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 How to back up your save games on Android
For free, and without rooting your device
Product: Android
Android Android, thumbnail 1
Hands up if you've ever had the following problem...

Your Android is almost completely full. The SD card is splitting at the seams as it tries to hold all your data. But, you can't uninstall any of your enormous games. Why? Because you'll lose your save files.

Well, put your hands down. A solution is here.

Thanks to a new app called Carbon, you can back up and restore Android app data. It's free, it's easy to use, and you don't need to root your 'droid device to use it.

You can grab the app from Google Play here, then follow our step-by-step guide to backing up and restoring save games on Android.

How to backup Android save games

First things first, you need to download a couple of things. On your Android, grab the free Carbon - App Sync and Backup app from Google Play.

On your computer, get Carbon Desktop. It's free, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

How to backup Android save games

Launch both apps, and then connect your Android device to your computer over USB.

You will be asked to enable USB debugging on your Android. It's supposed to be for development use only, but Carbon needs it to send the backup data to your PC.

Carbon should bounce you to the necessary options screen. If it doesn't, just go into 'settings', choose 'Developer options', and find 'USB debugging'.

How to backup Android save games

If all has gone well, the Android app will now show a list of all the apps you have installed on your device. It's simply a case of picking the apps you want to back up by hitting the checkboxes.

If you choose 'App Data Only' (at the bottom of the screen), Carbon will only keep your save game, and not the app itself. This will make your backup file smaller, but it means you'll need to re-download your apps from Google Play.

When you've picked the appropriate games, hit 'Backup'.

How to backup Android save games

Now, it's time to choose where you want to store your backup file.

Note that most of these options - like Schedule Backup, Dropbox, and Google Drive - only work on the premium version of Carbon.

But, you can back up to your computer for free. Just choose 'USB Storage' while your 'droid device is connected to your PC or Mac.

We're done. You can now delete the game from your Android smartphone or tablet safe in the knowledge that your save game has been backed up.

How to backup Android save games

Okay. We deleted Bad Piggies and then downloaded the app from Google Play again.

Now all you need to do is plug your Android device into your computer, load up the Android app, and choose the 'Restore and Sync' tab. Pick 'USB Storage', or choose the cloud solution you used in step 4.

Tick the apps whose save games you want to recover, and hit 'Restore'. Your save file will transfer from your PC to your Android, and your in-game progress will be restored. Good as new.

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 6 February 2013
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Feb 2014
Post count:
Nienawidze Kretynow | 23:36 - 13 February 2014
Thank you, this is fukken brilliant! Well, I had some issues, I had to figure some things out, but it works and I can finally transfer my game progresses into my tablet so I can clean up my spartphone.
Jan 2014
Post count:
@Followback3x | 01:36 - 14 January 2014
I could not connect to pc,pls tell me how to connect pc with android
Dec 2013
Post count:
Daniel Chan | 09:56 - 26 December 2013
Bro.i cant find USB storage.juz internal storage and external storage.mind helping?
Dec 2013
Post count:
Hugh Truong | 13:01 - 20 December 2013
Hi Mark
I tried your method many times...it worked on Samsung tab 2 & 3 but its not working on dell venue 7. I could not get the pc connected so Helium indroid would open up to let me restore....can you help?
Dec 2013
Post count:
Sahil Bansal | 17:49 - 11 December 2013
yr pc se connect ni ho rha phn window 7 mein..... koi solution yr plllzzz
Nov 2013
Post count:
Marla Saafir | 00:05 - 20 November 2013
I Tried this app and it worked perfectly Please Note: the app is now called "Helium" in the app store..
Oct 2013
Post count:
Fahad Sultan | 09:15 - 15 October 2013
shall i change the seting of usb debugging etc back??
Feb 2011
Post count:
RazJUK | 13:43 - 4 August 2013
Damn. Could've done with this a couple of months ago when I got a new 64 gig SD card.
Backed the whole SD card on to my PC and tried to write it back to the new SD, but only a handful of games worked.
Aug 2013
Post count:
Dustin Galang | 05:52 - 4 August 2013
I think it is not working on my alcatel OT tab 7 hd.
Jul 2013
Post count:
@Derwenac | 21:19 - 4 July 2013
really it does not have USB storage to chose...
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: 12 comments >>