A simple way to backup user data on (non-managed) Android device?


I’m an individual end-user of Duo Mobile who’s grown to become reliant on the app for authenticating toa few websites that are quite central to my activity. I’m facing a problem updating the app to the latest version, but before I even try to tackle that issue, I would like to know what the simplest way to safely back up and restore all my Duo Mobile user data is.

I would prefer not to use the built-in system that relies on Google Drive if a simpler way can be found.

Thank you for any help or pointers. I must confess I did not spend more than a couple of minutes searching the forum for possible answers.

Hi Lucas! Welcome to the Duo Community. May I ask why you prefer not to use Duo Restore? This is currently the only way to back up and recover accounts in Duo Mobile, and it is true that it does rely on either Google Drive or iCloud backup.

For most third-party accounts like Facebook or Instagram, there are recovery codes you can use to regain access to these accounts directly in the event you can’t get a passcode to work with Duo Mobile. For Duo-protected accounts that your IT help desk administers, you can work with them to regain access. That’s in place of being able to recover your accounts yourself.

What trouble are you having with updating Duo Mobile to the latest version? Perhaps I can help.

Hello! The reason I’m wary of using a system reliant on cloud services is twofold, I guess. I’d rather handle my user data in the simplest way possible and insert it into my usual backup routine instead of adding a layer of complexity if it can be avoided. I’m also not a fan of staying authenticated system-wide to a cloud provider on my handset. I’ve done fine without a Google account on my Android phones up to now. I guess you can say I’m just conservative when it comes to IT.

I did notice the option of using recovery codes for some services, although Twitter doesn’t seem to offer them.

Regarding the update, my Android (v10) package manager is showing me nothing more than a terse “Installation Failed” message, which is shown extremely quickly after the installation process begins. Less than a third of a second after pressing “install”, immediately after the archive is extracted to some buffer somewhere. This started happening with the v3.34 release, and is still occurring today with v3.35.1 (335101). The Duo Mobile app had previously been updated successfully in the past on this handset, a couple of times, I believe. I’ve tried restarting the phone and clearing the cache for this app, to no avail. Thank you for your offer to assist me with this issue.

Thank you for sharing that additional context with us. I’ll make sure to pass your comments along to our developers.

I haven’t actually tested this myself, but according to Twitter’s support page, it looks like they do offer recovery codes. On the Help with two-factor authentication page in the Using Backup Codes section, the instructions are as follows:

  1. Go to your Settings and privacy (on an iOS device, tap yourprofile icon; on an Android device, tap the navigation menu icon or your profile icon).
  2. Tap Account, then tap Security.
  3. Tap Backup code .
  4. To use your backup code, log in to Twitter with your usual username and password combination. When you see that a two-factor authentication request has been sent, click the link to enter your backup code. Enter the backup code you’ve generated to log into the site.

With regard to the update issue, it sounds like you might be sideloading the app. We recently upgraded the APK signing key for version 3.34.0, and anyone who sideloads Duo Mobile must uninstall the older APK and then reinstall the new one. This only must be done once. There are detailed instructions in this post: Upgrade to version 3.34.0. Unfortunately, it looks like you will have to re-add your accounts to Duo Mobile afterward as if you were a new user.
A member of our mobile team is going to do some more testing around this to confirm the impact on Duo Restore backups. I’ll update my answer here if anything changes. However, since any possible account recovery still relies on Duo Restore with Google Drive, the answer won’t necessarily help you :frowning: sorry.

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Sideloading I am, indeed. I thought this might have something to do with crypto sig checks, given how early in the install routine was the process failing.

Disabling 2-factor auth on all my accounts, then re-enabling it again after having followed the procedure to which you referred me took about thirty minutes in total, but I’m now once again running the latest version of DuoMobile. I also got around to downloading these Twitter recovery codes while I was doing this, and also found a platform with glaring authentication issues, so all in all, this was a good thing.

Thank you for your help. 10/10, great technical support experience, would run into problems again :beer:

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Awesome, I’m so glad that worked out for you! Hope to see you around the community more :slight_smile: