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Clarifying Titanium Backup App Data vs. System Data

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Zoandroid, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    While trying to research the question I have within this forum, I keep coming across statements like this one:

    "My advice is to ONLY use Titanium using batch backup and restore, and to ONLY back up apps and app data. "

    Now here's my question. In the batch Backup menu for Titanium Backup Pro, there is:

    Backup all user apps
    Backup all system data
    Backup all user apps + system data
    (and other listings not pertinent to my question).

    In the Batch Restore menu there is:

    Restore missing apps with data
    Restore all system data
    Restore missing apps + all system data
    Restore all apps with data

    Nowhere is there an actual selection for "back up apps and app data". And the only time the word "data" is even used in the Batch backup menu is in reference to SYSTEM data.

    In Batch restore they seem to infer there is a way to restore apps AND the "app data". But in the Backup menu, aside from "system data", there is no mention whatsoever of "app data".

    So - When you "backup all user apps" does that ALSO back up the app DATA too (without mentioning it)?

    I am concerned because I am about to flash a new ROM. So I want my apps backed up. And if I can restore the apps to the new ROM along WITH THEIR PREVIOUS APP DATA that will save me some effort in getting things up and running again. But I know I do NOT want to restore system data from one ROM to another.

    So when I make the backup, can I just choose "Backup all user apps" and then when I restore them on the new ROM be able to choose "Restore all apps with data"?

    thefisch6 and StewieGriffin like this.

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Yes, backing-up user apps backs up their data as well. If you restore an individual app you have the option to restore just the app or app+data.

    When doing a batch restore after a ROM change I normally "restore missing apps with data", but "restore all with data" should also work. I always go through the list and untick any I don't want before running the operation anyway.
  3. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. I suspected as much, but just wanted to be sure that is how it works.

    I found that when I chose restore all apps with data I was getting a confirmation dialog on every app. (I use TIBU PRO, so did not expect to be seeing that). I stopped the operation and started anew using restore all missing apps and data and they all installed without bugging me for confirmation.

    I can't imagine living with stock unrooted devices and not being able to use TIBU or make Nandroids. These features should be baked into every device IMO. It sure makes backups and maintenance much simpler!
  4. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    Yeah, I wish Joel would change that to "Backup user apps + app data". It would make more sense IMO.

    One nice thing about the restore apps option though is the sub-options near the top of that screen...restore apps only, apps + data, data only. Because these days it's handy to use the "backup data to Google servers" option in the Android OS which syncs the apps back after a rom flash. But they seem to be lacking data or at least in some cases. So now I often run a TiBu restore of apps after the fact but select "data only" just to make sure I'm up to snuff.
    funkylogik, WilfMoralee and Zoandroid like this.
  5. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Well. call me paranoid, old fashioned, or whatever but I don't like the whole notion of "cloud computing". I use Google and allow them to sync my public documents and email, but when it comes to things such as wifi passwords and other sensitive info, I don't back those up anywhere but on my own technology. Google Backup is the first thing I turn off when I set up an Android device, before I restore a TIBU backup. So I like that TIBU can put the data back along with the apps.

    I just flashed the Lightspeed ICS ROM last night, and thanks to a TIBU backup I made after starting this thread, I was back up and running in a few minutes. Very little had changed in the way off app data. About all I had to do was re-enter my Google account info. Firefox even picked up on the shared tabs from my PC from right before the ROM flash. :)

    However, for those who like to use cloud backups, I agree it would make restoring after a ROM change go very smoothly. And for those who don't want to make the weekly Nandroid and SD backups I do here, it could save your bacon if a catastrophic device failure suddenly happened.
    funkylogik and iowabowtech like this.
  6. StewieGriffin

    StewieGriffin Newbie

    I had the same question as the OP. Thanks for asking the question and thanks for the answer!!
  7. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Speaking of making backups, it appears ICS is throwing a wrench into that simple process. I have run into issues in both Lightspeed and FlexReaper ICS ROMs due to, from what I I have researched online, ICS "dropping" the previously supported USB Mass Storage option when connecting to a PC. They now offer you only 2 other options, either of which attempts to restrict just which files you can access from a PC. The PTP (connect as camera) protocol only allows you to access photo files. The MTP (connect as media) protocol is doing its best to try to prevent me from copying all the files from my tablet's Internal Storage over to a PC. It copies about 500 MB of the 744MB total and then just "stops" as if it were completely finished. I had to make repeated attempts to different target folders before they finally all copied. Then, when I was cleaning up the mess by deleting the Windows 7 folders that had only received a partial file copy, one of the subfolders was locked by Windows and refused to delete until I used the Unlocker utility on it. Since "file permissions" are a pet headache of mine, I am not happy to see this at all.

