Last Updated: December 21st, 2012

If you're going to be messing around with custom ROMs at all, it's a good idea to have a nandroid backup at the ready. A recent backup can save you a lot of time and heartache if things end up going sideways. However, backing up your system used to mean rebooting into recovery and waiting for 5-10 minutes while everything progressed. That's not the end of the world, but every barrier to backing up makes people less likely to do it. With Online Nandroid Backup (or Onandroid for short), you can get a full backup done within Android itself.


Onandroid was originally developed by senior XDA-Developers member Ameer Dawood for Sony Ericsson Xperia devices specifically. The last update to version 5 of the software added the support we've all been waiting for; Onadroid should now work for most Android devices. The term 'online' in the name might be a little misleading. All that refers to is that the system is still online when being backed up (not in recovery mode). Even though the device is still operating, Onandroid is capable of backing up all the important filesytem partitions like /boot, /recovery, and /data among others.

There are two ways to install Online Nandroid Backup. If you're already running a custom recovery, you can flash the .zip like any other. If you're just rooted with stock recovery and Busybox, you can extract the .zip and push the files to the /system directory with Android Terminal Emulator on the device. If you go this route, you can actually back up the stock recovery before you start changing things.

By default, running a backup with Online Nandroid Backup requires the use of Android Terminal Emulator, but the commands are simple. There are also a few graphical user interfaces for the app that you can use instead.

XDA via Addictive Tips

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

    Does anyone know if the backups we create are compatible with TWRP as well? I see it is compatible with CWM.

    • http://twitter.com/ViViDboarder Ian

      It looks like it backs up to a flashable zip that you could then restore with any recovery.

      However... this is a feature that I have always wanted to build in twrp, but we don't have an Android App yet.

      • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

        It doesn't backup to a flashable zip, but rather to the same format that CWM uses, and can be recovered using CWM as well, just like any other nandroid backup made by CWM itself. BTW great work in TWRP...love that recovery! =)

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      Based on my testing, it backs them up in the same format as nandroid backups of ClockworkMod recovery. If TWRP can restore backups on CWM nandroid format, it should be able to restore these too. =) Hope that helps.
      (I am the author of the guide on AddictiveTips linked at the end of this post as the source.)

      • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

        I don't think that TWRP can restore CWM's unfortunately. Still, quite a useful tool for others, I'm sure!

  • Gav456

    Or 4ext..?

  • meetloaf13

    Doubt it, I believe they are compressed differently.

  • TechGuy21

    i love 4EXT. i have it on my sensation.
    but this is cool

  • Dan MacDuff

    Onandroid sounds like a smartphone masturbating.

  • Jon Garrett

    All I want is one click back up and restore., that's all.

  • moelsen8

    So.. Android Police--what's up with the "Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:" section? I'm not sure I really would like reading that the G2 was rooted (although not permanently just yet) in October of 2010. The other ones aren't any more timely or relevant.

    Been wanting to ask for a little while cause it really does come up with some crazy, old, random articles some times.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'll address this in the redesign.

      • Unimpressed Reader

        Well? When is that redesign coming... it's 2014 and still not relevant or timely.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1668665952 Jáchym Šlik

    Inappropriate name.

  • http://twitter.com/zealotonastick zealotonastick

    Apparently, not working on Galaxy Nexus. :/

  • blindman

    am i blind? where to get? thx for info =)

  • Todd Kleinert

    app crashes on my acer a500 ics tablet.. oh well.. i could try flashing the zip, but then i gotta reboot and that kinda defeats the purpose of a no-reboot backup tool.. i hate to reboot..

  • Jpeg

    Why does the link in the post point to the version 5.3 when the version 5.9 is already out? See the first post here. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1620255

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I've updated the link to point to the XDA thread instead.