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.
Paul Simpson commented
Agreed, backup of app and saved game data is a must!
Isaac Haupt commented
Especially important whenever you upgrade your phone! It is a necessity to be able to copy the old phone over to the new phone quickly and efficiently. It would only make sense that this is available through one of the many ways this phone connects with Microsoft and Live
I can not believe that this was not part of the original O/S. Unforgivable, seeing that it was a Winmo 6 feature.
Randy Williams commented
I was at the ATT device repair center yesterday and they said I may need a new phone (trying a new battery first) - I ask them if they could put the settings and software on my old phone on the new one (same model) - no way to do that was the answer - WOW - unbelieveably lame. Back to the iPhone if this is not fixed soon. I am actually shocked that MSFT would not have this handled.
Samsung Focus S
I'd love to buy a newer WP7 device but until I can backup and transfer my save game data and other app data to another phone I'm not going to buy another one.
how the GPS work on the phone....??????
How can we take back up the entire things from the device.
and preferably carry forward that backup into a newer device (phone transfer kinds)
We want to be able to make a full phone backup!!!
Richard Haigh commented
Like other long time WP users I had just assumed that Zune would allow regular back ups so was somewhat disappointed to discover that it doesn't. There is an XDA developer work-around out there indicating it isn't hard to do and it is a fairly basic requirement of any smartphone operating system so can't understand why MS didn't put it in at the start. Come on guys sort it out!
@Loren. Great post/idea. Most others just complain. Good to see a good constructive thought.
Loren Okuly commented
I'd also love to see all my data backed up to the cloud and synced between my devices. For example, when I hit the lake I swap my phone out with a cheap ****** windows phone. if it gets wet thats ok. but when I get off the boat I move my sim back to my windows phone that I love that I'd be sad if it sunk to the bottom of the lake. Problem is, my data that changed while I was on the lake isn't on my other phone. My SMS's are there, My MMS's are there. My photos aren't there etc.... manual backup to my PC would be ok I guess but not nearly as night if everything was just synced to the cloud whenever I've got reception
Dave Robilliard commented
Eriq and Jamie, you are both fools. Jamie, a phone is for phoning, anything on top is value added. They are fixing problems, stop being a tool. Eriq, don't blame the device for your stupidity not checking the thing worked first. Yes annoying, but avoidable.
Most phones (even cheap phones) support device backup/restore but not wp7 are micro$oft going backwards in development?
Just bought a Nokia Lumia 710. After many hours of setup & configuring everything including accounts and apps, I find it has a faulty speaker phone (hardware issue). T-Mobile offers me a replacement phone. I thought, "Let me just do a full backup and restore everything to the replacement."
After Google search I learn that I can't do that.
I am returning the Nokia altogether and not going through that again. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 will replace it until Microsoft can get their act together and bring back all of the super useful features & functionality that were available in WindowsMobile and even Windows CE.
While the WP7 interface is fantastic, Microsoft completely screwed things up by starting over and losing all of the MANY small but extremely useful options & features that Windows Mobile and Windows CE had for so long. Upgrading from an HTC TouchPro 2 to a WP7 device was a major downgrade for me. It's fast and stable, but unusable at the same time.
You lost me again MS.
My phone is broken, a software issue, my first port of call before getting very irritated is to simply back up the device and reset to factory settings as I would do for ANY OTHER piece of computer technology I own. I don't want to do this without knowing fully that everything can be restored to it's fullest. It would appear that I will loose some stuff, but that it's not clear what exactly, so short of writing everything down I'm unable to use my phone properly. This leads me to conclude that my WP7 is not worth keeping after I find a way to write down all the information I have as I do not want to go through this headache again. It's unacceptable for a device like this to not be able to do a 100% complete backup with at least an accompanying Windows PC.
Claudio Merola commented
Why not just backup to skydrive
everything auto backsup when-you use Zune and your phone
setup ur WP7 with email accounts everything is back WP7 are for inteligent people.
IMO, if a wp user resets his phone and later learns that it cant be restored, that user will never again buy a wp.
Marc Thomas commented
This is a fundamental omission, please fix ASAP!