If you have not used a rooted Galaxy S5 before, you probably want to read the rest of this tutorial on how to backup and restore ROM on your S5.
What is a ROM backup?
A ROM backup consists of everything on your phone, your whole OS along with all of your settings, apps, app data, and everything else except the contents of your personal files such as videos, photos, and others. Backing up a ROM means you are making an exact 100% copy of your current OS. Whether you are running stock ROM or CyanogenMod11, backing up ROM will backup your current ROM. Think of it as System Backup for Windows or TimeMachine for OSX.
The Galaxy S5 by default does not have this feature to backup everything on your phone but with a rooted Galaxy S5, you can make a complete backup of your Galaxy S5. If you happen to lose your phone one day, you can easily restore your phone back (without starting over) if you saved a copy of your backup ROM on your hard disk (or microSD card or even USB Flash if you use USB OTG cable).
Now, backing up ROM is also useful when installing new custom ROMs as you will be able to easily restore to your previous ROM with all of your settings/apps if something goes wrong. For those of you who’ve never backed up your current ROM after rooting your Galaxy S5, we highly suggest to do this at least once and copy your backup ROM somewhere safe on your computer hard disk. (You can even encrypt your ROM backup folder with a password using zip or 7zip.)
How to Make Backup ROM on Rooted Galaxy S5!
Before we begin, you MUST have a rooted Galaxy S5 with either CWM or TWRP recovery installed. We will be using Philz CWM Recovery (which we recommend) in this tutorial and if you are using TWRP Recovery, menus might be slightly different.
Step 1. Power off your Galaxy S5. Then hold Volume Up, Center Home, and Power buttons together for about 3-4 seconds until you see “RECOVERY BOOTING…” at top-left of your screen. Let go of all the buttons.
Step 2. Once in CWM or TWRP Recovery, look for “Backup and Restore” menu and choose it.
Step 3. There should be a menu for “Backup to /sdcard” and also “Backup to /sdcard1” (if you have microSD card inserted). The menus might be a bit different but you should be able to use your common sense to figure out which one backs up to internal storage and microSD card.
You can backup to your internal storage or microSD card, that’s up to you. I chose “Backup to /sdcard” here, which will backup to my internal storage under /clockworkmod/backup directory. (For TWRP, it’s probably going to be in /twrp/backup directory.)
Step 4. Backup should take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. You can go grab a coffee while this is doing its job.
Step 5. Once backup is done, that’s it! You can go ahead and reboot your phone then copy your new backup folder in /clockworkmod/backup directory to somewhere safe on your computer. You can also erase the backup folder afterwards to free up space on your phone if you want, just make sure to copy it back to the same directory before restoring ROM.
How to Restore ROM on Rooted Galaxy S5!
Step 1. Boot into CWM or TWRP recovery like you did earlier when backing up your ROM. Then go back to “Backup and Restore” menu and choose the appropriate restore menu. I chose “Restore from /sdcard” since my backup ROM is stored in my internal storage.
Step 2. You should find all of your backups here. Since I made only one backup ROM, I only had one and chose that for restoring ROM.
Step 3. Restoring should take a bit longer than backing up ROM around 6-12 minutes. Go have a smoke outside (if you smoke) and come back.
Step 4. Once restoring ROM is complete without errors, simply reboot system now and your phone should be restored to the state when you backed up your ROM.
You can find all of your backups under /clockworkmod/backup folder for CWM Recovery and /twrp/backup folder for TWRP recovery.
This one feature of being able to make a full backup of your system is one of the main reasons why you should root your Galaxy S5. Should you lose your phone, restoring your phone is only minutes away, especially if you have important stuff on your phone you don’t want to lose.