Tag Archives: backup

Restore Split Apks Efficiently : pm Session Install

[Update – 2019-11-05]
Migrate is adding this script in the latest Android 10 compatible version launching today 🙂


I regularly flash custom ROMs on my android devices like any Android Enthusiast and that requires a good backup tool for my apps and app-data so that I can avoid downloading them again and again from Play Store/F-Droid and sometimes keep previous state of running to avoid setting up afresh.

Migrate Backup is a great tool which can backup everything in zip and can be flashed from recovery.

I was doing this one day and was stuck on restoration of PayTM app, which made me think that the restore process has either failed or somehow hung. But I gave it some time and it completed in around 15 minutes. This was ridiculously high as my other 50+ apps took less time altogether than that one app.

I asked this question on Telegram Group and many people had issues with Apps which use split apks, some with Facebook, others with PayTM. I also got to know that a similar Backup/Restore tool Swift Backup is also taking ridiculous 40 minutes for restoring PayTM, and there is very less possibility of fixing this

This baffled me… why would Play Store take a minute to install the app and similar installation by any other method would always take 15 times more?


After experimenting for some time with pm (package manager), I found that almost all backup/restore solutions were handling the split apks the traditional way, that is

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Android adb Backup and Restore

What is ADB?

ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge. As the name suggests it is intended for developers to debug apps from her/his machine. ADB is a part of Android SDK which is available for Linux, Mac and Windows Desktop OS’s.

How to Connect to ADB?

You need a PC and the compatible cable (Micro USB in most cases, can be proprietary) to connect your Android Phone/Tablet. To use ADB interface enable USB Debugging in your phone under Developer Options. You can enable Developer Options menu in Android 4.0 and up by tapping Build Number under About Phone or About Tablet menu for 7 time repetitively. After you get the toast message confirmation, hit back and Developer Options will appear around About menu. Enable USB Debugging under the same. ADB command which you need to run on your PC is included in Android SDK’s “platform-tool” directory. You also need driver for your device which can be downloaded via most of the manufacturer’s website, otherwise XDA-Developers is a good source for the same.

Create ADB Backup

After you have connected everything, open a command prompt / shell in the directory you want backup to be saved —

adb devices

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