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Backup and Restore your Android device Using ClockWorkMod Recovery

Each time you decide to perform operations on your Android powered device the data saved on its storage memory or even on its SD card might be wiped out. Furthermore, if you want to do things more complicated like flashing a custom ROM, install unofficial updates, or beta firmware, you can wreck (brick) the phone’s system. But, there is a way in which you can avoid all these unfortunate aspects. You can make a full backup before starting the main process; and I’m not referring to any backup as you should save your current ROM first.

This is exactly what we will be checking during the present step by step guide: how to backup and restore your Android device before installing custom ROMs, or applying unofficial updates. And the perfect way to do it is by using the ClockWorkMod Recovery custom recovery image. With this you can backup the current ROM that is running on your phone, so in case if something goes wrong while trying to flash a new ROM into the system you will be able to revert and use the old software. This is the perfect method to use for avoiding bricking your smartphone.

As you know, the warranty is void each time you want to complete one of the up mentioned operations, so backing up the software is no longer an option for you. Anyway, you need to get ClockWorkMod Recovery first. If you don’t know CWM is a custom recovery designed to work on the Android platform and offer different capabilities to the users like: making backups, test custom ROMs, perform maintenance operations and so on.

Now let’s head to the proper guide. Make sure you read all the lines for understanding the concept and for completing a full and safe backup of your ROM. Also you will learn how to install and use CWM, so don’t skip sections of the tutorial.

How to Backup and Restore your Android device Using ClockWorkMod Recovery

  1. First, you should root your device as you cannot install ClockWorkMod Recovery on an un-rooted handset. Check our previous posts as you can find a how to root guide suitable for your device.
  2. Then you should know that not all the smartphones are being able to support the tool. So, before starting to do something, check here and see if your phone is on the list.
  3. Then, after checking the compatibility and rooting the handset you must go on Google Play and search for the ROM Manager app.
  4. Install the same.
  5. Then open the tool.
  6. Select the “flash ClockWorkMod Recovery” option.
  7. Then, just select “Backup Current ROM” and follow the prompts.
  8. The backup will be completed once you reboot the smartphone.
  9. Now, if you decide to install a custom ROM into the system and something wrong happens just restore the backed up firmware by opening the app again and choosing “Manage and Restore Backup” and then “Restore”.
  10. You will have the old OS as soon as you reboot the device.

So, there you have it; that’s how you can backup the current ROM before flashing a custom ROM, or update your Android device with an unofficial firmware, and this by using the ClockWorkMod Recovery tool. If you want to backup the rest of the files from your handset too, you can use other apps, or methods. In this way you can save your personal info whether it is about messages, contacts, calendar saves, Market apps and who knows what else. Just follow the links from below and you should be able to perform a full and safe backup of your Android powered phone:

  • misael

    buen dia estoy desesperado soy de guatemala y por tratar de ser s-off no se que paso pero mi telefon o htc amaze 4g se quedo con una pantalla negra y un telefono pequeño ademas no restaura la rom ni llendo al recovery por favor ayudenme si ustedes saben como instalar de nuevo el firware y saben de algun programa aganmelo saber x favor sacor89@hotmail.com

    • nicolo

      all people here are buulshit!!! hahaha… you can fix your own problem by searching the web.. but if you can’t.. you are one of themillions stupid people living on earth..

  • Faisal

    ROM Manager doesn’t support Samsung….Ridiculous !!!

    • Roy

      Bullshit. Running just fine on my tab 10.1.

      Blaming ROM Manager for your own mistake is kinda meh

  • Faisal

    In ROM Manager, when I click flash ClockWorkMod Recovery, there was not listed my Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830, so I selected the first one. Then I clicked on “Backup Current ROM” and my screen got black. I tried to switch off, nothing works. I took off my battery, inserted again, but power button is not working. What is going on ? does my smartphone turned into paper-weight ?

    • fdas

      if you choose the wrong phone it will brick your phone

      • curious

        so isn’t there any way to backup galaxy ace S5830 using CWM Recovery?


      same with my phone …its not starting ….when click backup current rom …..my screen got black ….and not starting …i tried much bot its now starting !!!

