If you have rooted and applied a custom ROM to your Android powered device you may already be familiar with loosing you application data and settings when you change ROMs.
Fortunately, there is an app in the Android Market called Titanium Backup that can help you backup and restore you apps and settings. While this app is incredibly useful, it can also be difficult to use. We are going to make this process easier to understand and more importantly, easier to use.
I. Before You Begin
1. Ensure that your device is rooted. Titanium Backup (referred to here as “TiBu”) will not operate on a non-rooted device. TiBu is often used as an app to verify root because it will conduct a test to see if root access is available when you launch the application.
2. Allow installation of non-Market applications and turn on USB Debugging. From the home screen, press Menu > Settings > Applications > and make sure the “Unknown sources” box is checked. Then select “Development” and check the box marked “Debugging”.
3. Make sure you go into the Android Market, Amazon App Market, or any other market you use and update all of your applications. Exceptions to this rule would include apps that you are not wanting to update because of known problems with a new version of the app and things of that nature.
II. Changing Preferences
1. Open TiBu and press Menu > Preferences
2. Check the box next to “Auto-sync TB settings”. This ensures your preferences will be saved even after a factory reset (it is still recommended to always double check your settings have come back after a factory reset).
3. RECOMMENDATION: Scroll down to “Max backup history” and change this value so you always retain your 3 backups as a minimum.
III. Backup EVERYTHING
1. From the main screen, press Menu > Batch
2. In the Backup section of the list, you will want to press the RUN button next to the option listed as “Backup all user apps + system data". This ensures you back up all there is to back up. Now go get a cup of coffee and let that run for 5-10 minutes depending on the speed of your phone and how many apps you currently have installed.
3. RECOMMENDATION: Always backup your apps before you install a new ROM or perform a factory reset (wipe data partition). Also, you can verify your backups by going pressing Menu > Batch > Verify all backups > then click on the “Run the batch operation” button at the top of the screen.
IV. Restoring Apps After Factory Reset
1. After a factory reset, many users wish to bypass the Android Market and restore their apps using TiBu. To do this, open TiBu and press Menu > Batch > then select RUN next to the entry in the restore section labeled “Restore missing apps with data”.
2. On the next screen select, make sure the radial button next to “App+Data” is selected. Now go through and make sure there is a check mark next to every app you wish to restore. Once you have done that, press the button on the very top of the screen labeled “Run the batch operation”.
V. Restore Application Data and Settings (read carefully)
1. If you let the market restore your apps following a factory reset, that’s okay because in this step we will get the app data back for many if not most of the apps you are using. Open TiBu and press Menu > Batch > and select RUN next to the entry labeled “Restore all apps with data”.
2. On the next screen, make sure the radial button next to “Data only” is selected.
3. COLORS ARE IMPORTANT!!! Make sure you pay attention to the text color of the items in the long list of applications. Green is for system apps that you are safe to restore. White means the app is a user app (added by you) and thus you are usually are safe restoring that data. Red should give you cause to pause. Red refers to system apps that might not be safe to restore. Do I sometimes restore my email application even though it is red?…yes, but you have been warned and should have a good nandroid backup before attempting this as it may cause system instability (force closes, boot loops, etc.)
4. Once you have carefully selected the apps to restore, press the button on the very top of the screen labeled “Run the batch operation”
Now enjoy your new ROM !!!