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When you sign in with your Microsoft account on your Windows Phone 8.1, you can turn on a service that lets you automatically save important things to the cloud so you'll have a backup if something happens to your phone.
You can choose how your phone backs up your apps, settings, text messages, and photos and videos. In the App list, just go to Settings > Backup.
To learn about restoring a backup, see Restore a backup to my phone.
Apps + settings
One of the toughest things about replacing a lost phone or upgrading is getting your accounts, apps, and settings just the way you like them on your new phone. We can create a backup of all sorts of things to make the transition easier, including:
To turn on apps and settings backup
To back up your apps, make sure Settings backup is turned on, and then turn on App backup.
To delete backups
Deleting backups on your phone only removes the local copy, but you can delete backups permanently from OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). Log in to your OneDrive account and go to Settings > Options > Device settings. You'll see a list of your backups and can delete any you want.
You can automatically back up your SMS and MMS messages to the cloud. That way, the next time you get a new Windows Phone, you can restore your conversations when you set up the phone. When you delete your messages from your phone, they'll be deleted from the cloud as well, so you're always in sync.
To turn on text message backup
Photos and videos
You can automatically upload your photos and videos to OneDrive and get to them later from any computer or device that connects to the web. (This might use your data plan and incur charges.)
To turn on auto upload
In the App list, tap Settings > Backup.
Tap Photos + videos, and choose one of the following for your photos and for your videos:
You'll need a Wi-Fi connection to automatically upload videos and best-quality photos.
If you lose your Windows Phone 8.1 or decide to upgrade it, you can restore your apps, text messages, accounts, and many settings and passwords from your old phone when you set up your new one. All you need is a Microsoft account and a backup from your old phone.
To learn how to create a backup, see "Back up Windows Phones."
To restore a backup
Tip: Restoring a backup can use a lot of data, so you may want to connect to a Wi-Fi network during setup. Otherwise, the restore will use your cellular data and you may incur charges.