PlayBook: There was an error backing up.

If you are like me, all too often you see the following message anytime you try to backup your PlayBook:  There was an error backing up.  There could have been a problem with the device or the connection during the backup.  Verify that the device is on and connected.

Translation appears to be:  Hey, we were searching for files to package for backup, and something bad happened.  We are waiting for files but they never arrived (unexpected files missing or USB timeout).

Here are some “general” suggestions. I have to warn you this is a complete PITA. I had to remove over 230 applications to make this work.

#1) Other: Save No App Data (Gave Saves), but Quickly Resolve the Issue


  1. Backup your Media files (custom backup): How to back up your BlackBerry PlayBook — and why I
  2. Backup your Settings (custom backup): How to back up your BlackBerry PlayBook — and why I
  3. Perform a secure wipe of your PB: KB27188-How to perform a security wipe on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
  4. Reload your Media and Settings
  5. Take a few backups to make sure its working

#2) Other: Potential Quick Fix


  1. Delete PC Recipe App and all other Recipe Apps
  2. Delete all Weather Apps especially WeatherEye HD
  3. Delete all News Apps
  4. Delete all GPS Apps
  5. Delete any suspicious apps or apps with many files
  6. Verify Backup is working. Depending on the potential error, see below.

#3) Quick Failure: Immediate PlayBook Backup Failure, Keeping your Data

This failure usually occurs at 100 bytes. It happens frequently. This failure is likely an OS corruption of some kind or timeout reading some file. It happens about 4 out of 5 times. But it works 1 out of 5 times. It can also be caused by sideloading the Android 1 player onto your PB as it prevents backups by some strange corruption to the file system.


  1. Turn off wifi sharing
  2. Turn off file sharing
  3. Connect via USB
  4. Ensure your cable is your PB usb cable not a phone usb cable
  5. Perform a backup of Media (will likely succeed)
  6. Perform a backup of Settings (will likely succeed)
  7. Perform a backup of Apps (this will fail 3-4 times out of 5, but will eventually work)


  1. Once you have a partial working Backup, take one more of the entire system.
  2. Wipe your PB and load the Backup

#4) Partial Failure: Part way through backup your backup fails, Keeping your Data

This is believed to be caused by a faulty application installation. The apps vary widely from PC Recipes, to Weather apps, to News apps. But I’ve developed a “method” for identifying this.


  1. If you have MANY applications, delete all the small applications you do not use
  2. Avoid applications with a large number of files
  3. Any application that generated an Error 0008 and stayed installed needs to be removed
  4. Any application that has MORE than one icon (check all your folders) has been incorrectly installed. Remove these by holding on the icon and pressing Delete
  5. Any application listed in AppWorld (turn off wifi to have an easier time deleting from AppWorld) that does not exist in any folder, is also going to cause the failure. Delete any apps missing from your Dock from within AppWorld.
  6. Any application listed in a Dock that is not listed in AppWorld (again trust me, turn off wifi) is going to cause the failure. Delete the stray application from the dock.


  1. Once you have a full and proper backup, do a secure wipe of your PlayBook
  2. Reload your Backups
  3. Make two more Backup attempts to ensure it was successful



  1. Still unable to Back up Playbook! – Page 13 – BlackBerry Support Community Forums
  2. Desktop released – Page 2 – BlackBerry Support Community Forums
  3. Playbook will not Back up! – Page 10 – BlackBerry Support Community Forums
  4. Bad Apps Cause PlayBook Backups to Fail
  5. Contact Research In Motion (RIM) – Canada


2 thoughts on “PlayBook: There was an error backing up.

  1. Pingback: Common Issues (and solutions!) when Migrating from one PB to another PB - BlackBerry Forums at CrackBerry.com
  2. Pingback: Common Issues (and solutions!) when Migrating from one PB to another PB | File Archive Haven

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