With my LG G3 successfully rooted, my next biggest concern was making sure I could get back to my old data in case I screwed something up. Doing a basic Google search and sifting through some of the threads on xda, I determined there were many options for properly backing up your Android system and data. My search led me to looking at two options: TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) and CWM (ClockworkMod).
I ended up choosing TWRP because I found an excellent thread on xda by ingoljosh walking me through the TWRP installation process, using a “one-click” installation method that works with Android Lollipop operating systems. (That, and I couldn’t find a download for CWM clearly specified as being for the LG G3 LS990 variant.) The process for installing ROMs via TWRP – a step I knew I was going to take sooner rather than later – was also well documented, which I’ll discuss in a future post.
YET ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: The TWRP I found on xda works for several LG G3 variants running Lollipop, but I have only used this on the LS990. I cannot verify or vouch for the effectiveness of this method on any other phone. I do not claim any ownership of the application referenced nor do I take any responsibility for bricks, paperweights, doorstoppers, coasters, gun range targets, dog chew toys, or other non-operational phones you may generate by using this installer or process.
- Download APK file linked above.
- Install APK on phone.
- Open AutoRec-Lollipop application.
- The application will need some time to do an automatic backup on your system. When the application is finished backing up, the application will inform you that TWRP is ready to be flashed on the system.
- Flash TWRP.
- Reboot your phone to Recovery Mode.
- You can do this via an application like Quick Boot or manually. I recommend learning how to manually boot your phone into Recovery Mode, just in case you can’t get into the operating system.
- To manually boot the LS990, with the power off, hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Do not let go. The phone will begin booting as normal (you will see the LG logo). Wait for the phone to say it is entering Recovery Mode. Only when you see the phone is entering Recovery Mode should you let go of the Power and Volume Down buttons. There are many articles out there that tell you to let go at some point and then press back down on the two buttons, but these instructions are incorrect. I found a nice photo of the process from androidrootz.com in case you need a visualization.
- Welcome to TWRP.
At this point, I cannot stress the importance of making a full backup of your phone onto either a microSD card or USB drive – do not make a backup and keep it on your phone’s internal storage. I found a nice Sandisk USB drive through Best Buy for $20 (it’s currently going for around $18 on Amazon). It makes it easy to transfer files between my phone, PC, tablet, and laptop. I highly recommend picking one up.
In TWRP, you can go to the “BACKUP” option and backup everything (cache, boot, internal, recovery, data, system, etc.). Below, I’ve included a screenshot of the initial TWRP layout you should see in the current version. Depending on how much you’ve been keeping on your phone, this could be significant in size, but it’s worth the headache if you decide customizing your phone with ROMs isn’t to your liking. My stock backup is around 9 GB, but that’s because I kept all my pictures and music on my microSD card. It should only take about 5 minutes for a full backup at most.
With your phone successfully backed up, it’s time for the fun to begin…