Want to send your phone for repair but don’t know how to back it up first?

At SBE, we understand that sending your phone or tablet for repair can be a traumatic experience. The most common thread between the emails and tweets we receive is that smart device users are apprehensive about sending their product for repair due to the data wipe/software flash we have to perform.

phonebackupOur phones hold so much data about our lives now that the suggestion of wiping our devices is unthinkable for most. Even if a device does support memory cards, there’s still the prospect that not everything will be safe from a factory reset.

However, there are plenty of easy solutions available to make backing up data on smartphones and tablets relatively painless, and they can all be performed by anyone. Every mobile device operating system has at least one way of backing up, whether that’s via the OS itself or an app. Here are the best solutions for each OS:


Google account sync – Google’s account sync system for Android lets you automatically sync important data such as your Gmail, contacts, calendar, and your browser’s bookmarks/history. Moreover, you can also set it to sync your Google Drive and Google Keep content amongst other Google-related apps such as Google+. Google has baked in more Google account sync options into the OS itself too, which means that your installed apps automatically download via Google Play whenever you use your Google account on an Android device. However, the data for each app (including text messages) isn’t backed up when using this method. Moreover, this method doesn’t support non-Gmail email accounts. As such, this way of backing up your data is severely limited and should be used alongside other services.

Helium – App Sync and Backup – Helium is a complete Android backup system, which works in conjunction with a desktop client for non-root users (versions for Windows, Mac and Linux are available). Most Android devices are supported, with just Motorola’s line-up and some of Sony’s devices being incompatible. The free version of the app lets you backup and restore to a SD card as well as a PC. The premium version supports automatic backup schedules, Android to Android sync and cloud backup/restore. This app can backup most data from an Android device, and when used with Google’s account sync feature you should be covered.

SMS & Call Log Backup – SMS & Call Log Backup is the best Android app for backing up your text messages and your call log. Even though it only does these two very specific backup/restore data types, it offers extra features such as being able to view the contents of the backup and as well as the ability to search through them by text, contacts or phone numbers. Moreover, individual parts of the backup can be restored and you also have the ability to delete specific messages or call logs you don’t require.


iCloud – Apple’s account sync system for iOS lets you automatically sync important data such as your email, contacts, calendar, and your browser’s bookmarks/history. Furthermore, this service allows for content purchased on the iTunes Store, App Store and iBooks to be automatically available on all your iOS devices. Services such as photo/video syncing are also available, which can be handy as iOS devices don’t have memory card support. iCloud has the added bonus of being able to backup your account data and passwords too. However, users only get 5GB of free storage space on the service. If you require more, you have to pay a premium.

iTunes – Apple’s PC/Mac desktop app allows you to backup a lot of data from an iOS device. Data such as settings, messages, pictures, documents, saved games as well as everything else iCloud can backup can be backed up via this method. However, iTunes backups don’t include content that has been synced to the device, such as movies, music, podcasts and apps. Using this in conjunction with iCloud is recommended by Apple, as they should backup most of your data when combined.

Windows Phone

Microsoft Cloud backup – Microsoft’s account sync system for Windows Phone lets you automatically sync important data such as your text messages, emails, app list, contacts, calendar, your browser’s bookmarks/history, your call history and your device’s account list. Individual settings also get synced, including niche items like your device’s theme colour. Photos/videos and location data can also be synced too.

MCE Toolbox

All of these services may be helpful if you can still use the device correctly, but what if the device’s screen is broken or there’s something else stopping you from using these solutions? Fortunately, we have a product that deals with this specific problem. Our MCE Toolbox can be found in EE and O2 stores, and allows you to backup your device’s content to external storage as well as restore that backup when your device is returned.

Moreover, the device can update your phone’s software and even attempt to fix software-related problems in-store while you wait. We have trained retail staff in both shops to use the device, and we’re getting great feedback from their customers. The tool’s software is updated regularly to keep up with the fast-paced world of mobile software and device developments, which means that we can continue to provide excellent device support over a long-term basis.


As you can see, there are now plenty of ways you can backup and restore your device’s content regardless of your platform. These are only a small sample of what’s out there, but they are definitely the best ones to focus on. Please exercise caution when choosing a backup solution and try to use officially recommended solutions wherever possible. If you have doubts about an app or service, use resources such as the app’s reviews or mobile device websites to get a balanced view which could help.

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