As you can see from my previous question, How can I escape Google?, I am not overly keen on sharing my personal data.

I just got yet another new Android phone, after yet another died. Because I do not want Google having access to my data, I was going to post to post to Software Recommendations asking for an alternative.

I searched first & found Google to Encrypt Android Cloud Backups With Your Lock Screen Password, but 1) that's over 3 years old, so I don't know if it is still valid, and 2) I do not have a lock screen password.

Yes, I know that that sounds strange, especially if I am asking about security and privacy, but I have my reasons. I am concerned about large corporations accessing my data, not family and friends.

So, can I somehow activate Android's "backup to Google drive" without setting a PIN on my phone (please don't suggest setting one and sharing it with those I trust — there will be no PIN).

  • You can't be secured by not using security.
    – defalt
    Jan 12, 2021 at 10:49
  • As I said, it depends from whom I wish to be secure. I doubt thta Google, etc, are going to send someone round to my house to pick up my 'phone and .. what? Extratc my cookies? They already have those
    – Mawg
    Jan 12, 2021 at 11:17
  • 1
    Google also encrypts android backup using your Google account password. But it is not e2e encrypted. Only screen lock can ensure e2e encrypted backup. If Google is not your threat, you can back it up without screen lock protection.
    – defalt
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:59
  • Ok, now it's clear. Thanks. I am looking for an alternative, but realize that I may just have to live with a password (presumably face unlock, etc would also work?) Feel free to post an answer
    – Mawg
    Jan 12, 2021 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


If you don't trust Google with your data and don't want to enable the code required to encrypt backups stored on their servers, disable backups in settings >> System >> Backup.

If you trust them enough to hold on to a backup that's encrypted with a unique code linked only to your device, then you're going to have to enable the creation of that unique code, and in this case it's the screen lock code. I have not seen any mention of face unlock also providing a code - if you want face unlock, create a code and enable face unlock.

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