Back up and restore your personal data on the Fairphone 3


Learn how to back up your Fairphone 3 and restore your personal data.

Your smartphone has data and personal information that you do not want to lose. That is why we recommend to do regular backups! No matter how careful you are, you never know when a rainstorm, washing machine incident or thief will ruin your day and your data.

It only takes a few minutes to back up your phone and keep your information safe. This article gives detailed instructions on the easiest ways to back up your data.


Back up your data with Google Mobile Services

The easiest way to do a simple, automated backup is to use the Google services that come pre-installed on the Fairphone operating system. Of some apps - such as Whatsapp - you have to make a separate backup. You will need a Google account to do this. 



If you want to keep your WhatsApp chats, you have to back them up separately on your Google Account:

Open Whatsapp → tap the Settings icon → tap SettingsChatsChat backupBack up

Restore the backup the first time you use Whatsapp. If you do not do this, you must later clear the data (the chats that happen in the meantime) in the Whatsapp app before you can restore the backup. 

Back up your settings 

This backup saves the settings of your apps such as Wi-Fi details, passwords, bookmarks and more to your Google account. To back up your settings:

Go to SettingsSystem → Backup to Google Drive → pick the Google account you want to use for your backup.

A list shows of apps and settings that you can sync (backup) with your Google account. Under each category, you can see when the data was last synced. This syncing happens throughout the day or whenever you make a change or add information.
To force a start of the backup, push the Back up now button. If no new data are available to backup, the button is inactive and grey. 

Back up your private files by hand

In case you do not want to use Google services or want to have the backup on another device, you can backup manually. This method requires a little more effort. You have to do a manual backup of any files that you have saved to the internal storage or SD Card. Think of photos, movies, SMS text messages or music. Since this backup is not automatic, we recommend to set a reminder to make a backup every week or month. You can use the file manager of your computer or download any tool of your preference to your computer to make these backups.


Transfer files manually

Via USB data cable:

  1. Connect your phone to a computer with a data cable
  2. Once the computer recognizes your device, you see FP3 appear in your file manager.
  3. If your phone is not visible:
    1. Open the pull-down menu on your phone
    2. Tap the message that says USB for charging
    3. Select File Transfers (MTP) or choose Photo Transfer (PTP) if MTP is not supported.
  4. Tap FP3 to see one folder for internal storage and one for your SD Card, if you are using one.
  5. Find the relevant folders (music, photos, etc) and copy them over to a safe location on your computer. You can use Finder or Explorer.

Via third-party apps:

You can look for applications on the Play Store to facilitate the process, especially for data that is hard to find by just navigating your phone's memory. For example, to back up SMS messages, using an app can be very easy.

Restore your data

If you followed the previous instructions, it is easy to get all your information back on your phone.

To restore your data:

  1. Turn on your Fairphone 3
  2. Make sure the Fairphone 3 connects to the Wi-Fi
  3. Follow the instructions during Setup. If you select Set up as new you will not be able to restore your data
  4. You can also restore at a later moment, after Setup. Go to Settings → Accounts → click + Add account to add your Google account that contains your backup
  5. Go to SettingsSystemBackup → switch the toggle Back up to Google Drive and make sure you do this from the Google account that contains your backup. This will synchronize your data.
  6. Your phone needs time to download all your apps. It may take up to an hour. Go to the Play StoreMy Apps & Games to see if all the apps you had in your library installed.

Files that you copied manually (like photos or music), you also have to restore by hand. Plug your phone into your computer with a data cable and copy the information back into the relevant folders.


Please note

The first time you open the Photos app after you restore your data, it will ask you if you want to sync with Google Drive. Say Yes or you will not be able to see them. This is also the case for WhatsApp.


Need more help? Contact our support team!