How ClockWorkMod (CWM) Can Backup Your Android Device and Secure All of Your Data

Written by B Johnson May 09, 2016
ClockWorkMod (CWM) logo
For the past couple of years, I’ve been making a lot of quick reviews of many tablets on this website, from the first-gen Google Nexus 7, HP Slate7 Extreme, all the way to the latest-gen devices like Nvidia Shield Tablet, Google Nexus 9 or Sony Xperia Tablet Z2.

I’ve even already made many comparison reviews of those devices for the past couple of months. However, starting from today and in the next few months, I want to do something different here on this website.

So from now on, I’m gonna share to you some useful tips and tricks that I usually use on my Android device.

Not only that, besides sharing those tips and tricks for the next few months, I will also write some latest news concerning everything that is happening around the tablet market:
  • like the rumors about the new tablets, 
  • previews of new tablets
  • and other random news related to Android gaming and tablets.
I do this because I don’t want to keep spamming you guys with so many reviews about tablets because that can be quite boring over the time, right?

So hopefully, my new future posts will be more varied in the future and will attract you to explore more from this website.

I actually have prepared some new reviews of other new-gen tablets that I’m really excited to share to you in the near future, like the new iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 or Google Pixel C hybrid tablet and many other exciting devices.

But I’m still preparing those new materials for the next few months. So be sure to stick around on this website if you're also excited!

WARNING!! Do this at your own risk!! I will not be responsible for anything wrong that might happen on your device!

What is CWM (ClockWorkMod)?

How ClockWorkMod (CWM) Can Backup Your Android Device and Secure All of Your Data
ClockWorkMod opening logo
Anyway, today I’m actually in the mood to talk about something called “CWM” which stands for Clock Work Mod.

But do you know what is CWM?

You probably already heard this term so many times before, especially on some Android developers' forums like or other local Android-related forums in your country.

But for those of you who never heard of “CWM”, I will explain to you in really simple words that (hopefully) you can understand.

But before getting to the term 'ClockWorkMod', I need you to understand first the difference between STANDARD RECOVERY MODE and CUSTOM RECOVERY MODE (CWM).

What is the difference between the STANDARD recovery mode and CUSTOM recovery mode?

Okay, so STANDARD RECOVERY MODE is the standard/stock/untouched recovery mode that already comes pre-installed with any Android device on the market, either smartphone or tablet.

So if you just bought an Android smartphone/tablet, then out of the box, your device already comes with STANDARD RECOVERY MODE.

On the other hand, the CUSTOM RECOVERY MODE is the customized recovery mode that you can install on your Android device in order to REPLACE THAT STANDARD RECOVERY MODE, which already comes pre-installed on your tablet/smartphone.

But there are many custom recovery tools available to use on your Android device, like for example:
  • CWM (the one we’re talking right now), 
  • TWRP 
  • and some other more.
But the most popular and most used custom recovery tools nowadays are either ClockWorkMod (CWM) and TWRP (which I will share to you later in the future).

How ClockWorkMod (CWM) Can Backup Your Android Device and Secure All of Your Data

So CWM, which stands for Clock Work Mod, is a custom recovery mode made by some creative developers out there that has the main function to replace the STANDARD STOCK RECOVERY MODE which comes pre-installed on any Android device in the world.

However, each of these Android devices available on the market, including your Android smartphone/tablet, has their own specific version of ClockWorkMod (image/installation file).

So you CANNOT install some random ClockWorkMod version that is not compatible with your smartphone/tablet because that will cause some system errors and even damage your Android device.

How to enter to the standard recovery mode?

Okay, before I go further to explain to you more about CWM, there is one question I need to ask to you:

Have you ever tried to enter to the STANDARD RECOVERY MODE of your Android tablet/smartphone?

Well, if you haven’t already, then you probably should check it out by doing these steps below (but be very careful with the step number 5 ):
  1. Turning off your Android smartphone/tablet
  2. Press volume UP button + power button AT THE SAME TIME.
  3. After the screen is ON, release the volume UP and power buttons.
  4. There you go, now you are in the standard recovery mode of your Android device.
  5. But DON’T EVER PRESS the VOLUME DOWN BUTTON in this recovery mode because in stock recovery mode, this button is usually assigned as ‘SELECT’ or ‘TAKE ACTION’ button.
(So if you don’t know what to do in this recovery mode, I strongly recommend you to press again the POWER BUTTON for more than 10 seconds to turn off your Android device so that you can turn it on again to the normal booting up process to the homescreen).

