I recently decided that I had built up too much “digital cruft” on my Android phone. What is “digital cruft”? It’s what I consider any random digital information that I can’t immediately recall or has been left behind from apps/downloads.

An easy solution to this problem is to simply do a weekly or monthly cleanup of your downloads folder. And try to restrict yourself from installing a bunch of apps. But a more extreme approach is to completely wipe your phone and restore it to factory settings.

I decided to go with the more extreme approach of resetting my phone back to factory settings. So now I had to backup my data to get myself ready to reset my phone. This part was relatively simple, I began by deleting any random files in my downloads folder and I removed any unused apps. I also setup “Automatic Backup” to my Google Drive folder. This options also saved information like my System Settings, Contacts, Messages, and some App Data.

Once I was confident that I had backup everything I reset my phone. This was an easy process and took no more than 10 minutes. Afterwards, I let Google automatically setup my phone from the backup. My System Settings were setup very quickly thanks to Google. I re-downloaded many of my most used apps, and found that Google automatically imported my settings for them.

Everything was going smoothly until I realized that I forgot to backup one important app. I forgot to backup CamScanner and all of my scans that I had done. This was the way I scanned many documents on the go. Though I could not remember what exactly I had in there, I knew that I messed up by not backing up the data from that app.

Unfortunately, I lost most of the files that I scanned in that app. Luckily I did email myself a few of those files. But this is why it is important to backup your phone. So here’s a list of a few tips that could help you.

  1. Be sure to do a weekly or monthly “cleanup” of your Downloads folder.
  2. Keep a list of your “most used” apps on your phone.
    1. And be sure to include these apps in your backup strategy.
  3. Leverage any “Automatic Backup” features your phone or app may use.
  4. Have a specific location to backup your phones files.
    1. And utilize the 3,2,1 strategy to backup your files.

I hope my story helps you to remember to backup your phone as often as possible. There are several lessons to learn from my story. But I think that having a simple and effective backup strategy is key!

Did you like this post? Help support me on Ko-fi. Thanks!