    There is a fellow on XDA working on a utility to restore USB Mass Storage options to ICS devices, currently the Galaxy series phones and a list of others are supoorted, but at the moment his app doesn't work on the A500 running Flexreaper ICS 12.5.

    Why do they always have to take some longstanding convenience away whenever programmers develop something new??????:mad:
  8. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery

    Zoandroid, what is the app that allows USB mass storage?
  9. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Roze, you can get it and read about it here:


    I just abandoned FlexReaper and went back to Thor HC 3.2.1 v14.2 due to this overall issue. Not only is there no UMS support in (at least current) ICS ports, there is also something deliberately working to prevent me from copying files from the A500 by USB to my PC. It is even messing with trying to copy files from the A500's external USB card, which it has no business screwing with. Anyone who is into root access knows the issue of circumventing "restrictions" very well. It appears ICS is intending to find new ways to restrict us from accessing our own data. I'll have no part of that!

    I ran across a very lengthy and rather dry forum dialogue last night discussing "why" ICS IS headed this way with someone who seemed to possibly be a Google programming technician. He was explaining to some folks regarding the Galaxy line of phones (which seem to have ICS already by what was posted there) why they are working away from having external SD cards, and toward having only one conglomerate of internal storage. Personally, I would never buy a phone or tablet that did not support use of a removable SD card (or some similar future technology). My opinion is they are making a giant leap backwards in technology, and seeking to limit how many apps we can install and run.

    EVERY smartphone I have bought used a removable SD card. I got into rooting very specifically because the LG Ally I had was equipped with too little memory, and I wanted to move apps to the SD to solve that issue. So now new phones will have whatever amount of internal storage some pencilpusher decides is "enough", and no way to add more? I don't think so.

    It's just like the new Verizon Razr line being built without removable batteries. It might be a nice phone, but I won't want one if I can't change batteries in it myself. (This A500 tablet was a gift - I don't like that its battery is not removable either.)

    Roze likes this.
  10. eyecon82

    eyecon82 Well-Known Member

    does anyone know what to choose when doing a restore from a hard reset? It says device I'd has changed and if I want to change it back to the old one. What do I choose?
  11. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I'm sorry that I am not sure about the answer to your question. But I wanted to suggest that you start a new thread with your question, as this thread is over a year old. It is unlikely very many members would be following it. I guess I never unsubscribed to it myself. :)

    I think you can just restore the apps "with system data", as I have done this myself on a new phone. But I can't promise it would work. Make a nandroid first before you try, so you can undo any bad results if they happen.

    Titanium Backup's use of the term "system data" along side apps is confusing and IMO inaccurate. I verified on a forum for myself when I began using it that what it really should be calling that data is "app data". It is the specific settings you may have applied to an individual app, so that it gets restored just as you had it set up when you made the backup. But saying "system" data implies the data is somehow part of the operating system, and such data you would not want to restore if you changed ROMs or got a different phone. I wish the developer would rename that function to more accurately describe it. The whole reason I use TIBU is to be able to quickly rebuild apps just as I customized them, so I don't have to do it again after some malfunction of the device.
  12. bruce73

    bruce73 Android Enthusiast

    On a related note, has anyone gotten the update.zip (either the one with just TiBU or the batch user apps one) to flash from Recovery when you first flash a ROM? It only works for me if I boot into the new ROM, do the initial setup, then reboot into Recovery again (TWRP, in my case) and flash it (which defeats the purpose, IMO).
  13. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I am unaware of such an update zip file. Where did you get it?
  14. dvhttn

    dvhttn Android Expert

    TB Settings - near the bottom.

    I also use this method for re-installing TB. I "think" I have the same issue, where it only insdtall on a reboot rather than first install. But not sure as I always install after I've booted into the new ROM and set some stuff up.


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