Error with your Windows Phone OS backups? Here is how to get them back on track
One of the great features in Windows Phone 8.1 is the ability to restore from a backup when setting up a new device. Everything from your Start screen layout to the apps themselves and even some settings can all be 'restored' if you ever change devices, or wish to hard-reset and start anew.
However, a few people have noticed that under Settings > Backup, there is an error message noting that the last backup attempt has failed. Even more worrisome, you may not even know it. Yikes! The good news is there is a fast and simple way to get this fixed, and you may want to double check that your OS is backed up. Here's how.
Take a quick moment to make sure your automatic backups are enabled and sticking. To do so, just go into settings:
- Apps + Settings (tap)
Under this section, you should notice that Settings backup is toggled 'on' as well as App backup. Next, you should see the name of your device along with a 'last backed up' message telling you how many hours or days ago the last backup took place.
If there is a problem with your backups, the section under the name of your device (often just 'Windows Phone') displays an error message. See the above image for reference.
From experience, it appears that those using the Preview for Developers program at a higher risk for this taking place, possibly to do with all of the OS updates. I noticed it on my Lumia 1520 a few weeks ago, although since I fixed it the issue has not returned.
If you do have an error message under your Apps + Settings backup, you can easily fix it and get another backup started. Here's how:
- Under Apps + Settings tap 'Manage backups' near the bottom
- The OS checks for the backups on your OneDrive account
- Tap 'Delete' near the bottom to wipe the previous, error-prone backup
Congratulations, you should have just nixed the bad data file causing the problem. Still, you are now left vulnerable as you do not have a current backup to resort to, in case something goes wrong. Let's fix that:
- On the Apps + Settings screen, tap 'back up now' near the bottom
The process should take a few minutes, depending on how many apps and games you have installed. There is a progress bar displayed to let you know far along you are in the process. Once completed, you the new 'last backup' information should reflect today's date.
So take the extra moment to see if your backups are sticking, especially if you are in the Preview for Developers program and have been updating your device numerous times. If you do not have an error message, at least you now know what to look for in case one does pop up!
Did this not fix your problem? Then you may have something else going on, which is more severe. You may want to jump into our help forums for more information.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
Kinda bummed that I deleted my previous backup for when I move to a 1520 very soon.
Please suggest a way around on this anyone.
Do hope such fix can be applied without needing the backup.
For unknown reasons my 8.10.14147.180 install fails to see the next 8.10.14157.200 build. Seems like not only the backup-, but also the update mechanism is broken?!?
Seems the problem started after the 8.0 roll back to get cyan.
Also deleting the backup through OneDrive webinterface does not solve. However the new created backup fails at 98% there seems to be quite some settings stored at OneDrive.
Lock screen image or Lock screen app beta ruled out as a cause.
Seems this tip resolved the issue after all... Ow; and I deleted Live Lockscreen already some time ago: it's a horrific resource hog that slows your phone down and doesn't add enough added value at all for me...
My restored backup was April 2014
>>didn't work --> Deleting Old backups (760MB backup) >>did work --> Changing the lock screen image
from the stock "blue waves on shore at night" image...to a personal picture. (712MB backup) I tried again and backup worked. (Windows Phone 8.1 update- 8.10.14203 - cyan, Win Dev Preview active)
I follow these steps and I was able to do a Backup of my settings & stuff. The funny part is that It didn't work using WiFi; I had to use my mobile data to do so... It wasn't that bad. When I checked my backups at Onedrive, I had it there. Thanks for the tips.
Lumia 1020 w/ PFD - OS v8.10.14203.306 and Lumia Cyan