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So this is one of those topics that I feel like everyone writes off and doesn’t give a second thought about or thinks they have things good enough. Backups are important and I believe we can all agree on that. However, mine really got to get tested this past week when my phone screen died.


So I have been using the same phone for two years now. As with any phone, it had an issue here and there, but nothing a good hard reset couldn’t fix. However, this time the phone screen totally died. I could tell it at least still worked because it vibrated and connected to Bluetooth to let me make calls.

Running to the phone store I was told I could get a new phone overnighted (since there was insurance). This wasn’t a great option since I needed my phone for MFA for work and this wouldn’t be the most sufficient.

The other option was to go to UBreak IFix. The problem is that it was getting late so again I wouldn’t get it till potentially mid-day the next day.

So the final option became purchase a new phone. Not the most ideal, but I had been thinking about upgrading anyways since my phone was starting to show some age.

Getting the Phone Setup

So turning it on and starting to log into everything provided some interesting parts. For most all services I always set up text 2FA as an option to fall back on. However, the phone wasn’t receiving texts immediately. However, I have codes stored in VaultWarden so that I can get these things. Once I got back into my Google account I was moving along well.

Testing Backups

Now for the hard part. Fortunately with Google Photos and all pretty much everything of mine is backed up constantly into a cloud service. It is really just a matter of letting it download anything and getting logged back into things. Overall the only thing I was missing from my old phone was the Downloads folder, but anything that lands there and isn’t moved for me is not important.


I did take this opportunity to reset a little. Normally I log into everything the moment I get it on my phone so emails and all come through immediately. Pretty much any client email or anything is having to earn it’s way back onto my phone. Trying to audit notifications again and just keep things quieter and keep my phone overall more usable.


I did go ahead and take the old phone to UBreak IFix. They were able to replace the screen and get everything working. The current plan is to set that up as a house phone, but also planning to configure it as a backup MFA when possible. Overall this experience has reinforced the importance of a phone for me to do my job. So having a backup phone that I can grab quickly when something like this happens will be a nice safety net.