You may lose your smartphone, but that doesn't mean you have to lose your data. No matter what kind of phone you own, there's a way to back up your files, apps, settings and other data. Cloud storage appswill back up your documents so that you can access them anywhere. And with some services, you can even back up your entire smartphone, right down to your settings and apps.
1. Cloud storage
If you just want to back up the files and documents saved on your Android phone — and aren't worried about your settings or apps — you have plenty of ways to do it. With the right app, you can automate the process of syncing your business files to the cloud.
Dropbox (Free) – iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
Dropbox is a simple, lightweight and dependable cloud storage solution available for just about every mobile device.
Google Drive (Free) – iOS, Android
In addition to backing up your files and syncing them across all your devices, Google Drive also lets you create and edit new documents and spreadsheets right on your smartphone.
OneDrive (Free) – iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Formerly known as SkyDrive, the OneDrive cloud storage platform stands out thanks to its tight integration with Microsoft Office.
2. Full backup services
Instead of just saving your files, why not back up your entire smartphone? You can find services for most mobile platforms to back up everything, including your apps and device settings. That could save you a lot of time and energy when replacing a lost smartphone. And it's a reliable way to keep data such as documents, photos and text messages safe and secure.
- Helium (Free): Heliumis a free and easy-to-use backup tool for Android smartphones that lets you back up not only your apps, but your app data as well.
- Titanium Backup (Free): Titanium Backupis a more robust backup tool for Android that you can use to back up apps and app data, as well as other files such as photos and text messages. However, you can only use the app if you root your Android phone.
- iCloud: The iPhone features a full backup solution built right into the operating system. Apple's iCloudautomatically saves your documents, photos, settings, mail, calendar events, apps and app data. If your iPhone is stolen, just connect a new device to your iCloud account to retrieve everything.
- Back Up My Stuff: After signing in with your Microsoft account on your Windows Phone, you can activate a service that will automatically back up all your datato the cloud. Navigate to the app list, then select Settings > Backup. The service saves almost everything, including your apps, call history, accounts, browser bookmarks, messages, calendar events and more. If you already have a backup, you can restore your data on a new Windows Phone device by signing in with your Microsoft Account.
3. Manual backup
If the above apps and services don't work for you, there may be a way to manually back up the data on your phone. You can do this by copying files from your mobile device to your desktop computer, or by using a desktop application. Here are a few options.
- Copy files: You can manually back up your Android smartphone by treating it like an external hard drive. First, link your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Next, open Windows File Explorer and select Computer from the sidebar on the left. Your smartphone should appear as a separate drive, alongside your computer's internal hard drive and any other external drives you own. From there, simply navigate to the files you want to back up, then copy and paste them into a folder on your PC.
- iTunes: If iCloud isn't working, or you would simply rather back up your iPhone data locally instead of on the cloud, you can do it using Apple's iTunes software on your desktop computer. First link your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable, and open iTunes. Then click File > Devices > Backup to back up all your data, including apps, settings, messages and photos. Once your data is backed up to your computer, you can restore it later using iTunes.
- Copy files: Like Android phones, Windows Phones will be recognized by your PC as mass storage devices. That means you can treat your phone like an external hard drive, copying and pasting files onto your desktop computer to back them up. First, link your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Next, open Windows File Explorer and select "Computer" from the sidebar on the left. Your smartphone should appear as a separate drive, alongside your computer's internal hard drive and any other external drives you own.
- BlackBerry Desktop Software: With this free desktop programfrom BlackBerry, you can manually manage your smartphone data, and back up everything to your PC or Mac. To use this software, connect your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer via a USB cable, then load the software. The application will back up your organizer, calendar, email accounts, media files and more. You can also restore files and data to a new BlackBerry device using BlackBerry Desktop Software.