Back up media from your Android device

Your backup will remain in your Google One account as long as you use your phone and are connected to the Internet.

Your backup data will be erased if:

  • You don't use your device for 57 days
  • You turn off Android backup

Where your phone data is stored

The info on your phone is backed up in different places. If your backups are uploaded in Google, they're encrypted using your Google Account password. For some data, your phone's screen-lock PIN, pattern or password is also used for encryption.

What gets saved by Android

The following data is backed up in your Android settings. You don't need to turn on Google One's backup to save this data.

  • App data
  • Call history
  • Contacts
  • Settings
  • SMS messages
What gets saved by Google One
  • Google Photos: Original-quality photos and videos
  • Android Messages: Photos, videos and audio files from your MMS messages

Why RCS messages don't get saved

RCS, or Rich Communications Services, is a way for Android phones to send advanced messages like group chats, high-resolution photos, and audio/video messages. Whether you can send and back up RCS messages depends on the phone, operator and messaging app that you use.

Turn on automatic backups

You can set up your phone to save backup copies of your files automatically.

  1. On your Android phone, open the Google One app Google One.
  2. At the top, tap Settings and then Manage backup settings.
  3. Choose the backup settings that you want.
    • If you see advice to install an app, update an app or change your settings, follow the on-screen steps. Then, go back to the Google One app to finish.
    • You can back up copies of your files with mobile data. You can reduce the amount of data that you use when you turn off backup with mobile data and use Wi-Fi instead.
  4. If asked, allow permissions.
  5. At the top left, tap Back Back.

Your Google One backup can take up to 24 hours. When your media is saved, 'On' will be below the data types you selected.

Start a backup

After you've chosen your backup settings, you can start a backup of your phone immediately.

  1. On your Android phone, open the Google One app Google One.
  2. Tap Back up now. You might need to tap Turn on first to get started.

Transfer your media onto a new phone

You can restore your backup data in the Google One app.

  1. If you haven't already, restore your backup via Android setup.
  2. On your new Android phone, open the Google One app Google One.
  3. At the top, tap Settings.
  4. Tap Restore from your backup.
  5. Next to the media that you want to get back, tap Restore.
    1. If you see advice to install an app, update an app or change your settings, follow the on-screen steps.
    2. Then, go back to the Google One app to finish.
  6. If asked, allow permissions.
  7. At the top left, tap Back Back.

Your Google One restoration can take up to 24 hours.

About multimedia files

If you have a Google One backup, you may be eligible to restore multimedia messages, photos and videos using the setup wizard. You can restore the files if your device was launched to the public in October 2019 or later. If so, when you choose to restore, you'll see these media files among the other data categories (like SMS, contacts, settings, etc.)

If your device was launched to the public before October 2019, you can restore multimedia messages, photos and videos using the Google One app.

What you'll need

Before starting, make sure that you have the following:

  • An activated Google One membership.
  • Photos and messages already backed up with Google One.
  • A new device with an Android version equal to or higher than the version on their old device.

Restore multimedia files on your phone

For some Android 9+ devices, the setup wizard may automatically trigger restoring data and files. Otherwise, follow these steps:

  1. When setting up a new Android phone, choose Restore from your backup. Then, follow the Android setup/restore wizard steps to restore MMS messages and other files.
    • Tip: If you've already turned on your phone and didn't restore it, you'll need to factory reset it. Then you can complete Android restore to restore your multimedia messages.
  2. Download the Google One app Google One app from the Play Store and open it.

  3. On the Google One Home tab, find the Restore available card.
  4. Tap Restore backups and then Restore (located next to the 'Multimedia messages' option).

Delete your phone backups

You can erase your backed-up phone files to give yourself more storage space.

Notes:

  • This will permanently delete your backup file.
  • If you still have automatic backups turned on, new backup files will be created in the future.
  1. On your Android phone, open the Google Drive app Google Drive.
  2. On the left, tap Menu Menu and then Backups.
  3. Tap the backup file you want.
  4. Choose an option:
    • Delete MMS files only: To erase files like pictures and videos, tap MMS and then Delete.
    • Delete all files in the backup folder: At the top, tap More More and then Delete backup and then Delete.

 

Fix problems with backup or restore

 

You can't start the process to restore

If any restore options are greyed out or you've received an error message, extra steps may be needed. Some common solutions are:

Android logo Check that your Android operating system is updated. To restore your phone, it must be running Android 7.1.1 or higher.

Messages Logo Round Update Android Messages. If you weren't using Android Messages as the default messaging app on your old device, some MMS pictures and videos may not be restored.

Google Play Update Google Play services.

Once all software has been updated and the settings have been changed, tap Restore next to 'Multimedia messages'.

Your MMS (multimedia) messages weren’t restored on your phone

MMS backups work best with the Android Messages app Android Messages Try to back up again after you set Android Messages as your default texting app.

  1. If you don't have it, download Android Messages from the Play Store.
  2. On your Android device, open the Settings app Settings.
  3. Tap Apps & notifications and then Default apps.
    • If you don’t see this option, at the bottom, tap Advanced.
  4. Tap SMS app and then Messages.
You saw an error when you backed up your phone

If one or more types of media won't back up, try following the steps below. After each step, check whether your backup has started working.

  1. Make sure that your device is online. If you're using mobile data, try connecting to Wi-Fi for a better connection.
  2. Install or update the Google One app.
  3. Open the Google One app. If you've run out of storage, do one of the following:
    1. Buy more storage
    2. Clear storage space
  4. In the Google One app, tap Settings and then Manage backup settings. If you see advice to update or install an app, follow the on-screen steps.
    • Note: If your device needs multiple updates, backing up your phone may take a few hours.

In the Google One app, at the top, tap Home.

If your media still doesn't back up

You can run a backup manually:

Your new phone didn't restore everything

If one or more types of media are missing after restoring a Google One backup, try following these steps:

  • Make sure that your device is online. If you're using mobile data, try connecting to Wi-Fi for a better connection.
  • Install or update the Google One app.
  • Open your Android settings. Confirm that all of the following are true:
  • Your backup will remain as long as you're using your device. If you last used your device more than 57 days ago, the backup will no longer be available.
  • In the Google One app, tap Settings and then Restore from your backup. If you see advice to update or install an app, follow the on-screen steps.
    • Note: If your device needs multiple updates, backing up your phone may take a few hours.

Files that are restored during setup

Some data can only be restored while setting up your device, including app data, settings data and basic messages. To restore this data, reset your device to factory settings and then go through the Android setup process.

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