Using Gmail to backup your Android smartphone

Looking for a way to backup your Android phone? Need a way to get your information from one Android smartphone to another? Your Gmail account is one of the best options available. This article shows how to check to make sure that your phone is backed up to your Gmail account.

Knowing your Gmail

Knowing what your Gmail is and the account information associated with that Gmail is ALWAYS a good idea. If your phone malfunctions, gets lost, or heaven forbid it gets stolen then when you get your replacement (as long as its Android), you can log into your Gmail on that phone and your Gmail account will pull back a lot of your phones information automatically. It can be a real life saver in many situations and most certainly a time saver when getting another Android phone.

To check what your Gmail account is

  • Go to your Settings. (Home key, Menu key, then Settings)
  • Tap Accounts. It might say “Accounts and sync” or it might just say “Accounts”
  • Look for your Gmail. Your Gmail should be shown on the Accounts page. It might be listed under Google. It should end with @gmail.com

Make Note of it or Write it down. If it doesn’t look familiar or if you don’t think you will be able to remember the Gmail account then I suggest you write it down and keep it for your records. You might need it later.

Backing up your information to your Gmail

Chances are high that your information is already synced to your Gmail account because the default setting is to automatically sync information to your Gmail. You DO want to check your information though.

To check and make sure your phone is synced: 

  • Go into your phones Accounts (or Accounts and Sync) page under the phones Settings (as shown above).
  • Click your Gmail and open it up. Note: if you have multiple Gmail accounts on your phone then you want to look for your Primary Gmail Account. It’s going to be the first Gmail account that was added to the phone. If you aren’t sure which one is your primary Gmail account then try and click on it and tap remove account. Your phone WILL NOT allow you to simply remove your Primary Gmail account from an Android smartphone.
  • Make sure it shows the days date. Under your Gmail it should show what your Gmail is programmed to sync and will say something like Sync Contacts, Sync Google, Sync Calendar, etc. Make sure that under the options/information that you want synced it shows the days date. If it doesn’t then click the “Sync now” option. If you don’t see a “Sync now” option then click on the option you want to sync such as “sync contacts” it should put a little spinning arrow next to that selection to let you know that it’s syncing. If it just deselects the option then click it again and it should force a manual sync.

Note: You can do this manual sync for the other options showing on that page as well.

Note: Turn your Wi-Fi ON if it’s available, it will make the sync go faster.

Note: Sometimes the spinning arrows stop instead of disappearing, if you wait a minute or two and it doesn’t go away, or doesn’t show the days date, then check your Wi-Fi again and try another manual sync.

Once it shows the day’s date your information will be saved to that Gmail.

Sync is currently experiencing problems

If you get an error saying “Sync is currently experiencing problems it will be back shortly” or something to that effect then your Gmail is unfortunately not syncing correctly. Make sure that your phone can access the internet (I recommend Wi-Fi), and try a manual sync again (as mentioned above). If you can’t get it to sync then proceed down the page.

If your phone wont sync to Gmail

If you’re trying to do a backup on your phone so that you can perform a factory data reset then there are other options and methods available in order to backup your devices information. I recommend you read how to backup and reset and android phone for some of these additional options.

Checking or Resetting your Gmail

Many people set up their Gmail accounts and never worry about it again, or when they buy their phone the nice store representative helped them setup the Gmail and the user of the phone has no idea what their Gmail account is.

If this is the pickle that you might be in then you are not alone, and there is a solution. You can simply reset your Gmail accounts password.

Go to a computer and go to mail.google.com and try to log into your Gmail account. If you can log into your account on a computer then you will have no problem logging into the account on your phone. If you can’t remember your password then click on the Can't access your account? Link below where you attempted to sign in. Gmail can send a password reset link to you through the alternate email account you used when first setting up your Gmail account. Go to that other email address click the reset link, change your password and then log into your Gmail account. Note: if you change your Gmail password then it might take a few login attempts to get back into the Gmail account through your cell phone. If you try 3+ times to log into your Gmail on your phone after resetting the password then wait a minute and try again, it could take a few minutes for the password change to take effect. If it still doesn’t work then close out of the Gmail setup and start from the beginning.

IMPORTANT TIPS ABOUT YOUR GMAIL ACCOUNT

Here are some things you might want to consider about your Gmail account on your Android smartphone.

  • If you have a backup of your contacts to a SIM card or Memory card, don’t have any important information saved to your calendar and have never paid to download an application from the Play Store then you might want to consider resetting your phone and creating a new Gmail account that you can more easily remember.
  • You can’t change your primary Gmail account without resetting your phone, your Gmail is that important.
  • If you reset your phone then you will have to log into a Gmail account again in order to get full functionality on your device.
  • You need a Gmail to access the Google Marketplace, now known as the Play Store, and won’t be able to download applications from that Play Store without one.
  • If you buy an application on the Play Store your Gmail is your online signature and if you need to re-download that app again, as long as you download it with the same Gmail account you used originally, you won’t be charged again for downloading it.  So if you download a game for .99 cents and decide you don’t want that game anymore so you un-install it and then decide later that you want that game again. As long as you re-download it and have not changed your Gmail then you will not have to pay .99 cents again.
  • If you have a Gmail account already then when you setup your Gmail make sure to choose the “use an existing account option” and not the “create a Gmail account” not only will it not error out but your information from your already existing account will pull back and you have less text fields to fill out. The username is your email address and the password is your Gmail’s password.
  • You can setup your Gmail account under your Accounts (or Accounts and Sync) page on your Android phone. Simply go to that page and click on Add account, select Google, sign in, allow sync, and your good to go.

In conclusion knowing your Gmail and allowing it to save your information is always a good bet. Now you know not only how to check to see that your Gmail is synced to your Android phone but also how to sync it if necessary.

Enjoy your backups and enjoy your phone. If you have any addition Google backup methods, tips, tricks, or suggestions don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day.

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