Similar: What can be backed up?

I've read the above question, but the information is over two years old and doesn't specify a phone OS version. I'd like to see an updated list here, specifically for Windows Phone 8 versions. This currently includes 8.0 and 8.1, but should be updated later for any future releases. The following items should be covered.

  • Phone Call History
  • Contacts
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Documents
  • Installed Apps
  • OS-level Settings
  • App-specific Settings

Please add to the list if there is anything important I have missed. Also, when there are prerequisites for a particular item to be backed up (e.g.: possible in 8.1, but not 8.0) please specify such.

If you are aware of any StackExchange questions or online guides for backup/restoration of a particular item, please include links. (This question is more about "what" than "how", but links to and/or short summaries of "how" are greatly appreciated.)


This is a Community Wiki answer. Please edit to add/correct items as needed, instead of writing a separate answer.

Note: Please differentiate between Backup (system and manual) and Exporting


  • 8.0 - Not aware of any backup method.
  • 8.1 - Text messages are backed up and synced across devices with the same account
  • Not possible to export

Phone Call History

  • 8.0 - No backup method
  • 8.1 - Part of system backup
  • Not possible to export


  • Some information may be synced with your e-mail provider when your account is configured.
  • Social network contacts will be synced when the appropriate app is installed and your account is configured.
  • Export only possible with 3rd party apps



  • Automatically uploaded to OneDrive
  • 8.1 - Very hi-res photos (eg. from the Lumia 1020) are now included
  • Use OneDrive or an SD card.
  • Use the Windows Phone (for Windows Store, Windows Desktop and Mac) to sync photos or back it up to a PC or Mac.


  • Use OneDrive or an SD card.
  • Direct backup to PC may be possible (not sure) over Bluetooth and/or USB link.

Installed Apps

  • 8.1 - Apps are automatically re-installed when phone is restored from a backup (assuming they are still available in the store).
  • Apps still available in the Store can be re-installed via your Purchase History page.

OS-level Settings

  • No export options
  • The system backup includes:

    1. Your Start screen layout and theme color
    2. The accounts you've set up on your phone
    3. Your Internet Explorer favorites
    4. The custom words you've added to your phone's dictionary
    5. Settings from around your phone, including photos, messaging, email and accounts, lock screen, Speech preferences, and more.

App-specific Settings

  • 8.1 - Only newly developed 8.1 apps and games have their settings and data backed up. Older apps and games (from 7.x and 8.0) do not.
  • Some apps have built-in backup functions which sync to OneDrive and/or proprietary cloud repositories.


Official Windows Phone How-To - Backup My Stuff

  • @NeilTurner - Some of the stuff you've noted as being automatically backed up is optional, I believe. Might want to add a note for where the settings are to confirm. (Or link to separate questions if there are any - maybe create some.) – Iszi Sep 7 '14 at 4:47

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