Is Helium backup being discontinued?

Helium ( is an Android app created by Koushik Dutta that allows users to backup and sync app data across multiple devices. Originally launched in 2013 as Carbon, the app was rebranded as Helium in 2015. Helium provides a simple way for Android users to backup app data and settings without needing root access on their device.

With Helium, users can backup data from apps like games, chat clients, widgets and more. It creates a copy of the app data that can then be synced across multiple devices logged into the same Helium account. This allows seamless transfer of app data when transitioning to a new phone. According to reviews, Helium is a lightweight and easy-to-use backup solution for Android users.

Rumors of Discontinuation

In recent months, there have been rumors circulating online about Helium – App Sync and Backup being discontinued. Some Android forums and Reddit threads have discussed the app potentially shutting down. Sources indicate users speculating on the lack of updates to the Helium app in over a year as a sign that development has ceased.

However, there has been no official announcement or confirmation from Helium’s developers about discontinuing the app. The rumors appear to stem from users noticing the dormancy of the app’s update schedule, rather than any statement from the company. Some posts express concern over finding alternative backup solutions if Helium were to shut down.

Official Announcement

In May 2013, Koushik Dutta, the developer behind Helium Backup, announced on the app’s website that active development and support for Helium would be discontinued. In a statement titled “The End of An Era,” Dutta cited declining interest, profits and time as reasons for shutting down the app:

“Helium Backup has been around for over 4 years now. It started off as a simple backup tool, and over the years accrued a significant user base, pro versions, sync, Android Beam transferring, and more. But over time, interest and profits have waned, and I no longer have the time to work on Helium.”

Dutta went on to reassure users that the app would continue functioning, but no further updates would be released. He recommended users switch to other backup tools and thanked the community for their support over the years.

“Helium will continue to work, and I will try to keep its market entries up for as long as I can, but there will be no further development or support.”

With this announcement, Dutta made it official that Helium Backup would be discontinued as an actively maintained project, drawing the curtain on what had been one of the most popular backup solutions for Android.

Impacts on Users

The discontinuation of Helium backup will significantly impact Android users who relied on the app to back up their device data and transfer it between phones. According to The abysmal state of backup on Android, backing up data and transferring it to a new device is difficult on Android without a good backup solution like Helium. With Helium going away, users will lose the ability to easily backup app data, WiFi passwords, call history, SMS messages, and more.

On Reddit, users have recommended Helium for backing up save game data in apps like Dragon Quest between different Android devices (source). Without Helium, transferring save data will become much more difficult. Android Central forums also highlight how Helium could backup home screen layouts, app folders, and other device personalization that will be lost without it (source).

In summary, Android users will lose an easy way to backup and transfer app data, personalization, game saves, and other information when Helium is discontinued. For many, this will mean starting their device setup from scratch when migrating to a new phone.

Data Migration

With Helium backup being discontinued, users will need to find ways to migrate their data from Helium backups to other solutions. Here are some options for data migration:

One option is to use file explorers or Android’s built-in file manager to access the backup files created by Helium, which are usually stored in the Helium folder on internal or external storage. Users can then manually transfer these backup files to another location like cloud storage or their computer for safekeeping. This method gives users full control over the data migration process.[1]

Another option is to use other backup apps that support importing data from Helium backups. Apps like Backup & Restore and SyncMe allow restoring Helium backups from storage. This provides a quick way to migrate data without starting from scratch.[2]

Users can also leverage cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to migrate data. Helium backups can be uploaded to these cloud services manually or using backup/sync apps. The data then remains accessible for restoring to new devices.[3]


With the discontinuation of Helium Backup, users will need to transition to new backup services. Based on reviews and recommendations from Reddit users and experts, some of the top alternatives include:

Neo Backup – This app provides a simple way to backup and restore apps and data without root access. It has cross-platform support between Android and iOS. As noted on AlternativeTo, Neo Backup is one of the most highly recommended alternatives to Helium.

