4-Jul-14 (Created: 4-Jul-14) | More in 'Android Avds, Install, Emulator'

How to backup and restore android installation

Android installation is tricky. It is getting better with each release but it is still tricky. As you try to upgrade to newer SDKs there are number of depedencies that need to work hand in hand to make it all work. A disaster is always at hand that you have to start from scratch. Not a pleasant thing when you are trying to schedule your breathing on a daily basis in these Modern Times of ours. This write up may be timely and urges you to take a backup all the necessary pieces so that you can get back to a prior working copy of your android development environment.

Key Android Instllation References

Before I get started here are a few android installation references.

A number of write-ups I keep on Android installation for my ownsake These writeups deal with issues such as AVDs and Emulators that arise during and right after installing a new SDK.

Here is the main accumulated writeup as I install newer SDKs. You will see a lot of links to other core android installation pages. You will also see as how things are changing from SDK to SDK. For each SDK you will see a summary of all the dependencies of the android tool set that is required for that SDK.

Main Android Installation Start Page

This talks about an android SDKs dependencies such as what version of ADT, SDK tools etc.

What is the latest ADT version available and its dependencies.

What is the latest SDK tools version available and its dependencies.

This link documents the components of an android SDK

Key directories you have to backup to keep your android environment


For me these look like


You have to restore all the 4 directories to get back where you were.

Why/When does this happen?

When you are using eclipse as your IDE for android, there are 2 parallel paths where things are installed or updated. there is the ADT install which is controlled by eclipse. then there is the Android SDKs that are controlled by the Android SDK manager. One is dependent on the other.

In my case yesterday I was going from Android 4.0 to 4.4. So I have upgraded the SDK first. Now eclipse ADT says it is out of sync and I need to update. However eclipse says there are no updates available to the ADT.

This happened because the newer required ADT is not compatible with eclipse helios.

Now at this point everything is hosed. I tried to go back and uninstall the SDKs but that didnt work and instead took out the entire sdk root which made ADT sit in puzzlement and disorientation.

Luck favors me rarely.

I so happened the other day that I took a back up as I am planning to move to a new machine in the near future when I gather my breath and exhale completely.

Various pieces of Android development environment with Eclipse

//General tools
Android Build Tools
Android Platform Tools
Android SDK tools

//for eclipse
Android ADT
Android DDMS

//Then the SDK

All of the versions have to match