How to Back up an iPhone [A Step-by-Step Guide]

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We’ve all experienced problems with our smartphones at some point in our lives—and the truth is, it’s going to happen again. Whether you’ve lost your phone, dropped it in the toilet, or had your cellphone fall and scatter all over the floor, you’d want to backup your iPhone.

But do you actually know how to backup your iPhone? If you’re not so sure, you came to the right place, because this article will teach you everything you need to know about backing up your phone.

How to Back up Your iPhone

Doing periodical backup is always beneficial, whether you’ve recently gotten your hands on a new iPhone or you’re planning to upgrade to the latest iOS. Whatever the circumstance, you need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If your iPhone is lost, stolen, or broken, without backups you risk losing precious images, text messages, contacts and other important stuff you keep in your iPhone. Luckily, there are various ways to backup your iPhone, the three most common being iCloud backup, iTunes backup, or a backup using a computer. Depending on your preferences, there are two main ways to back up any iPhone: manually or automatically.

DID YOU KNOW: The first iPhone prototype was created in 1983. Obviously, it didn’t look anything like the iPhone we know and love today, but that’s when the idea was born.

How to Back up Your iPhone to iCloud

The first and most favorable way to back up your iPhone is iCloud backup. Before starting this process, make sure that your iPhone is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. Then, follow the steps for either manual or automatic backup:

  • Manual Backup

  1. Jump to Settings and tap your Your Name
  2. Tap on iCloud and then on iCloud Backup
    (Make sure you manually select what you want to back up beforehand)
  3. Hit Back Up Now and make sure that your iPhone is connected to the Wi-Fi network for the whole process.
  • Automatic Backup

If you have invaluable things in your iPhone and you fear losing them, maybe this daily option is right for you. Many iPhone users do this iPhone backup while they sleep because it is more convenient.

  1. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on at all times.
    (You know the drill: Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup)
  2. Connect your iPhone to a charger
  3. Connect the device to a Wi-Fi network
  4. Lock the phone’s screen
  5. Go to sleep
DID YOU KNOW: The prefix “i” before every Apple product stands for “Internet.”

How to Back up an iPhone With iTunes

You also have the option of backing up your iPhone with iTunes, but before jumping to the steps for doing so, we first need to clarify some things:

  • If you’ve used iTunes to sync photos, music, contacts, and other data to your iPhone, they will not be backed up by iTunes.
  • If you sync Safari history and WhatsApp conversation history with iCloud, the data will not be backed up with iTunes.
  • Data such as Face ID, Touch ID settings, and Apple Pay settings and information will not be backed up with iTunes since it’s linked to your ID. (When you sign in with your Apple ID, it will be instantly downloaded to your iPhone.)

 Ok, now to the actual steps:

  1. Download iTunes on your computer
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable or via Wi-Fi
  3. Open the iTunes app on the computer and click on the phone-shaped icon located below the left top corner.
  4. Click on Summary and then on Back Up Now.
DID YOU KNOW: In all iPhone ads, the time on the screen is always 9:41 because that was the time when the first iPhone was released to the public.

How to Back up Your iPhone to a Computer

Transferring data from one computer to another is an easy task, and the same goes for transferring data from your iPhone to a computer. This is the best option if you are somewhat old school and want to keep your data out of the Cloud. When using a PC, you can do the backup on iTunes, and if you are using a Mac, you can do so with Finder. No matter what you’re using, the steps are almost the same. For extra security, after you download the data on your computer, you can transfer it to an external memory device. Ok, so how to backup your iPhone to a computer?

  1. If you don’t already have it, download iTunes or Finder on your computer or Mac.
  2. Plug your iPhone into the computer. If this is your first time, a pop-up will come up asking you if you want to trust the computer, and if you do, hit Trust and enter the passcode.
  3. The next step is to select your phone. On iTunes, the phone icon is on the top left, and on Finder, it will appear as the name of your phone.
  4. In the Backups section, for Mac, select the option Back up all of the data on your iPhone on this Mac. For Windows, select This Computer and check the Encrypt Local Backup.
  5. Click on Back Up Now.

Wait a few minutes while your iPhone finishes backing up the data, and then you can disconnect the phone from the computer. And that’s how to backup your iPhone to a Mac or PC.

DID YOU KNOW: iPhone’s original name was supposed to be “Purple”, but after finding out that another company was registered to that name, Steve Jobs changed it to iPhone.

Other Practical Information You Should Know

Now that you know the steps for each backup method, take note of some additional information regarding backup that you should be aware of.

  • Since Apple only offers 5GB memory on the Cloud, be aware that you’ll likely need more before starting the backup. When your iPhone Cloud backup storage is full, your iPhone will cease backing up to iCloud unless you purchase more storage space or free up space in iCloud. You can buy more storage space for $0.99 / month, or delete some unnecessary stuff from the Cloud.
  • Also, the free 5GB memory storage is given per Apple ID, so those free GB will be split between all the devices that one person has.
  • When trying to backup your iPhone with iCloud, bear in mind that this method only backs up the “most vital data” on your iOS device—your photo library, accounts, documents, and settings.
  • If you decide to do the backup via iTunes, you should know that the music and videos that are not purchased with iTunes will not be backed up, and neither will the photos that aren’t saved on your local camera roll history or home screen layout.
  • When doing a backup make sure you check the Encrypt Local Backup box because this will allow iTunes to preserve all of your account credentials from your iOS device. You’ll be able to restore all of your applications, data, and settings even without this, but you’ll have to re-enter all your passwords. If you don’t have a password manager, we suggest you get one immediately. Doing this before your iPhone backup ensures that no one else can restore your applications and data to a different iOS device.
DID YOU KNOW: U2’s album Songs of Innocence is automatically added to your iTunes, and you can’t delete it yourself. To get the album deleted, you must contact Apple Support directly.

Conclusion

Just the thought of losing your phone with all your data, documents, memories, log-ins, and passwords can be enough to freak you out. That’s why you need to develop a routine of regularly backing up your iPhone.

The best way to backup an iPhone is to combine all three methods explained here. Using iCloud daily in addition to iTunes and computer backup will provide you with a more thorough backup and greater security.

FAQ

How do I backup my iPhone to the iCloud?

If you’re wondering how to manually backup your iPhone using iCloud, you can back it up with a stable wireless network following these steps: Settings>Your Name>iCloud>iCloud Backup>Back Up Now. For automatic backup, do this: Settings> Your Name> iCloud> iCloud Backup > connect the device to a power source and Wi-Fi > Lock the screen.

How to backup iPhone 11?

Every iPhone can be backed up on iCloud, iTunes, or PC and Mac. To back up your phone with iTunes, do these steps: Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB cable, open the iTunes app and click on the phone-shaped icon located below the left top corner. Click on Summary and then on Back Up Now.

How to make sure the iPhone is backed up?

If you recently learned how to backup your iPhone, you should check to make sure that your data is really saved. To do so, go to Settings, tap Your Name and then iCloud, then tap Manage Storage. Next, find your phone, tap on it, and see when the last backup was and the backup file size. Here you can restore or delete backups.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I am curiosity-driven and detail-oriented so you will often find me researching the latest trends, experimenting with search engine optimization, or testing software. As a keen observer of content, my teammates often like to joke that "noting escapes the eye of Beti."

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