Backup is an important thing that every Android user should do regularly. Being an open source OS and with a few steps needed to root your phone, you can have the freedom do anything on it.
Once you root your device you are open to new possibilities such as installing new ROMs, Mods, Kernels and much more. But not always things can go well and your device can be a total mess in the end. You may end up in a bootloop or soft brick. In other words your device will fail to start.
In this cases you will need a backup of your current OS and the Nandroid backup is the best you can do. But what does it mean to make a Nandroid backup? What it really is?
Nandroid backup is like saying a copy of the phone system image. It’s a full backup that you can restore later. It will backup everything including ROM, Kernel, Data, Cache, System Files and everything else. You see, it’s a smart choise doing a Nandroid backup.
An important thing is that Nandroid will not backup your SD Card, it itself is created in your SD card just to make it easy for you to restore it later. But remember never let the backup only on your SD card. Copy it somewhere else like on your PC just to be safe.
How to create a Nandroid Backup
1 – Root Access. You must have a rooted device in order to do a Nandroid back. Therefore root gives you many other advantages and the chance to do a lot of customizations on your device. If you are interested in ROMs, Mods, Backups and so on you may be already rooted. (seriously you are missing the best of Android if you don’t have root access).
However if you are not rooted give a look at our Rooting Guides Section for a way to root your phone. Once you make sure that your phone is rooted proceed to the next step.
2 – Custom Recovery. To make a Nandroid backup you will need a Custom Recovery because you can’t create a backup of OS while it is running. The only way to do it is through Recovery. Every Android device has a recovery installed by default but it doesn’t give you the option to make a backup so it’s needed to install a Custom Recovery.
Two main recoveries are TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) and CWM (ClockWorldMod). You have to install one of these recoveries on your phone and then continue to the next step. If you haven’t installed a Recovery yet, you may want to check our Custom Recovery Section and find your device.
How to do a Nandroid Backup
Step One: Turn off your phone as usually and then wait for a few seconds.
Step Two: Use the proper key combination to boot into Recovery.
Step Three: Using Volume buttons navigate to “Backup & Restore” and press the power button to confirm.
Step Four: In Nandroid screen navigate to “Start Backup”. Press Power button to confirm. In the same screen you will see the restore option as well.
Once you confirm the backup process will start and it might take a while. Just wait for it to finish and the phone reboots go to your SD Card memory and you will see the backup at ‘clockworkmod/backup/timestamp’ directory. Move it somewhere on your PC just to be safe.
That’s all! You have successfully created a Nandroid backup of your operating system. Now it’s time to learn how to restore the backup in case we need it in the feature.
How to restore a Nandroid backup
Restoring a Nandroid backup is pretty simple. All the procedure consists on few easy steps as described below.
Step one: Turn of your phone and boot into recovery.
Step two: Navigate to “Backup & Restore” and choose the Restore option to restore all the backup.
Advanced Restore allows you to restore specific components of the backup like boot, data, cache, system.
Step three: Reboot the system. Once your phone reboots, it will be the same as the time you did the backup.
That’s all! You have learned now what is a Nandroid backup, how to make it and restore. If you have any other question feel free to ask in the comment section below.