However, each of the Android devices sold on the market, either smartphones or tablets, comes pre-installed with their own standard recovery mode from each manufacturer.

So for example, the STANDARD RECOVERY MODE of Xiaomi MiPad is totally different with the standard recovery mode of Google Nexus 9. It goes the same with the standard recovery mode of Nvidia Shield Tablet that is different with the one found on HP Slate7 Extreme.

And then, these standard stock recovery modes don’t have the capability to BACKUP the WHOLE Android system of your smartphone or tablet.

So they usually are there mostly for doing simple system tasks, like:
  • installing new firmware, 
  • installing new apps, 
  • resetting to the factory setting 
  • and other simple tasks. 
So this is the reason why CWM exists.

Why do you need custom recovery mode?

But then, you probably wonder, why do you need to replace the standard recovery mode of your Android device with CWM?

Well, the main reason is, in this CWM custom recovery mode, you are allowed to do other tasks that you CANNOT do in the standard recovery mode.

And one of them is the ability to BACKUP the Android system of your Android device.

So by creating the backup of your Android system, not only can you save ALL THE THINGS that you have already on the homescreen of your device (like: apps, games, widgets, text messages, and many more), but you can literally save EVERYTHING on internal storage of your smartphone/tablet (like settings, logged in accounts, web browsers bookmarks, etc).

So if something horrible happens on your Android device, like for example, your tablet won’t boot up normally to the system or it keeps rebooting after the intro/logo, then you can restore the system back to normal by using the backup file that you’ve already created before using this CWM custom recovery mode.

And everything will go back to normal again as it’s used to be when your device was still working fine.

But of course, you must firstly create the backup of the Android system in order to have the BACKUP FILE which later can be used to restore your device when something bad happens in the future.

In my opinion, I think ClockWorkMod is really helpful. In fact, CWM should be a MUST HAVE feature on any Android device.

However, CWM is not for everyone.

This custom recovery mode is only created for those people who are well-experienced about rooting Android system of their devices.

So if you are NOT one of these people, I strongly recommend you to stay away from CWM and hand over the job to other users who have the experience in this area.

Is it safe to install custom recovery mode on your Android device?

The good news is, you can now learn about installing CWM custom recovery mode on your device by yourself.

But then again, installing CWM on your Android device can be considered as really complicated here because it requires you to have the experience of rooting your device in the first place.

Not to mention, the process of rooting on every Android tablet on the market is very different one to another.

So the rooting process of Google Nexus 10 is totally different with the rooting process of Nvidia Shield Tablet. It goes the same with other devices.

And you CANNOT apply some random rooting method to your own tablet/smartphone because it will cause such a huge damage to your device that will prevent it from booting up to the normal system (bootloop/softbrick).

And even worse, your tablet cannot be turned on ever again just like it used to be, (hardbrick, when your device has literally become useless just like a hard brick that does nothing).

XDAdevelopers forum to the rescue!

So this is why I strongly recommend, in fact, I insist you to go to some specific forums on the web that are dedicated to your own tablet.

For instance, you can check out as this website forum is the most popular forum related to Android and has extremely huge database about rooting Android smartphones/tablets, installing custom ROMs and many other more.

So you literally can find anything related to Android on this XDAdevelopers forum.

In fact, most of the rooting processes you find on the web are actually based on the step-by-step guides taken from

I personally use a lot to find out about the methods to root my Android devices or install custom ROMs in the past.

Besides, I also visit other local website forums to meet many fellow users in my country and share information with them simply because it's easy to communicate with them and also, their devices (models/types) are similar with mine.

So if something wrong happens with my device, I can just ask them for a help.

Anyway, right now I’m about to share to you the tutorial or step-by-step guide to backup the Android system of your device by using CWM custom recovery mode.

However, I’m not sharing it today on this page because I’ve already made the dedicated page for that tutorial on other post.

So if you want to learn more about installing CWM custom recovery mode on your Android device, then be sure to check out my other post about "How to Install ClockWorkMod on your Android Tablet/Smartphone?".

Okay, I'll see you there!
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