How to Back Up Your Android Phone to a PC

You can use PC or Android apps

What to Know

  • Plug the Android phone into your computer. Go to Settings > General > Developer options.
  • Tap either USB debugging or Android debugging. Select a USB for the file transfer. Select Transfer files.
  • Go to your Android device in Windows File Explorer and copy the files from your phone to your PC.

This article explains how to back up your photos, videos and other files stored on your Android phone to a PC using a USB. It also includes information on creating a full Android backup on your PC using the Dr. Fone app and includes a list of other apps for that purpose.

How to Back Up Android Files via USB

If you store important information or files on your Android phone, it's important to know how to back up an Android phone to a PC. Backing up your Android to Google Drive is simple, but if you prefer having an Android backup stored on your PC, you need to use a different approach.

If you're primarily concerned about photos, videos, and other files stored on your Android, transferring them via USB is the easiest method.

  1. Turn on the Android device. Using the USB cable that came with your phone, plug the USB end into your computer and the other end into your phone.

  2. Go to Settings > General > Developer options and tap either USB debugging or Android debugging.

    General > Dev options > USB debugging

    If you don't see Developer options, tap Settings > System > About Phone, then tap the build number seven times.

  3. Check your notifications and tap the USB item for more options, then tap Transfer files.

    selecting Transfer Files USB setting
  4. You'll see your Android appear as an available device to browse in Windows File Explorer, allowing you to copy files from your Android phone to your PC.

    Android device in File Explorer

    Manually backing up images, videos, and files from your phone is a good way to save data, but it won't save contacts, text messages, and other items you may want to back up as well. It also requires you to remember to back up new files.

An alternative way to transfer files is installing the Wi-Fi FTP Server app on your phone. Launching this, you can connect to your phone via any FTP browser on your computer. Using whichever approach you like, you can transfer files from your Android to your computer for safekeeping.

Perform an Full Android Backup to Your PC

If you want to have a full backup of your Android phone, a better approach is to install apps that handle full Android backups.

One of the best Android backup apps is Dr.Fone, which lets you perform a full backup or restore of your Android device, or you can back up specific data from your phone to your computer. It does this without requiring root access to the phone.

  1. Download and install Dr.Fone to your PC.

  2. Once you install Dr.Fone, it'll prompt you to connect your phone if you haven't already. Follow the steps above to enable USB debugging to make the connection work.

  3. Once you connect with the software running, you'll see the window where you can Backup or Restore an Android phone. To perform your first Android backup to PC, select Backup.

    Dr. Fone Backup option
  4. This will open a new window where you can select which components of your phone you want to back up. It defaults to every option, but you can deselect any you like.

    Dr. Fone Backup & Restore

    You need a premium plan to back up your Application data.

  5. When finished selecting the items you want, select Backup to initiate the backup process. You'll see a status as the software copies those components over to your local computer.

    Dr. Fone backup status
  6. Once the backup fully completes, you can select either View Backup History or Open Backup Location. At this point, your backup is fully completed and ready to be restored whenever you need.

    Dr. Fone backup complete
  7. When you need to restore the backup you've made, just open the backup history list, select the backup with the latest backup date, then select Next to initiate.

    Performing a restore with dr. fone
  8. The restore process using Dr.Fone is just as fast and simple as the backup process.

    A nice additional feature of Dr.Fone is you can link it with your existing iTunes, iCloud, or Google Cloud automatic backups and use Dr.Fone to perform your restore.

How to Back Up Android With Other Resources

The following are other free programs, like Dr.Fone, that let you quickly take a backup of your Android phone and perform a quick restore whenever you need to.

Choosing the right app for your situation depends on whether you want to run the app on your PC or your Android. It also depends where you want to store the backups and if you want to automate them.

  • Syncios Android Backup Manager: This free software is a full featured program that lets you back up everything, including contacts, apps, and SMS messages. It works with a majority of Android devices.
  • SyncDroid Android Manager: This software is for syncing an Android with Windows PCs. You can connect via USB or Wi-Fi, and backups include all of the important things you'll want to save.
  • ApowerManager: The approach for backups with this software is a little different, in that you back up files to your SD card for transfer to PC. It also works for iOS devices.
  • ROM Manager: This Android app lets you save automatic backups of your ROM to your SD card. It includes everything on your Android, the entire ROM, and all of your settings.
  • Back Up Your Mobile: This Android app lets you back up and restore contacts, messages, system settings, and even call logs and Wi-Fi passwords to your SD card or device memory. An alternative is to store backups to your cloud accounts on Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
  • How do I back Up Android text messages to my PC?

    Creating backups of text messages on your computer (or other devices) is possible via a number of different apps, such as SMS Backup & Restore.

  • How do I back up contacts from my Android phone to my PC?

    Open your Android device's Settings, then select Accounts & Sync > log into your Google account > select Sync Contacts > wait for the sync to finish. From your PC, sign into your Google account in Gmail, then select More > Export > choose contacts > choose format > select Export.

  • Where can I view my Android backups on PC?

    You'll find your saved backups in Google Drive. Select the number in the bottom-left, under Storage, then select Backups in the top-right to view a list of your backups. Right-click the backup you want to check, then select Preview.

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