Backup your Android Phone without ADB

Dec. 9, 2020


i have been looking for a way to backup my android phone regularly and easily. it is important to me not to enable android developer options like usb debugging to avoid security vulnerabilities. the backup strategy is to store the data locally on my computer hard drive and then in a packed and encrypted file in the cloud.

Link to the awesome adbackup script by BojanStipic


You have to create the same folder structure like your phone generates by connecting in MTP mode.

fnz@os:/run/user/1000/gvfs/mtp:host=ANDROID_PHONE$ tree -L 2
├── Card
│   ├── Alarms
│   ├── Android
│   ├── DCIM
│   ├── Documents
│   ├── Download
│   ├── Memes
│   ├── Movies
│   ├── Music
│   ├── Notifications
│   ├── Podcasts
│   ├── Ringtones
│   ├── Sync
└── Phone
   ├── DCIM
    ├── Documents
    ├── Download
    ├── Pictures
    ├── Podcasts
    ├── Ringtones

filesystem example with selected folders for backup

fnz@pop-os:/media/fnz/Volume/backup/phone$ tree 
├── Card
│   ├── DCIM
└── Phone
    └── DCIM

now just launch the script with the given path to your backup folder adbackup /media/fnz/Volume/backup/phone

output should look like this:

fnz@pop-os:~/code/sh/adbackup$ adbackup /media/fnz/Volume/backup/phone

Backup root directory:

Leaf directories found: 
sed: -e expression #1, char 11: unknown option to `s'

Continue? [Y/n] Y
sending incremental file list


the script will create incremental backups when run repeatedly. It is suitable for those who do not want to share developer / usb debugging permissions for their android smartphone. in case of theft and the possibility of future android debugging exploits, it is for me a reliable and secure way to backup my android phone.