Backup your Samsung Galaxy S II without Kies or rooting

My Samsung Galaxy S II is going to get fixed. So I started checking how I could back it up to get everything back when it is done.

There are a lot of ways to backup your device. Some are easier, some are harder. First, I tried using Kies but it is not recognizing the device on my computer. Maybe because it is broken :S.

Another way is to use the Titanium Backup app. But for that, you need to root your device.

So, if you are not using Kies or Titanium Backup, let's do it manually.

What we are backing up:

  • SMS messages
  • Call logs
  • Memos
  • Contacts, List of installed apps
  • Files (including photos and videos)


1. Install the SMS Backup & Restore app

Backup your sms messages to a XML file


2. Install the Call Logs Backup & Restore app

Backup your call logs to a XML file


3. To back up your memos go to the Memo application, hit the menu button and click "Send".

After that select the memos you want to back up and send it to somewhere you prefer. I chose"Email". You get a bunch of files (each one is a memo).


4. Copy both of the saved XML files to your computer.

Your files can be copied using the USB connection with a computer. Simply copy the DCIM content to get your photos and videos.

Go throughout all the folders in your device to check if there is anything left that can be copied too.


5. Go to "Settings" >> "Account and sync" and make sure your Gmail account is syncing. Go to "Settings" >> "Privacy" and make sure "Back up my data" and "Automatic restore" are checked.

With these settings in place, your contacts, system settings, apps, calendar, and e-mail will be restored after you set up a  fresh new android device. Pretty great eh?

WARNING: When you restore your phone the apps won't get installed automatically but if you access the market it will list all apps you have ever installed. Even the apps you uninstalled sometime will be listed too.

One alternative, is to backup all the apps to apk files. Use the "App Backup & Restore" app (


1. Copy the XML files back to the device. And to get the data back, use the SMS and the Call Log apps and restore using both apps.

2. Copy the memo files back to your phone and open each one of them to save in the Memo app.

3. Copy the files from the DCIM folder back to your phone

4. Go to the market and select "My apps" to reinstall the apps you want to.

5. Contacts and Calendar you synchronize automatically once your register your Gmail account into the phone.


Hope your enjoy! Please send comments!


  1. Steve says:

    Brilliant work, very helpful, thank you!

  2. Kate says:

    I will use these to back up also, but I have also copied and pasted every single thing from my phone onto my pc… when i reset the phone, how do i actually go about copying the XML files back to the device? is it as simple as copying to any usb device — ie, find the file on your pc, copy, and paste into the phone’s folder in computer ?

  3. Dre says:

    Fantastic! Can’t wait to share with my husband.

  4. Utku Badem says:

    Great article i used to spend a lot of time backing up my device, but now you can use one app to backup everything i use G cloud backup which backs up to the cloud and you can also use mybackup app to backup to SD Cards both don’t require rooting

  5. vikki says:

    I have done as you said and when i typed XML into the search bar where it says enter name for the backup file and it comes up ‘backup failed. No Write Access to filXML/sms——–.xml what do I do to get it to backup. I’ll not apps or smartphone literate and Kies wouldn’t load software off my ph.Need to save my sms’s.

  6. Paul says:

    How do I put the memos that I sent to my email back onto the phone?

  7. brgsousa says:

    Copy the memo files back to your phone and open each one of them to save in the Memo app.

  8. brgsousa says:

    You don’t have to change the filename, just leave it the way it is.

  9. brgsousa says:

    just copy it back like you would do with a usb drive.

  10. Ana Paula says:

    It is really helpful! Thank you so much!

  11. claudia says:

    Hi, did everything as described, its was very easy, thank you, but it does not give me my contacts back even though I have backed them up on my google account. when syncing now it does not seem to work. please help as I fear I might have lost all my contacts!!

  12. MIKE says:

    After tapping the “Backup” button, I’m given 3 options: Default/Internal Storage Card, External Storage Card, and Custom Folder. I want to backup my SGS2 SMS on my iMac and my son’s SGS2 SMS on his PC (running XP), which button do I click? I’m assuming it’s the Custom Folder, however, when I tap the button it shows: “/mnt/sdcard/SMSBackupRestore/”…what the freak? Any thoughts? Thanks so much!

  13. sdfsdf says:


  14. Courtney says:

    Hi Mike,
    If you haven’t figured it out yet, you need to back it up to either your phone, and then connect your phone to your computer. After that, you move the file that’s saved on your phone on to your computer.

  15. Jim Lemkow says:

    The last step under privacy does not show the two options that you say to check

    “Back up my data” and “Automatic restore” are checked.

  16. Jason says:

    Yes, but where are the memos actually stored? If I only did a usb backup of all my phone data via computer, are those memos gone?

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  18. kalai says:

    how to backup deleted photoes?

  19. Louise says:

    I did a backup with SMS Backup and Restore.
    It tells me that the backup has been done to the phones internal memory and if I do a Factory Reset (which I need to) it will wipe the data.
    I have emailed the backup file to myself, how will I reinstall it after the factory reset?

  20. Zubair says:

    Hi there, But u didn’t mention how to backup the contact list ……….. Please help me in this matter ………….. Thanks

  21. Alex Fox says:

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S, which doesn’t seem to have the option to “Send” (only Create, Maximize and Delete”- is there any other way of backing up Memos?

    Many thanks in advance!

  22. Bob says:

    Regarding your missing “Send” option for memos. I have a Samsung Galaxy Player. If I hold my finger on a memo, it gives me the option to “send via”, then I can select Bluetooth or Email.

  23. Dawn says:

    My Galaxy S2 does not have the options for:
    Back up my data” and “Automatic restore”
    The only option is Factory Restore. How do I get the backup date and automatic restore option?

  24. sam says:

    my phone is being sent off to be fixed. However, i cant get past the samsung s2 switch on screen is it too late to back up my files?