Our Android smartphones and tablets save some of our personal data on Google servers without asking our opinion. A system that may be comfortable for some and uncomfortable for others. It is still necessary to know which data is saved by Google and which is not. So we’re going to look at that today.
Have you ever noticed that when you enter your Google credentials on a new Android device, it automatically finds some of your personal information, including your contacts? However, since this option is enabled by default, you did nothing for it, and for good reason. That means you can turn it off too. However, most users keep it enabled for convenience.
It must be said that this automatic backup can be useful when you replace your smartphone, have more than one Android device or, unfortunately, your phone is stolen. But some don’t want their privacy to end in Google’s cloud. This tutorial is for them, but a bit of theory before getting into practice.
Data automatically backed up by Google
Google has integrated into its operating system a tool called Android Backup Service that backs up certain data about the services you use. These data are as follows:
- persons Saved in Google Contacts. You can find them on all your devices and even on your computer simply by logging into your account.
- emails Saved in Gmail
- documentsIt also allows you to edit your documents saved in the cloud from any of your devices.
- Chromium : Your bookmarks and browsing history are synchronized with your account. If you have the Smart Lock function enabled, the same for your passwords
- hangouts : your conversations are recorded
- Google Play store : The apps you download are automatically backed up. You can find them later in the “My Apps” tab of the store. It is very convenient when you change smartphones as you don’t need to search for them one by one, also purchased apps are backed up.
- Yours pictures and videos, provided you use the Google Photos app and have automatic backup of your media enabled
- Some application data
How can you prevent Google from backing up your data?
Aren’t you glad that Google knows so much about you and wishes some of your data wasn’t backed up? Peace of mind, it’s possible and in just a few clicks. All you have to do is:
- go to menu Settings > Personal > Your smartphone accounts
- Choose your Google account
- Uncheck any data you don’t want Google to back up
To go even further, feel free to check out our tutorial on how to protect your privacy on Android.
Data not saved by Google
The data listed below is not saved by Google. You’ll have to use a third-party app to avoid losing them when switching smartphones, but we’ll get to that later.
- SMS is still possible to save your SMS on Android using an app.
- Google Authenticator: For security reasons, Google two-step authentication data is not saved
- Settings: Your smartphone’s personalized settings are not saved
- Bluetooth: Android does not sync paired Bluetooth devices with your smartphone
How to backup all your personal data
Although Google does not allow this by default, it is quite possible to backup all data on your Android smartphone using our previous tutorial. Some of your data will go directly to your external media, others will be backed up online so if your goal is to backup your data to find it on a new device, they can be reintegrated into your new smartphone later on.
Also, don’t forget to check out our selection of apps to save your personal data. Some require your phone to be rooted, some don’t, and allow you to backup all your apps, not just your data.