How to Completely Back Up your Windows Phone Before Upgrading to Windows 10 Mobile

Ashish Mundhra

One of the best features that was added to Windows 8.1 Mobile was the ability to take a backup of the entire phone. Which means, the new backup feature not only lets you back up data like contacts, messaging and apps, but also related settings and data of each app. Apart from that, you can also back up your phone settings, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth information, home screen layout and so much more.

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That means, when you flash your phone, or upgrade to a new Windows Mobile device, you will have everything exactly the same. So let’s have a look on how we can perform the backup on the Windows Mobile 8.1 devices and then have a look at how to manage and restore them in the future.

Taking Backup on Windows Mobile 8.1

For the sake of simplicity, Microsoft stores the backup of the device on OneDrive. This makes it easier for you to restore the data wherever you need it. Also, these backups can be performed on a mobile network, but connecting to a Wi-Fi network would be an ideal choice.

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On your Windows Mobile, open the settings and navigate to the Backup option. You will see three different modules here, namely Apps+Settings, Text Messages and Photos+Videos. By default, each one of them would be turned off.

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You will have to tap on each of them manually and turn on the backup. The Settings backup will take care of all the personal settings you have on your Windows Mobile, like the Start Screen Layout, Wi-Fi networks and stuff. The App Backup will take care of app data like your game levels, high scores etc. Trust me, they matter a lot when your game doesn’t sync your progress online.

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The messaging backup will do as the name says and the only thing you can configure is the time frame you wish to maintain the backup for.

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Finally, you have the option to back up the photos and videos to the cloud and that’s what will consume the most of your bandwidth. So if your phone has an expandable storage where you save all your media, or you take regular backup of your photos and videos on to your PC, you can skip the backup.

But if bandwidth is not an issue and you are not spectacle about your photos saved on the cloud, then go for it.

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Note: The entire media will be uploaded to your OneDrive storage so make sure you have enough storage on the cloud.

So that was how you can take backup on your Windows Phone. Let’s now have a look on where they are stored and how to restore them on an upgraded phone.

Managing Backups

All the backups are stored on your OneDrive, but are not exactly saved in a folder you can access directly. To manage that, open and login to OneDrive and click on the Get more storage option at the bottom-left of the page where you see all your files.

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On the next page, click on Device backups and you will be able to see all the backups you have for each of the devices you have made on OneDrive. If you wish to delete any of the stale backups, simply hit the delete button.

device backups

Restoring the Backup on Windows Mobile

The phone can only be restored while you are setting it up for the first time. So that means, either you will have to completely format the phone or get a new phone running on Windows Mobile to restore the backup.

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When you sign it to the Microsoft account while setting up the phone, it will automatically scan OneDrive and give you the list of available backups you can choose to restore to. If you have more than one backup, the data on which these were created will help you to choose form.

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The phone will be restored before the setup is complete and you will get all the settings, messages and photos exactly the same way as you left it on the previous device. You might be asked to confirm some security codes in the process though.

Waiting for Windows 10

So that was all about backing up phones in Windows 8.1. The process has changed in Windows 10 along with couple of other things. Don’t worry, we will update you as soon as the public release is out.

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Ashish Mundhra

Written By

Ashish Mundhra

Ashish is a staff writer and video editor at Guiding Tech. He loves all things tech and has a soft corner for Android. Apart from contributing articles here, he also takes care of our YouTube Channel.