Manual APK Backup

Manual APK Backup


First of all. Yes, there are apps that can automatically do pretty much the same thing (i.e. Titanium Backup, ES File Manager or ASTRO File Manger) and can be downloaded free from Play Store. But sometimes using them is not advised after installing new ROM or they don`t work as they should. In times like that this knowledge will come in handy.

Here is how APK BACKUP works step by step. This method works both for paid and free apps

- rooted Android device
- the correct USB driver installed

1) on the Android device, go into Settings => Applications => Development => check USB Debugging

2) plug the Android into a PC

3) open Run menu by pressing Windows Key+R or clicking on Start (bottom left of window screen)=> Run

4) type in cmd to open Command Prompt

5) go download the SDK for your OS with .exe extension

6) install the SDK from the .exe after download

7) type in adb devices, you should see a serials of numbers if you installed the driver + SDK correctly.

Troubleshooting: If you see something that says "List of devices attached" but no numbers under it then your USB driver is not correctly installed or the device is not plugged in. If you see incorrect command error then you did not download the SDK installer exe.

8) type in adb shell

9) type in su

Troubleshooting: If you get command not found then you have not rooted your device. If you get permission denied then you have not enable root access in Super User app on the device(open your device and Super User should pop up asking for access => press OK. Type su again if the menu does not appear)

10) Type in cd data/app or if you don`t see the apps you want, type in cd data/app-private instead

11) Note down the name of the .apks and location of the app you want

12) Type exit to leave adb shell. You now see your local directory on the side (i.e. c:/something)

13) Create a new folder in c: drive called androidapks

14) Type (without the quotes) adb pull data/app/"full name of apk" c:/androidapks
adb pull data/app-private/"full name of apk" c:/androidapks

15) Finished!

Now that you have downloaded legally obtained that folder with 500 apks file of different applications, it is time to learn how to install all the apks at the same time, since it would take forever to manually install each and every app. The process begins with you knowning how to work adb shell for your android =>
=> HOW TO USE the WINDOWS cmd.exe

1) Plug in the phone. Make sure you have the usb driver installed before moving on.

2) download android SDK and unzip it to your computer(i.e. to C:\SDK). I recommend downloading and using the installer_sdk.exe. Here I will use the zip for a more detailed explanation.

3) Open command prompt (press winkey + r, then type in cmd)

4) Navigate to the SDK tools folder in command prompt

type - c:\SDK\android-sdk-windows-1.5_r3\tools
note: For newer sdks, you need to be in platform-tools folder instead of tools

5) type adb devices to see your phone connection
note: if no devices appear, make sure you correctly installed the driver

6) type adb shell to enter an adb session

Now you are connected to your phone using "adb shell" and can perform any "adb" commands (such as adb pull, adb install, or adb shell).

When you are able to adb, follow these steps:


1) after you get an adb shell connection in the command prompt navigate to the folder containing your APKs/Apps.

2) type in this code to install on phone:

for %f in (*.apk) do adb install "%f"


type in this code if you have app2sd and want app on SDcard:

adb push "folder of apps" /system/sd/app

3) if you don't want to install on sdcard :

adb push folder of apps /data/app

by arawn
Jul 23, 2012
comnam90 and Robbie Hood like this.