Titanium Backup – This longtime backup utility has robust options for rooted Android devices. According to redditors on r/androidapps, Titanium Backup remains a top choice for power users needing advanced backup features.

Swift Backup – For non-rooted devices, Swift Backup combined with the Shizuku app offers a close alternative to Helium. Backups are stored locally or synced to cloud storage. Limitations exist compared to rooted options, but Swift Backup ranked high in recommendations.

Degoo – This secure cloud backup service offers up to 100GB of free storage. With apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and PC, users can easily migrate data from Helium to Degoo’s cloud servers. Reviews on AlternativeTo rate it highly as a cross-platform alternative.

While no single backup utility replicates all of Helium’s capabilities, this range of top-rated alternatives provides options to suit different user needs and device configurations in the post-Helium era.

User Reactions

Users have expressed a range of emotions in response to the discontinuation of Helium backup. On Reddit, many users voiced frustration that they could no longer rely on Helium for backups and restores. One Redditor said, “I’m on android 7.0 Galaxy S7 Edge, all updated correctly, no root. I’m still able to make backups but each time I try to restore a backup (even the one I just made) it fails” (source). Others on Reddit discussed potential alternative backup solutions.

On the XDA Developers forum, some users voiced confusion and asked for help with the inability to restore Helium backups after the discontinuation. One user wrote, “Unable to restore Helium backup! I used Helium for years without any issues. Now suddenly none of my backups will restore…” (source).

Overall, the discontinuation of Helium backup came as an unpleasant surprise to many users who relied on it for years without issue. Users expressed frustration over the inability to restore existing backups, and were eager to find alternative solutions to fill the void left by Helium’s discontinuation.

Lessons Learned

The shutdown of Helium Backup taught many users valuable lessons about backing up their data 1. Users learned that relying solely on one backup solution, especially a free one, can leave your data vulnerable if the service is discontinued. As one user on XDA Developers noted, “You definitly have to shutdown the background processes of these apps before doing the backup” 2. Following proper backup procedures like this is key.

The Helium shutdown shows it’s wise for users to have multiple backups and not put all your eggs in one basket. Backing up to local storage, cloud storage, and even maintaining physical backups provides redundancy. Testing restoration periodically is also crucial to ensure backups are valid and comprehensive. Overall, the lessons around consistent backups, multiple backup destinations, testing restorations, and proper backup procedures are critical for users to learn from Helium’s closure.

The Future

With the sunsetting of Helium Backup, questions remain about what’s next for the Helium network. While Helium originally gained popularity as a way for users to earn cryptocurrency by providing wireless coverage, the company’s long-term vision has been focused on enabling the IoT economy through creating The People’s Network.

According to the official Helium blog, the company will continue working towards this goal by transitioning fully to Helium Network Tokens (HNT) and focusing its efforts on growth and development of the IoT network [1] . With over 1 million active hotspots as of 2022, the Helium network has strong potential to become a leading connectivity provider for IoT devices.

While the sunsetting of Helium Backup closes one chapter for the company, they appear committed to their long-term vision. The utility and value of HNT will depend on the success of Helium’s IoT network ambitions. With hotspot sales and deployments accelerating, the next phase of growth for Helium is just beginning.


While some users were initially concerned about the discontinuation of Helium, the future looks bright. Helium’s code and app data backup technology has been open-sourced, allowing the developer community to build upon it and create new solutions. Though the original app is shutting down, its legacy will carry on. Users now have an array of data migration options to choose from when switching devices or platforms.

This situation highlights the benefits of open-source software and the power of an engaged tech community. Even when an app or service closes, if the code is available, someone else can pick up where it left off. The open-sourced Helium code will live on and may resurface in future apps and tools. While transitions can cause some temporary inconvenience, ultimately, the open-source ethos leads to more choice and better solutions.

In closing, Helium’s discontinuation marks the end of an era but also the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Savvy Android users will find fresh ways to migrate and manage their app data. And if the need arises, a new Helium-inspired app may someday emerge from the ashes, stronger than ever thanks to its open-source foundations.