Back up and restore managed apps, documents, and data

Learn what options to choose to back up and restore MDM-assigned apps, documents and data.

You can use Mobile Device Management (MDM) to assign an app to a specific user or device. When you use MDM to install an app, you have these two options:

  • Prevent backup of the app documents and data
  • Remove the app when the MDM profile is removed

These options help determine whether and how you can back up and restore apps and app data.

Back up and restore app documents and data

If you choose “Prevent backup of the app data” in MDM, users can’t back up or restore documents and data for that app.

If you choose “Remove app when MDM profile is removed,” you can back up data for that app. However, you can only restore the data if you restore the backup to the same device. If you restore the backup to a new device, the data isn’t restored.

If you need to be able to back up and restore app data to a new device, don’t choose to prevent backup of the app documents and data, and don’t choose to remove the app when the MDM profile is removed. 

Note: If you use Profile Manager to install an app, documents and data are always backed up, and the app is always removed when the MDM profile is removed. 

For more information, see your MDM solution documentation.

Back up and restore an app

If you restore a backup to the same device, every app is restored even if its data isn’t.

If you restore a backup to a new device, some apps might not be restored. This depends on whether you assign the app to a user or to a device:

  • If you assign the app to a device, the app is not restored when you restore the backup to a new device. You must reinstall the app on the new device.
  • If you assign the app to a user, the app is restored when you restore the backup to a new device unless you chose “Remove app when MDM profile is removed.”
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