Enable a way to backup a Windows Phone, including SMS/MMS and applications and settings
Auto full backup of entire phone state to SkyDrive with the option to set via WiFi only.
This is a major issue that has persisted unaddressed since the release of WindowsPhone in November 2010. Microsoft has indeed demonstrated strong developer support with outstanding tools and even catering to SmartPhone-aware users by including features that many come to expect such as Copy-Paste in the “NoDo” update.
Unfortunately, addressing the question of backup and restore has never been given priority.
For the "Mango" release users were led to believe that there was some form of backup and restore functionality on the way; however after attempting this manually most users realized that a backup would only be performed when an update was made available. These updates are too far apart to justify the rationale for not allowing for more frequent backups.
Whether a transfer for restore is needed to be performed, every bit of data should be backed up.
This data would include:
- System settings (lock screen & wallpaper, theme, wifi, ringtones, etc.)
- App settings
- App data (local storage and game saves)
- App manifest and app installs (Marketplace)
- Contacts via People Hub
- Call history
- Messaging history (text threads, online chat, etc.)
- Photos and videos
None of the above information is device specific; and in the case of different platform versions, data such as apps would be re-installed, as opposed to just copied back over.
With that said, obviously the functionality does indeed exist, as demonstrated in backups created when an update is available. The question comes down to why this functionality isn't more readily available.
One usability concern would be whether or not the backup and restore functionality should in fact be manual or automatic. This could be a user preference that puts some responsibility on the user to either allow for automatic backups performed when connected to Zune or manual by clicking a "backup" button. In either case "checkpoints" would be created (similar to Windows System Restore Points).
For "Mango" there were also hints that a cloud-based backup solution would be made available; however at this time the only thing that gets restored from the cloud – via Live – is your contact and calendar information. A cloud-based backup and restore solution is welcome however a local solution via Zune should also be present (and again is demonstrated to work in updates).
This is an unacceptable amount of steps needed for the transfer user experience; and there are similar concerns that have been lingering when it comes to backup and restore functionality.
What is being expected of the user is to remember or otherwise personally keep track of several locations that different portions of device state and data may be located; and then the user is required to perform a series of complex steps to get the device in a state that isn’t even close to the original expected configuration. This is punishing the user and does not provide peace of mind to the user; nor does it entice a user to try a new device. Lastly, it leaves the user helpless in the event that a disaster occurs with their WindowsPhone device.
Regardless of the fact that there are different hardware configurations in the different flavors of devices available, one thing remains true: there is only one platform. This is different from the segmented Android market; however it is more of a hybrid situation compared to iOS (many more devices yet still a unified platform). Because there is only one platform it shouldn’t matter what WindowsPhone device a user has.
This isn't an anti-Microsoft or pro-competitor rant, but a plea to prioritize features vs. required functionality that should represent the core of the WindowsPhone platform.
PLEASE develop a feature that facilitates a true 100% backup/restore of EVERYTHING on the Windows Phone 7 (i.e., text message threads, configuration settings, apps)
Backup of all content of phone to allow user to restore on to new device purchased or replacement device
to live.com account / cloud
This feature is now available in Windows Phone 8.
Richard Nalezynski commented
It's not a #FreeTimeMachine if you have to start all over on a new device or if something happens to your current device.
Richard Nalezynski commented
This also affects game app progress, especially games that use Live achievements.
See this developer request for the ability to restore game app data based on Live achievements or stored data:
Can be via Skydrive, that would be perfect.
This is an ESSENTIAL FEATURE!!! We will pay for this functionality, even though there are freebies in the Android/iToy spheres. As great as the phone is, a basic, even core feature is missing. Please address this as soon as practical or even get one of the developers to spend some time on it. There are plenty of games, but why the lack of utilities?
MS you need this more than you think.
Mike White commented
I think a user backup procedure needs to be implemented as soon as possible. And this includes the ability to migrate the backup to another phone. I represent a Microsoft Partner, and we are seeing increased sales from teaming Microsoft's Office 365 (cloud solution) with Windows Phone. The integration is just seamless. Some of our customers are using 2 year old first gen devices, which are now end of life, and many are considering upgrades, especially to the new Nokias. However a big stumbling block for us, from an "ecosystem" point of view is the inability to move SMS from old to new phone. For many businesses these SMS messages are as important as email, and right now they will lose these messages. If MS want Windows Phone to penetrate the business market, they must give us the right tools to enable migration...
This issue has been one of the biggest issues since Windows Phone came out 1.5 years ago. Nothing has been done in years. How can Microsoft expect to compete to Android or iOS with such hindering issues. WP has got the best experience no other phone comes close to match, but also the worst experience when it comes to issues like this. Unfortunately for WP, the bad outweighs the good and Microsoft really needs to address things that are so in its face. I've been looking to get the new Lumia phone, but will not be able to considering I will lose all my phone data that I can not transfer to the new phone. Microsoft is not only losing its customer satisfaction, but also the lost potential income.
Sarah Bower commented
I agree with everything here. Actually wondering about scanning text screens and saving messages that way! How desperate is that??
I hate to point this out to all the WP7 lovers out there, but, MS didn't address a full backup solution for Windows Mobile either. It took third party developers to come up with an application(s) that worked. I'm not holding my breath waiting for MS on this one. This is truly the weakest point of an otherwise great OS.
sysu jeff commented
there is no doubt that my windows phone will break down oneday.so i need to reset my phone.but all my messages,application data and settings are missing.i am so sad.an easy and efficiant way to backup data is of great importance.
VOTE HERE FOR DRAW SOMETHING STRAIGHT TO THE OFFICIAL DEVELOPERS!
Dear Microsoft: If you upgrade your phone in the same location your messages use the exact same phone number so please work it out so you can migrate all messages with threads! Thanks.
This is needed very badly especially as hot new WP devices are coming out and original adopters are able to upgrade.
Xiao miao commented