Titanium Backup User Guide
How to Use Titanium Backup
Titanium Backup is, probably, the second important application after Superuser that you have to have on your Android device. This is literary the best tool so far for transferring applications between ROMs and making things easier and safer. Using Titanium Backup will help you to backup and restore the most important applications with their data of any kind so that you won’t lose your progress in any game as well as all your app settings will be kept in a secured place.
As always, there are two versions of Titanium Backup available on Google Play. The first one is totally free but, of course, comes with a limited number of features. The Pro or donate version will cost you a couple of bucks but instead you are going to get an advanced set of really useful features and in case if you flash your smart-phone or tablet a lot – this is the right app to have in your repertoire. You can get acquainted with the list of Pro only features by visiting its page at Google Play.
Of course, in order to use Titanium Backup, you will have to root your device. Rooting process is pretty individual on every smart-phone, so, if you do not how to do that – search the web for answers. And no – you won’t be able to use the app without the root access because it does pretty serious things with your data and it requires superuser powers. After the installation simply open the app and you should get a page shown below. It will provide you with the basic information about your device and its features that will be useful in the future procedures.
There is a slight possibility that you will come up with a little problem connected with the root access or busybox while using Titanium Backup. Busybox provides several stripped-down Unix tools in a single executable. In other words – it collects a bunch of basic Unix/Linux tools and bundles them into a single binary. But you do not need to get too deep in the river of terms. So, if by any chance you come up with the problem the first thing you should do is to update your Superuser application. This helps in 95%. If the issue won’t disappear – the last thing you can do is to enable the “Force use system busybox” option. This helps in other 4%. Now, when you are ready to start your first Backup – here’s what you should do next:
I. Backup in Titanium Backup
Titanium Backup offers lots of useful features and backup methods in order to make your backup flexible, easy and comfortable. That is why we are going to take a look at the most common and likely to happen scenarios.
1. A Regular Backup
When you deal with technology, there is no such word combination as “too safe”. So, before you start doing anything:
– make sure that the app has started properly and that busybox is working fine;
– then tap the Backup/Restore button. You will see that every app has a certain icon near its name. Do not be afraid – those icons won’t bite. But it would be a good idea to know a bit more about them. This can be easily done by pressing Android menu button > Help and Support > Legend.
– tap or press the Menu button;
– if you just want to backup your apps, press “Backup all user apps”. This will backup your applications only without any data or cash related. In order to make a full backup, tap “Backup all user apps + system data”. Though, in most cases it won’t pay attention to your SMS/MMS or contact history. If those are important for you – try to use something else like SMS Backup +.
– let the app do its job and then get back to the main menu (by the way, if you are using a free version – all your working apps will be automatically “killed” while the Pro version gives you a possibility to pause them which is kind of nice);
– a greater part of green-colored items indicate that they are somehow connected with the system data. In order to backup bookmarks, call logs, launcher, Wi-Fi history and passwords, calendars and else, you will have to perform an individual backup. Choose whatever you need the most or choose everything if everything happens to be important.
– congratulations – now your backup is in “TitaniumBackup” directory on your SD card. By default it can be found by going to mnt/sdcard/ TitaniumBackup.
Depending on a number of apps you have on your device, the whole process can take up to a couple of minutes or more. But even if your screen switches off – there is nothing to worry about because Titanium Backup developers have your back covered.
2. Subsequent backups.
Titanium backup is a smart tool for backuping and restoring your Android applications and you’ve probably noticed that it has a great number of batch jobs available for selection. After your very first update you should definitely check this menu out and get know a bit more about it. It would be logical to assume that after the first backup you won’t be interested in backuping everything one more time but the updated files only. First of all – it will save you some time, secondly – this seems like the right thing to do. In the list of batch operations you can choose files that have to be backuped and things that should be left as they are. It would be a great idea to label the most important application and those that are updated very often by going to “MENU” -> “Filters” and then “Create label”. Also, you can order the app to keep several successive backups, just in case if something goes wrong with the last one. This option can be found in “MENU” -> “Preferences” -> “Max backup history”.
3. Scheduled Backups
For a long period of time this feature hasn’t been available in Titanium Backup. But right now you do not need to worry about your backups because they will do all for you. The only thing you need to do is to create a schedule to follow and after that every day, every week, every month or just once in a decade the app will automatically backup all the preset data and information.
