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