Backup options on Windows Phone

In an earlier article, I discussed how you can backup your contacts, calendars, and tasks from a windows phone by syncing the data to an account. This article continues that discussion by describing additional backup options on Windows Phone 8.x that you can use to automatically backup a phone’s apps, settings, text messages, photos and videos to OneDrive.

You can access these options on a Windows Phone by going to Settings > Backup.


wp_ss_20150331_0003Backup apps+settings: Tap the apps+settings option on the main backup screen to enable or disable the backup settings that are used to save the phone’s browser favorites, its start screen layout, passwords and other settings as well as to save high scores, notes, and other app related content.



Once enabled, the apps and settings are backed up automatically, but you can also back them up manually by tapping the “back up now” button.


wp_ss_20150401_0001If you tap the “manage backups” button you can delete the existing settings and app backup files that are stored on OneDrive.








Messaging backupBackup text messages: Tap the text messages option on the main backup screen to enable or disable text message backup.

When you enable this option, all MMS and SMS text messages are automatically backed up in regular intervals to your OneDrive account.

Backed up text messages can be restored to a newly reset phone or to a different windows phone, as long as the phone is set up to use the same Microsoft account. Backed up text messages  CAN NOT be restored to a phone that runs a different operating system (like an iPhone or an Android point).

The text message backup file is stored in an inaccessible area of OneDrive, so you won’t be able to download the file to a computer nor view or export the contents of the file to another format.

wp_ss_20150331_0004Backup photos+videos: Tap the photos+videos option on the main backup screen to select the options your prefer for uploading photos and videos to OneDrive.

If you set the photos+videos options to automatically upload your photos and videos to OneDrive, the camera roll and saved pictures albums will be uploaded to OneDrive. The only album that does not automatically upload to OneDrive is the screenshots album.

Be sure to verify that your photos and videos are backed up to OneDrive by logging into OneDrive from a computer browser, using the same email address and password that you used when you created the Microsoft account on the phone. Then review the Camera Roll, Video and Pictures folders to make sure your photos and videos are stored there.

Uploading photos and videos to OneDrive can be time consuming and, if you choose the “good quality” method and upload the files via your phone’s data connection, you could exceed the monthly data allotment and risk incurring additional fees.  If you choose the “don’t upload” option, you’ll need to plan to copy your photos and videos to your computer via a USB connection to avoid losing the files if the phone is lost, damaged or before you perform a factory reset.