June 19, 2024


It's the Technology

How to use Shizuku to restore all your Android apps


Back in the early days of Android, Titanium Backup was the go-to backup solution made exclusively for root users. Its impact on the power user community over the years is undeniable; however, Titanium Backup’s days are numbered since it isn’t being maintained. Luckily, there’s a more modern option for those that don’t want to rely solely on the online backups you get from your Google One account. Swift Backup is the perfect choice for your backup needs, giving you both offline and custom cloud storage options without requiring full root access.

So if Google provides online device backups using Google One, why would anyone want to use another option instead? Many users prefer to have more choice over how they back up and restore their devices. Also, when restoring your apps using a Google One backup, you’ll have to redownload them from the Play Store since it only keeps a list of which ones were installed. Using Swift Backup as your recovery option after a factory reset can save time, battery, and network data since you won’t have to download them from scratch.


Install the Shizuku app and enable the service

Open the Shizuku app once it’s installed, and start the service using your method of choice. The easiest non-root way to enable the Shizuku service for Android 11 and above is the Start via Wireless debugging option. Root access may still be required for some Swift Backup features; however, Shizuku gives you more than enough control over your device backups.

If needed, we have a guide that walks you through the steps to get Shizuku up and running with minimal effort. You can close down the Shizuku app once you successfully have the service running on your device.

How to back up the apps on your device using Swift Backup

One of the best things about Swift Backup is that you can batch backup and restore your apps when paired with Shizuku. This means you can check all the items you want, hit a button, and it’ll do everything for you without any user input. In other words, you won’t have to sit there manually backing up your apps one at a time. To get started with Swift Backup, you can do the following:

  1. Install and open the Swift Backup app, then you can choose to sign in with your Google account or use it offline.

    • The Continue without an account option works great for offline backups; however, you’ll need to log in to your Google account for cloud backups and other premium features.
  2. When the Shizuku permission request pops up, tap Allow all the time to confirm the choice.
  3. You can review and swipe away the Recent changes page to reach the main screen.
    • Notice under the Root Status section near the top, it should show No root, ADB access via Shizuku.

  4. Under the Apps quick actions section, tap the Backup all apps option.
  5. Select the apps you want to back up from your device, then hit the Backup options button at the bottom.
    • All of your currently installed apps are selected by default; however, you can scroll through this list and uncheck any apps you don’t want to save.
  6. Under User App Parts, the APKs option should already be checked since that’s the format your apps will be saved in.
    • The APKs option is required to save your apps; however, you can also add additional backup features such as Ext. data, Expansion, and Media. You can’t use the Data option to back up and restore your app data without full root access.

    • The average user doing a simple app backup should be fine using just the APKs option. Gamers would want to also check Ext. data and Expansion to save the external resources that most games require you to download.

  7. Now you can choose either the Device option for local offline backups or Cloud for online backups saved externally.
  8. Once you have your choices selected to fit your needs, tap the Backup button at the bottom to begin the batch process.
    • Depending on the number of apps and how much storage space they occupy, it might take a few minutes to complete.

  9. Once the backup process has finished, hit the Done button at the bottom to wrap things up here.
    • If you made an offline backup, you might want to save it onto a computer or external media device for safekeeping. You can copy the SwiftBackup folder from the root of your internal storage and paste it to your external media device.

How to restore the apps on your device using Swift Backup

After your device has gone through a factory reset, you’ll want to quickly get things back up and running to avoid extra downtime. The recovery process is quite simple whether you backed up your apps offline or used the cloud-based option. To bring your device back to life using Swift Backup, you can do the following:

  1. Start by going through the initial device setup process like usual and sign in to your Google account.
    • Don’t forget to skip restoring your apps during the setup because you’ll be using Swift Backup for that instead.
  2. Go to the Play Store and install both Shizuku and Swift Backup.
  3. Open the Shizuku app and enable the service like you did earlier.

  4. Open the Swift Backup app to the main screen, then tap the Restore all apps option.
    • Make sure to transfer the SwiftBackup folder with your saved apps to the root of your internal storage like it was earlier, or your apps won’t appear on the list.
  5. All the apps you backed up will be selected by default, so just press the Restore options button at the bottom to continue.

  6. Check the same options you did for the backup to make sure everything works correctly, then press Restore to begin the process.
  7. Once all of your apps have been restored, tap the Done button to finish up here.

Local backups for the win

Now that you know how to perform basic app backups using Swift Backup, you can dive into some of its extra features for even more flexibility. For example, you might also consider backing up your messages, call logs, and wallpapers after this. And when it comes to premium paid features, you can create your own cloud configurations or set up a custom schedule frequency to easily automate the backup process. If you want to step up your back up game even more, you may want to try a Synology NAS as a Google Drive alternative.

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