4. Backing up the Backups
In the newest versions of Titanium Backup you will find a great feature that allows you to save your backups on different cloud services including Dropbox and Google Drive. This might be really helpful when you, for example, lose or break your SD card or if your finger accidently wipes all the data. If you want this feature on, press Android menu button and then go to Preferences > check Enable Dropbox or Enable Box. But, as well as the Schedule feature, cloud service is available in a Pro version only.
But even if you are not using a Pro version, it still might be a good idea to save your backup on your computer. In case if something happens with your phone – you will always have a backup plan.
II. Restore in Titanium Backup
Restoring is the second important process in Titanium Backup. There is actually no sense in using one without the other. So, here’s what you should do when the ROM is installed and a backup has to become useful again.
1. How to restore your backups on a newly installed ROM?
To make this happen you have to make sure that your applications are safely backed up in a TitaniumBackup folder or on your smart-phone/computer/cloud service. Otherwise, there won’t be anything to restore.
– Download Titanium Backup application from Google Play;
– in case if you plan to restore system data like SMS, MMS, contact history or else from a different ROM or smart-phone, do not forget to enable the “System data migration”;
– tap the Backup/Restore button;
– press Android Menu button and then Batch;
– tap “Restore all missing apps + system data”;
– reboot your device;
– congratulations – you are back on track!
Probably, the only thing left is to get your wallpaper and widgets back.
2. Restoring single Applications
It’s pretty easy: all you have to do is to go to “Manage Applications” option and restore your app or your app with all the data.
3. Restoring messages.
If there’s any reason why you need to restore your messages, phone book, call logs etc. – this is the place to go: tap the “Backup/Restore” button and scroll the list for those data. As a rule, they will appear in green letters and square brackets. The rest is pretty simple: do what you did in a single app restoring process. But do not forget to enable “System data migration” option in case you restore them using a different ROM or phone. Also, if you won’t find this feature in the list – make sure that your filters are set properly.
III. Manage Applications
Of course, Titanium Backup is not only good for backing things up and restoring them back. There’s a great feature that some of you will definitely enjoy called “application management.” Tap the “Backup/Restore” button in order to see the list of applications and items. Here you will see everything that has been done with the apps and not only. Every item will appear with its own mark, so, make sure you know what it means (checking “Legend” should definitely be helpful). To actually manage any app, simply tap on it and you will see this little menu.
Now you can run an app, delete it (even if it is a system one), restore it, back it up, freeze (Pro version only), wipe its data. But here’s the moment when you should be twice as careful as you used to be before: removing a wrong app can make your smart-phone suffer from a serious disease called malfunctioning. But for that matter you should try using the “Freeze” feature first. It simply blocks the app without deleting it and you can easily “unfreeze” it if something goes wrong and your device starts acting strange. In order to get a “freezing” feature, you will have to upgrade to a PRO version.
By tapping-and-holding your finger on an app you will get another set of features that can be done with the backed up application. For example, you can search for files that belong to it or view this app on a market. There is even a possibility to move any app from your phone on SD card even if developers claim that is it not possible.
You can find this menu by pressing the Menu button on your device and going to Preferences. In this submenu you can do lots of things including configuration of the basic app functions. So, let’s find out what can be done here:
Auto-sync TB settings: just leave it as it is – ON. This thing allows the app to save its own configuration in a backup so you won’t have to reset it every time you wipe the app.
Backup Folder name: by default you can find this folder by going to mnt/sdcard/ TitaniumBackup. On Samsung devices you can use sd/TitaniumBackup instead.
Normal Apps (apk): this feature includes application’s .apk files in the backup.
Protected Apps (apk): also known as system apps – they cannot be restored. Though, you can change app statuses and make a regular application normal as well as a normal can turn into a system one.
Market Link: a backed up app will have a Google Play link.
Max backup history: instead of one you get many different backup versions. Just in case if something goes wrong.
Compression: compresses your backups and saves space on your card.
Force to same location: every app is restored to the place where it was backed up from (SD to SD).
Migrate system data: if you plan to restore any information from a different phone or ROM, this is a must place for visiting. Make sure that the “migrate system” feature is enabled which will help you to safely transfer all the important information.
Remove Market Link: does what it says it does.
Chuck Norris mode: even the most protected “bloatware” will be removed.
App processing mode: if you have problems using Titanium Backup and it continually freezes or hangs – try to switch this feature off.
Min days: for the batch-mode backup of “apps older than…”
Titanium Backup is a must have application on every rooted Android device. So far, this is the safest and the most advanced backup tool in the world and nothing works as good as Titanium Backup. So, if you plan to migrate from one ROM to the other – don’t be a greedy and pay 5$ to for a Pro version because it is worth every penny spent.