How to Backup iPhone: The complete guide

The most expensive backup is the one you never did

Backup is very important since it’s the only way to recover all your data on iPhone (Or any other smart devices) if it ran into a problem and you’re forced to reset it or if it is stolen (hopefully it shouldn’t). Running a backup is very simple than you think.

There are three methods to backup an iPhone. The first and easy method is to use iCloud and it is automatic. The second is by using iTunes on the computer and it is also automatic but only works when you connect you’re iPhone to the computer and the third is to use third-party software.

If you’re in a hurry or you already know what will be counted in the backup, you can skip to the tutorial

What data will be backed up?

Let’s see what exactly is included in the backup. iCloud and iTunes, both contain almost similar data in the backup. To note, iCloud only provides 5 GB of free storage and goes up to 2TB of paid plan to store your files ($0.99 per month which gives 50 GB is the best plan in case if you want to go for the iCloud).

iCloud and iTunes: What will be included?

  • Pictures, videos, and ringtones
  • Home screen layout
  • Backups from Apple Watch
  • iMessage, SMS, and MMS
  • Homekit configuration
  • App data
  • Voicemail (Requires the same SIM card that was in the phone during the backup)
  • Keychain
  • Health and Activity

Keychain, health, and activity will not be backed up on iTunes unless the encrypted backup is turned on manually.

What will not be included?

  • Face ID and Touch ID settings
  • Apple Pay settings and cards

Backups processed by third-party software may differ from one to one but most of them perform better than iCloud and iTunes. For example, some will even backup WhatsApp data such as chats and media.

How to backup the iPhone using iCloud?

Besides all the accessibilities and simplicity offered by iCloud, it also provides a more secure and encrypted backup than iTunes.

As I mentioned earlier, iCloud is the easiest option to backup but comes with free storage of 5GB which is not enough for larger backups. You have to pay extra to add some more storage to your iCloud account.

How to backup iPhone
Image Source: Apple
  1. Go to Settings and tap your Name
  2. Under your account, Tap iCloud and iCloud Backup
  3. iPhone will automatically perform a backup daily when it is locked, connected to power and WIFi. Tap Back Up Now to start a manual backup.
  4. To choose what to backup , go to Settings -> iCloud ->  Backup.

Here are the iCloud storage plans offered by apple. It may or may not be required for you but they are priced lower than others.

How to backup the iPhone using iTunes?

iTunes backup is only possible when you connect your iPhone to the computer but gives you the freedom to store larger backups.

Unlike iCloud, it is not encrypted and anyone who can access your computer can access your backup unless it is turned on manually. But when it is off, the backup won’t include sensitive information such as passwords, health, and home kite data.

How to backup iPhone
Image Source: Apple
  1. First, connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes and wait till it detects the phone
  3. Click Summary under your iPhone at the top left.
  4. Make sure that This computer is checked and Click Back Up Now to start the process
  5. Click Encrypt iPhone Backup and assign a password to include account passwords, health, and home kit data to your backup.

Remember that there is no way to recover the backup if you forget the password (if the encrypted backup is turned ON)

I would recommend turning on auto backup or at least run a manual backup once a week to safeguard your device. If you like to have more features, then try third-party apps like Anytrans or Syncios but both of them are paid with a free trial.

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