How to extract files from a Nandroid Backup?

Note: The below tutorial has been tested only with Clockworkmod Touch’ s Nandroid Backup

When you take a backup from CWM Recovery, the backup is stored in the below location on your phone,

Android File Explorer - CWM Nandroid Backup

SD card/clockworkmod/backup/(Date & Time of the backup)/**All the backup files**

Copy the backup folder in your computer. When you browse the files inside the folder, you can find that it has TAR files. Exclude the files with 0 byte size’s. The below two are the only files needed.

  1. system.ext4.tar.a┬á– Contains the system files
  2. data.ext4.tar.a – Contains all other data files

Before doing anything always make sure you take a Backup of the Nandroid backup.. ­čÖé

CWM Recovery Nandroid Backup

Install 7-zip, an open source file archiver to open the TAR files.

Rename system.ext4.tar.a to system.ext4.tar and data.ext4.tar.a to data.ext4.tar

You will now get a confirmation message, go ahead and click Yes. Since there is already a blank file on the same name, just replace it or rename it to another name.

Now, you can right-click the file and go to 7-Zip –> Open Archive or Extract files

Nandroid Backup data


Nandroid Backup data 2

Now, you can extract the required files from the Nandroid backup.



Under Construction! :D

20 Responses

  1. c33s says:

    the backup program splits the file in 1gb chunks, it is necessary to recombine them into one file to extract the files:

    On Windows: copy /b finelame* filename E.g. copy /b data.ext4.tar* data.ext4.tar
    On Linux: cat filename* > filename E.g. cat data.ext4.tar* > data.ext4.tar

  2. Link says:

    Which folder contains my whatsapp backup data?

  3. Gitesh says:

    Thanks a ton buddy. Made my day…

  4. freddyzdead says:

    You should also mention that you can open these .TAR files with WinRAR. And this might not be as useful as you think, because all your personal files, photos, music, etc. will not be included. If your system is corrupted and won’t boot, you might be better off re-flashing the same system, but don’t do a wipe first. I did this on my S3 and when it finished it was all back working again, and I didn’t lose anything.

  5. Walfor says:

    Which folder contains my DCIM (Photos/Videos)? I can’t find it.

  6. iyyappan says:

    i have seen [How To Extract Nandroid Backup Files ( .ext4.tar.a)] topic in your website. but i have more than one data & system ext4.tar files like,



    Now how can i open this using 7-zip file manager. please tell me clearly by the step by step process, because i new to this method.

    i am begging you. please help and reply me via mail. pleaseeee.

  7. Archie says:

    HI Vijay, I am new to this stuff and need to get some songs off the data.ext4.tar file. i have extracted it but dont know the location of the downoads folder where they were kept. any help?

  8. Sebastian says:

    Finally the only working way to restore/extract specific content from a nandroid backup i found so far was by using Titanium Backup Pro, also Nandroid Manager and Nandroid Browser should do the same job as well.

  9. agismaniax says:

    this methode is not working for kitkat’s nandroid backup.

    • Sebastian says:

      And just to let you know, it┬┤s not working on new Lollipop nandroid backup either. 7zip doesn┬┤t want to open this .tar files.

  10. Hardik Tanna says:

    IF i want to instaalthese backup file throgh odin what options should i select in odin like pda cs phone etc.. can u plz help me regarding flashing the backed up rom by cwm n flahsing it through odin.

  11. John says:

    My CWM backup has two data files “data.ext4.tar.a” and “data.ext4.tar.b”. So how should i rename them in my computer? BTW, tks for the tut

    • Vijay says:

      Move them to separate folders and rename them to data.ext4.tar, open them with 7-zip.

      • Hamo says:

        If there are more than 1 system.ext4 or data.ext for, copy them to some temporary location and do the following (on Windows):

        copy /b system.ext4.tar.a+system.ext4.tar.b system.ext4.tar
        copy /b data.ext4.tar.a+data.ext4.tar.b system.ext4.tar

  12. mads says:

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial!! Helped me very much.
    Have a nice day
    Kind regards

  1. November 25, 2014

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