1. Android Central Question's Avatar
    Hi,

    After a factory reset of my Galaxy S5, some apps did not restore. I suspect it was the large ones I had moved to the SD card a while back for space reasons (I took my SD card out during the reset and restore process).

    Looking in my files>SD card>android>data, there are plenty of apps that did get restored that have files on SD card, but it helped me pinpoint a few that didn't reappear. For example Excel. I then checked the app manager and there aren't there under SD card (though I might be confusing the inbuilt and external SD card).

    On Play store>my apps & games, they obviously aren't under 'installed', nor even under 'Library', nor when i search for them individually do the paid versions show as already paid...

    I synced my backups on google and Samsung accounts directly before the factory reset

    My questions then are:
    - Where can i find out what I've lost? ie a list of apps as of yesterday
    - Is there any way of restoring apps moved to SD card?
    - If not, I might as well wipe the pre-reset data folder on SD-card, right?
    - What is likely to have happened?
    - Before any future factory resets, should i move everything important back to phone before syncing and resetting

    Thank you for your time and expertise!!!
    02-19-2018 08:36 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! The problem with Google's backup feature is that not all apps take advantage of it, and developers aren't very forthcoming about if they use it or not. The only way I can see which apps are backed up is to open your Google Drive app, tap Menu>Backups, then tap on the backup for your phone, then App Data. You'll see a list of all apps that are backed up to your Google Drive. Anything not listed there isn't backed up. Unfortunately (and oddly), you can't see this list if you try to access the backup data file on Google Drive on the web.

    You should be able to determine what app data you've lost by viewing the Backup file as discussed above, but that can be a little tedious, because you'll have to make a list of all of your apps on the phone, then compare that to the Backup list, seeing which ones are not on that list.

    I don't think it makes a difference if apps are moved to SD or not -- it has more to do if the app was coded to take advantage of Google Backup.
    02-19-2018 10:59 AM
  3. Rukbat's Avatar
    (I took my SD card out during the reset and restore process).

    Looking in my files>SD card>android>data, there are plenty of apps that did get restored that have files on SD card, but it helped me pinpoint a few that didn't reappear.
    There's one problem (other than the ones that B. Diddy mentioned) right there. Only small pieces of an app are actually moved to the SD card, most of it stays in internal storage. But when you take the card out, you break the link, so the app won't run, backups can't restore them, and if you somehow manage to update the app with the card out, putting the card back in will leave "orphan" chunks on the card that you can only get back by formatting the card. (Lots and lots of reasons to not move apps to the SD card - as well as the fact that constant writing to the card [and a lot of apps write to where they sit] will destroy it quickly. The lifetime of an SD card is measured in writes.)

    there aren't there under SD card (though I might be confusing the inbuilt and external SD card).
    The internal card is named a few things in different phones, but it always ends in "sdcard". The external card is normally called extSdCard.

    On Play store>my apps & games, they obviously aren't under 'installed'
    Any apps marked "Installed" in the Play store are apps you once installed, the site doesn't check the phone to see if an app is currently installed.

    nor when i search for them individually do the paid versions show as already paid...
    Make sure you're logged into the same Google (not email - Google) account that you were when you installed the apps - paid or not. That's the only way the site has of knowing whether an app was installed or a paid app was paid for.

    I synced my backups on google and Samsung accounts directly before the factory reset
    I back up all my apps locally, using App Backup & Restore. That way, I always have them available to restore without waiting for them to download. (I keep copies on my PC and my cloud account.)

    - Where can i find out what I've lost? ie a list of apps as of yesterday
    Only if you maintain one - Google maintains contacts and emails that way, but not apps.

    - Is there any way of restoring apps moved to SD card?
    Only if you log into the Play store using the same account you were using when you originally installed them.

    - If not, I might as well wipe the pre-reset data folder on SD-card, right?
    You can't "restore" to the SD card. You restore missing apps to internal storage, then move them, one at a time, to the SD card (if you insist - it's still a bad idea). And remember, if an app updates after it was moved to the SD card, it updates in internal strorage - and you have to move it again.

    - What is likely to have happened?
    That the backup doesn't restore to the SD card. (No backup does. Android was never designed to move apps to the SD card. They used to warn against that, but I guess they got so many "I did it and it works" complaints that they stopped.)

    - Before any future factory resets, should i move everything important back to phone before syncing and resetting
    Absolutely. And keep a local backup.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    02-19-2018 03:39 PM

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