Haven’t Backed Up Your Priv or DTEK50 Yet? Try Helium

All of us BlackBerry 10 users have depended on using BlackBerry’s Link desktop software in order to perform backups and restore for our beloved Z, Q, Passport, and other devices.

But what about those of us who have ventured into Blackdroid land? Us Priv and DTEK50 owners have no such lovely BlackBerry safety net such as Link to fall back on. What to do when you need to backup?

Android by default has the ability to perform backups for you using your Google account. Just go to settings/backup & reset and set it up. Those that know me also know that I’m not a big fan of Google, nor am I apt to take the road everyone else follows. Where do they store the backup, and what do they learn from it? Who cares…

Helium (used to be named Carbon) is an app on your phone as well as an app on your PC. Other apps require rooting your phone which thankfully is impossible on a BlackBerry. Once set up you can backup your phone via USB or WiFi as long as both devices are on the same WiFi network. You’ll need to install ADB drivers on your PC in the process, but more on that later.


Once you have the Helium app installed, and the PC Chrome app installed along with the ADB drivers (all available via the Clockworkmod website ) you can then connect your phone to the PC via USB. This is really only required once as after the PC and Android app recognize each other you can backup via WiFi (again as long as both devices are on the same network).


You can also backup to your own device. The picture above is showing the size of the directory created by backing up to internal memory. You can’t use your SD because it’s encrypted. This to me is less than ideal. 1.5gb space used and uncompressed. No.



Instead, touch that menu bar on the top right and choose PC Download.


That starts a web server on your phone. This is a web server that is accessible from your PC. Now all you have to do is open Firefox or Chrome and in this case (yours will vary) go to the URL shown in the app.


As you can see I have 99 apps (what a pig) and I have chosen to only backup the app data. That means I’d need to re-install the apps but those settings/info/data would be there. Otherwise the backup would include the apps as a whole and the file would be huge. Basically I’d just re-install the apps that I want, and I can tell you that it wouldn’t be more than about 25. I just like to test things.


The backup to internal phone memory and the PC hard drive took about the same amount of time, approx 6 minutes. The beautiful thing about the PC backup though is that it is a .zip file. Intead of 1.5gb on the internal memory, it is about 650mb in my PC download directory. Yay!


The free version lets you backup to your PC

Backups can be performed wirelessly

No need to involve Google

Phone does not need to be rooted




ADB drivers require a lower security rating in DTEK. That can be changed for the backup and then changed back again after backup in developer options

Can be finicky install


No reason not to backup your phones people. All BlackBerry users including OS7, BB10, and BlackDroid users know this. There are more features in the upgraded/costed version (5.00 CAD) such as scheduled backups.

You never know when your phone could be lost or stolen. Might as well lower your stress level.

Dave out.


Dave Matthews here. I'm a phone guy by trade supplying VOIP systems for business and industry. BlackBerry devices, playing PRS guitars in my band, golf, and RC flight are my current passions.