    • You boot into recovery mode and select update from SD Card and select CWM (which you have to download) and select backup and restore….Simple

      • alls

        can i make backup safetly with cwm 5 on galaxy ace s5830… will cwm back up brick my phone.
        i will not use rom managr.

    • g7755725

      No it means that if your device isn’t listed and you choose to install a recovery that your device isn’t shown, your device will brick because ROM manager doesn’t include certain android devices roms/recovery and to be honest it even showed you when you click device not shown in the bottom the only way to unbrick it is to repair it using a software repair tool devs created or the brand of your device tool, their is no possible way to recover your tablet/phone from the device itself aso your stupid for even doing it in the first place….

    • g7755725

      Also forgot next time search your model for it on Google before using it in Samsung galaxy tab 10.1 is listed in the app and used it today

    • azbolive

      use kies emergency recovery or try holding vol down home and power at once!

  • Rodrigo Zuluaga

    I’m trying to restore from clockwork and sais MD5 mismatch…..!! What is happening…

  • alan

    the “How to root Samsung Galaxy Note II” says I should backup my current ROM and brings me to this guide. This guide says I must root before I can backup. Catch 22?

    • aldus

      i exactly have the same doubt…

    • azbolive

      use either eroot or flash a ready rooted kernel with odin!

    • Alexander Kerr

      You have to install CWM to root your phone, installing CWM doesn’t actually root your phone, it’s just a part of the process

  • Pierre Dubois

    Hi, ROM Manager Just bricked my Gio, DO NOT USE AS IT’S WORTHLESS!!!!!!! Good thing that I don’t need the phone, it was s**t anyway, with old gingerbread,and battery life was useless but still DO NOT USE ROM Manager ON SAMSUNG GIO AS IT WILL BRICK IT!!!!

  • eden

    pls help. when i use CWM backup my fone MB526 restart but after the motorola icon theres “!” and droid, then it wont shutdown using power off. thus this mean it is not backuped?

  • Pushpendra

    Awesome.!!! It works as expected on Micromax A116 Canvas HD..

  • raf

    i have lost my internal storage with all my pics,, can i get them back

    • Enter recovery mode and restore your backup.

      • sessizciglik

        silly question but does it back up also SD card or only phone storage? because i moved my most apps to sd card. so i dont need to back up them?

  • Asher

    Where are the Links!! I cannot live with this phone another second without rooting it!

  • alls

    can i make backup safetly with cwm 5 on galaxy ace s5830… will cwm back up brick my phone.
    i will not use rom manager.

  • pascalandrea

    whats the web to dowload ace gt s5830i 4.1?

  • JackAss

    Just a heads up, you DO NOT need to use Rom Manager to backup the phone. If you have rooted your phone then you will obviously has cwm installed. Turn off the phone, remove battery, put it back in, and power it up in fastboot mode (the dos-like mode for newbies); it is usually power+volume down button together. From here select Recovery, then choose Backup and Restore, then choose Backup. Thats it. It will take some time but it will get the job done. You can have a backup of the backup by going into the cwm folder (cwm, clokwork mod) and choose the folder with the date on which you backed up the phone.

    • Deeksha Goswami

      this is the only thing i need to done after rooting|?/
      i am having galaxy grand i9082 device.
      suggest me how to keep safe all of my data like pictures and apps.

    • xpmule

      obviously has cwm installed. ?
      no bad assumption..
      Before i did anything i checked if i could unlock the bootloader,
      Then i looked at my options and i checked CWM and i did not like the list of features it has.
      So i chose to use Squid’s custom kernel + Squid’s TWRP Recovery
      and a STOCK Rom (instead of CWM Rom)
      I compared stock vs CWM and stock sounded better to me..

      And that raises the other point here i want to make.
      You can search for TWRP recovery and use that instead of CWM and CWM’s recovery.

      Root does not mean CWM guys..

  • Ahmed

    I have a Galaxy tab 7″ “P1000” and I want to know how to install the CWM coz I didnt find it in the supported devices list

  • 512MB of RAM

    Love it!

