How To Backup or Restore Android Through ADB Directly On Your PC

Posted on May 11 2013 - 4:16pm by 0ffliner

This morning the famous Android developer Koushik Dutta (father of ROM Manager and Clockworkmod Recovery) explained via a post on his Google+ profile  How to backup or restore Android through ADB (Clockworkmod Recovery) directly on your PC. 

nexus4-clockworkmod-custom-recovery- How To Backup or Restore Android Through ADB Directly On Your PC

The requirements for running this guide are as follows:

  • Smartphone with unlocked bootloader
  • installed and running ClockworkMod Recovery
  • Driver for your device installed
  • Android-sdk installed and started at least once (in order to allow it to download the required binaries)
  • Ability to use a terminal
  • Time and patience (the backup can take a long time depending on the amount of data you have in the device)

The procedure is quite simple and intuitive for anyone who has already dealt with the Platform-tools inside the Android SDK , and is summed up in these few steps:

Backup Your Device

Start the phone in recovery mode and make sure that it is recognized by the PC. Open a terminal in the folder where the executable adb (usually C: Program Files Android android-sdk platform-tools)  is located and execute the following commands:

  • adb backup-f boot boot.img
  • adb backup-f system system.img
  • adb backup-f data.img date

You May Also Like: AntTek Quick Settings Brings Toggle Of Android 4.2 To All


With the phone in recovery mode, start the terminal with these commands as explained below:

  •  boot adb shell echo-n> / tmp / ro.bu.restore
  •  adb restore boot.img
  •  system adb shell echo-n> / tmp / ro.bu.restore
  •  adb restore system.img
  •  adb shell echo-n date> / tmp / ro.bu.restore
  •  adb restore data.img

The developer (Kaushik Dutta) warns you to have a lot of caution in the use of this new feature as it is still not quite complete and needs some fixes but nothing prevents you to experiment a little. We do not explain in this guide how to install the Android-SDK and how to open a terminal in a specified folder. If you are not able to do it, it is best that you stay away from this lab to avoid compromising with your smartphone. Koushik also warns you to read their code to this Address  and says that the new Recovery implemented with this function will arrive shortly. 

About the Author

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Mark August 29, 2013 at 6:52 am - Reply

    I’ve tried running these commands and I get a 0 byte file. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong.

Leave A Response