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[TUTORIAL]How to reinstall user apps (Quickly/Safely)

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LeftyGR
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(Last edited by LeftyGR; 30th January 2014 at 11:41 PM.)
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Default [TUTORIAL]How to reinstall user apps (Quickly/Safely)

This was created in response to several people asking the safest way to reinstall user apps after flashing a ROM.

**This post shows you how to do it yourself.

**Please check out the second post to see apps verified to work that will perform this for you.

As the title implies, this will show you an easy and safe way to reinstall your apps after a clean ROM flash. I made this easy to do and easy to understand, so experts and new users can figure it out.

YOU WILL OBVIOUSLY NEED TO BE ROOTED FOR THIS.

To do this you will need 3 or 4 things things on your phone.

1. Download the attached file below named "AppBackup.zip". This is the file structure to correctly flash user apps. I built it to only install apps in /data/app. More advanced users may edit it to include system files, but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial (for now).

2. From the Play Store, install a file explorer with root access capability. For this tutorial, I will be using ES File Explorer. (ROOT REQUIRED)

3. From the Play Store, install ZArchiver. this app creates zip and other format archive files.

4. (Optional) From the Play Store, install ZipSigner. This app signs the zip file.

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>>ES File Explorer

To enable ES File Explorer's root functions:

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Open the app and press the menu key. Select tools, and Root Explorer

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Your super User app will request permissions for ES File Explorer. Allow it, then choose "Mount R/W"

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Make sure that "/" and "/system" is chosen as r/w.

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ES File Explorer is now able to r/w your /data folders
----continued

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In the file explorer app, navigate to where "AppBackup.zip" is located and decompress (upzip) it.

In the file explorer app, navigate to /data/app, and select all the apps you want to copy.

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Then navigate to the "AppBackup" file and post them into data/app.

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>>ZArchiver

**Note: ZArchiver's default location for completed zip files is in /storage/emulated/0/archives. You may change the destination in settings.

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Using ZArchiver, navigate to INSIDE the "AppBackup" file! If you navigate only to the folder that "AppBackup" is inside, the zip will not work.

Choose the multi-select button.

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Select data and META-INF folders, then press the checkmark

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Press the tools button and select compress

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In the resulting pop up menu, ensure the highlighted values are selected. Press OK.

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This will take a minute or two, depending on how many apps you chose. When finished you will have a zip file!

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>>Optional ZipSigner

I list this as optional, because the "AppBackup" file should flash fine without being re-signed. But, I will show it to you, nonetheless!

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Open ZipSigner and select "Choose in/out"

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Navigate to the new zip file you created.

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Select Sign the file. It will take a minute or two depending on how big the zip file size is.

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When it is done, close the app and navigate to where the original new zip file was (using the file explorer app). You will see one with the same name + "-signed".

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This is your new zip, and you may delete the old one and delete the "AppBackup" file if you wish to free up space.

YOU ARE DONE!

If you have questions or suggestions on how to make this tutorial better, please let me know!!

AppBackup.zip
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LeftyGR
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(Last edited by LeftyGR; 1st February 2014 at 07:26 PM.)
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Apps that can do it for you:


>> Titanium Backup w/Pro Key.

A Pro version feature will allow you to create an Update Zip file for any backed up app. There are many other features that make the purchase of the Pro Key worth the $$!

>> ZipMe

A stand alone program by JRummy. This program is listed as in beta, but has not been updated since mid 2013. It seems to work, but may have bugs. JRummy's main focal app "ROM Toolbox Pro" has this functionality slated to be included in a future update.


Other useful tip regarding backup of files and data:

-You never know what may happen. So when you back up anything, put it on your external sd card (odin wipes everything internal, including internal sd storage - thanks @Grompy ).
-Any experienced PC owner has lost things and learned to back up to cd or external hard drives. SD cards can fail. I make it a habit to back up my ext sd card at least once a month. My laptop then gets backed up to an external hard drive. Trust me. Don't learn this habit the hard way!
I will not apologize for art.

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Grompy
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Will this work for apps that require lib files in /data/app-lib/? Like chrome, adobe reader, es file explorer etc..

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LeftyGR
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Yes. I use this method to install tibu and es file explorer after a rom flash, and never have problems.
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themoneyman
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Check out a new app from JRummy Apps called ZIPme. It is in beta but seems to work great and does it all.

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Frank Westlake
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(Last edited by Frank Westlake; 30th January 2014 at 01:03 AM.)
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This is very useful.

Frank
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LeftyGR
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Updated. 2nd post now lists apps available to create recovery flashable zip files for you, rather than manually creating them.

<Note3>
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Grompy
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Hey guys after losing all my backed up data, I just wanted to warn everyone to make sure that you back up everything to your external SD card when you use odin. I backed up everything using this method and using titanium backup, but both were saving to my internal SD card. When I odined everything was lost. I've since changed my backup location of titanium backup to my external and urge you all to do the same.

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jordanabc
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This is helpful, thanks.

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