  • aldus

    let´s see if i understood your instructions: you say that first of all we have to backup our data but later in tis page, it says that first we have to unroot our device in order to install the software for backing up… is that a loop or what?

  • Chris

    I backed up mine before trying a new unofficial update and when I go to restore it says “couldn’t open directory” “no files found”
    I did back it up… how do I restore now?

  • Mark Joseph Federico

    hi guys i just wanna know if somebody knows the deafult name of the back up file of gt s7562 cause i think i have renamed it …. please help thanks

  • badr usmani

    How to root my moto e 4.4.4

  • Amit

    how to create backup of micromax canvas turbo a250. I tried rom manager, nandroid but i cant create backup of my device rom.
    please help…

  • Faizahmed Shaikh

    I have nokia x( normandy) and its not listed in cwm recovery as a result I am not able to backup my current rom any if there is other way to backup nokia x rom then plz suggest…

  • pupuyski

    is there a rooting guide for O+ air? thanks

    • dreyofmpc

      use kingroot

  • Will

    Howroot droid x2

  • parichay

    I have not installed cvm on my rooted moto e and now i have bricked my phone. How will i enter into the recovery?

  • Dhino

    Am getting an error while backing up my rom. Generating md5 sum is not found. Please help

  • Pamela

    Please help. My phone is rooted so when I did the flash but the I only made it to #6. My phone is stuck & no matter what I do, it comes back to recovery mode and not allowing me to go any further. I have a Samsung note 3 N900P.

  • Lalit Sahoo

    Does backup ROM will backup of all the installed apps, settings, phone book, sms etc. or only the ROM?

    • Miro


      • Dave L

        It backs up everything, not just ROMs

        • monte

          I’ve heard many,many,many,bad vibes about rom manager.personally i would use something else

          • Dave L

            I use CWM alone. Without the ROM Manager.

  • sdf

    this sucked, not what i searched for 🙁

  • g-king

    Hi…i wud like to know if gingerbread version in my samsung galaxy beam can be upgraded to jelly bean or any other higher version os or not, so that i can read and write unicode character on the phone? if yes how to do it…please help… i m not technically expert.. wish anyone here can explain me in plain simple layman term..thnx in advance.

  • Joseph Gibson

    I have everything backed up on titanium. Should I still use this app? Does titanium not copy the current rom?

  • Arun Jp

    what if, I need to backup my data before rooting??


    Will this work on lg optimus pad l-06c with honeycomb?

  • Le Zuero

    When we backup a rom, the installed apps are backed up along with the OS?

    • Dave L

      Just do a full backup

  • Klentian Beqiri

    xperia m is not supported by clockworkmod so it says rom manager

  • John Paul Saban Carias

    Im on the backup process when the process suddenly stopped or stucked up ? here it goes :
    ClockworkMod Recovery v5.0.2.8
    SD Card space free: 7190MB
    Backing Up boot image . . .
    Backing up recovery image . . .
    Backing up system . . .

    it stopped !
    what should i do ?

  • ahmed hassan


  • weilpoi

    I know a great Android data backup tool called MobiKin Assistant for Android, with it, you can backup and restore your files, edit your sms anc contacts, transfer your data to computer saved as readable files.

  • Jahanzeb Anwer

    while recovering my previous rom(stock) an error occured “error restoring data files” what to do now?

  • mahmad

    Every time i try to backup the rom it stops on “backing yp boot.img” then it stops
    Any idea?
    Thanks in advanced.

  • amine

    can i back up my rom using twrp recovery

  • Max

    How to move backup from phone memory to sd card? After backup there no free space on the phone.

  • PhiVis

    Does not Work with Samsung Tab 7.7 Gt P6800

    No ClockWorkMod available

  • aijaz bhat

    When i click backup current rom my phone simply reboot into recovery then i press reboot now to restart my phone
    My phone is galaxy note 3 sm N9005.

  • berley

    With MobiKin Android Assistant, you can easily backup your android phone to computer or other external storage devices, and you can also recover the lost data from an android phone with MobiKin Android Recovery.

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