Backing up your Palm Profile data | webOS Nation

Backing up your Palm Profile data 8

by Adam Marks Mon, 17 Jan 2011 4:11 pm EST

Just like HotSyncing your old PalmOS device to a PC to backup your personal data, webOS devices offer a similar feature to backup your data. However, instead of backing up to a PC, webOS relies on a cloud-based solution that performs a daily automatic sync over your cellular or Wi-Fi connection. All of the data stored within your Palm Profile gets sent to a secure Palm server and is encrypted so only you have access to it (although there is no current online way to access the data, as it's only available if you need to re-download it to a different webOS device).

It's important to note that not all of the data on your phone is backed up, but rather just things like your contacts or calendar entries stored to your Palm Profile, your linked synergy accounts, the apps you have downloaded (and their location on your Launcher), and so much more. Please be aware that any files you have saved on to your USB drive,  any progress you may have made in your games, or information you added to 3rd party apps are NOT included in this backup. See this Palm Support page article to learn exactly what is backed up via your Palm Profile, and you may want to familiarize yourself with WebOS Internals' Save/Restore Homebrew app to plug the gaps in what is and is not backed up.  However, keep reading after the break to learn how to ensure that your Palm Profile data is being backed up on a regular basis

To ensure that your data is being backed up, open up the Backup App () and make sure that Backup is switched to "ON" in the top-right corner of the screen. Also, check the "Last backup" date listed on the top-left. If the date is not within the last 24 hours, the first thing you should do is tap the "Back up now" button on the bottom of the screen to initiate a manual backup.  Keep an eye out for the next few days to see if the automatic backup is occurring (it should happen exactly 24 hours after your manual backup). If it is not, you should give Palm support a call or online chat because you may have an issue with your phone. One possible fix for this has been to turn Backup Off and then back On to try and get it back on a schedule. You will notice that when you turn it off, you will get a warning that your backup on Palm's servers will also be deleted, which is not an issue if you turn it right back on and manually initiate a new backup.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of incidents where the backup app won't allow you to turn it back on (it happened to this writer). In this situation, the only fix seems to be to do an Erase of your phone and re-download and set up your device.  Make sure you know your Palm Profile's email address and password before doing that erase! Also, be sure to contact Palm before you do this because they will need to push an older saved version of your backup to your profile since you already erased your current one in the prior step. That is why it's a good idea to do a manual backup for a few days to establish a backup history for Palm to pull from, otherwise you run the risk of losing all your recent changes to you Palm Profile contacts, calendar, memos, etc. If that still doesn't fix your issue, you may need to take a trip to the webOS Doctor.


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Using a program like Battery Saver to put your phone in airplane mode (over night) can cause you to miss your backup schedule. I found that turning backups off and on can sometimes change the scheduled time. Otherwise, using Mode Switcher to leave Wifi data on and turn off phone services can be a solution.

I also had an issue turning on backup services after turning them off. I was just about to give up and call the good WebOS Doc, when I began to delete some old tasks and memos. I then thought I'd try one last time to turn backups on...and it worked. Not exactly sure why, but something to try.

Now i Love my Pre and all - but to not have a "set backup time" option in this app is absolutely unforgivable. Seriously - I havent written code in 10 years and I could probably figure out how to add that in a day if given access.

For me and my wife: right before bed -> if you turn backup off, dismiss app, and then open and turn it back on again (then dismiss) it should backup sometime in the next 3-5 hours. Do this once and you'll never have to worry about it bogging you down in the middle of something! Thankfully i've 'cheated' my way into nightly 3:42am backups, but to not default to something like this or give a time option is a small example of where webOS is still learning.

but really - it's SO SIMPLE TO ADD!!!

I may be giving Palm more credit than is due, but forcing a time allows them to distribute backup times evenly over the course of the day to minimize peak load times on their servers. If everyone could set a time, most people would set this to obvious hours like midnight, and even minutes (like 12:00). Palm's servers would be idle at times like 3:42AM...

I have to say that this "backup" program leaves a lot to be desired ...i.e. its useless for me - it backs up so few things its just nuts - Palm - this is what you used to be really good at - you forgot your roots - why in gods name does Palm still not have a simple way to backup EVERYTHING on a PRE or PIXI - I mean how hard can this be - just a simple data dump of all relevant files onto the USB partition or something. We could do this 10yrs ago for christs sake. I cannot believe that Palm engineers actually use a PRE or PIXI - there is no way an engineer would put up with this silliness. And has anyone tried something as simple as importing all of ones outlooks contacts / notes onto a PRE - talk about a disaster - this should be Palm Basic 101. I just pray they get this basic stuff resolved in 2.0. I just cant fight the battle anymore.....:-(

I don't think it is perfect, but it sure is better then nothing. Anyone remember the old Palm OS days when our units would lose everything when our batteries failed and items weren't installed on ROM permanently.

To be honest, my Pre minus has been losing its profile settings lately and applications have been busy asking me to re-login and verify who I am. Weird and I suspect it is time to hard reset and start over fresh.

Hopefully webOS 2.0 will be arriving soon and ether way, thanks for the advice suggestions that are very helpful! Sorli...

I was looking for article like this since 6 hours - THANKS

But I have two questions - backup app uses only wi-fi connection? Never 3G? And second question: can I turn off automatic backup and use only manual backup? Thanks for answers.

Relying on palms backup is how I lost every memo entry I had stored on a palm device for the last 8 years. I had to do a restore and none of my memos where there. I strongly suggest noone rely on this as a backup. Use third party products for your important data.