  • If you decide to restore the system data (MMS/SMS) from another phone or firmware, activate the option System data migration .
  • Go to Restore tab (Android backups)
  • Open the Batch menu
  • Click Restore all missing apps + system data
  • Reboot the phone
  • There! Now you have to configure the home screen on your phone

ii. Restore individual applications when copying

To restore individual applications or their settings, please refer to section Manage Applications .

iii. Restore messages

To restore from SMS/MMS, calls, phonebook, etc., press the Restore button, scroll through the list to find the desired data. Do the same thing with them as you did with the individual apps. Then if you have restored them from another phone or firmware, activate the option System data migration .

If you do not see the data in the list, make sure you have not filtered it. To do so go to Menu, select option Filter and set the filters correctly.

7. Manage Applications

If you press Restore you will see the list of applications installed on your Android. Information about the applications data stored and the ones you have already reserved is also available here.

A menu with different actions is available to the user: launching an application, backup, restore, settings. It is even possible to reinstall TB through the menu. However you have to be very careful here: if you delete something important, the phone might not work correctly. So you have to delete the system app first. This can be done by freezing it.

Titanum starts to behave strangely when backing it up and copying it - just unfreeze it and you should be fine.

8. Copy Setup

You will find the settings by clicking the menu button and selecting Preferences. Here you can configure the following options:

  • Auto- sync TB settings: this option must be enabled. This way Titanium Backup will automatically save your settings to the card. After a full recovery, you might need to restore those settings.
  • Backup Folder name : where on the sd-card will be stored your backups. By default, this is the TitaniumBackup folder in the root directory. If you have a Samsung phone, use sd/TitaniumBackup to store backups.
  • Normal Apps ( apk) : Include applications in *.apk format in the backups
  • Protected Apps ( apk) : applications on the system partition of the phone. Since the partition is read-only, the applications cannot be restored here.
  • Market Link (Google Play Link) : whether or not to make a copy of the application link in the Market
  • Max backups: how many versions of an application should be kept in the backup. This is useful if you want to restore a previous, working version of an application after a failed installation
  • Compression : which compression format to use for the titanium backup.
  • Migrate system data: use this setting before you restore from a different firmware or even a different phone model. Anyway this works for most data types (SMS/MMS).
  • Chuck Norris mode: use this feature to remove "fat and cheeky" applications on your firmware

9. Tips for TitaniumBackup

  • When you install Titanium Backup on new firmware and you have issues with root access, please refer to the Problems?.
  • Check your backups (MENU - Batch) to make sure they are OK.
  • You must reboot before restoring . (in case of contacts, SMS, settings etc ). If you have different firmware versions, we recommend to play it safe and include backups of the real system configuration you need. We also suggest using the System data migration option before restoring.
  • If you back up the same app multiple times, Titanium will save space on the memory card as it will use the apk only once.
  • Before deleting a system app, you should first freeze it and make sure everything is working correctly. If this is not necessary, go ahead and reinstall the desired application.
  • When using Dropbox, or Google Drive and synchronizing backups in other folders, use the format / in "Dropbox, or Google Drive.
  • For example, enter Android/TitaniumBackup . Cloud storage support feature is available in PRO/Donate versions of Titanium Backup.

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso