How to Backup Your iPhone

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for backing up your iPhone and the various methods you can use!

In honor of Backup Awareness Month, we wanted to make a guide for backing up one of our most treasured devices: our iPhones. We all know someone who has lost their phone, had it stolen, or damaged and had the horrifying realization that all their precious photos, notes, reminders, and contacts were gone. Lost forever in the data-abyss in the sky. Then again, if we’re all familiar with this situation then why, pray tell, do we ignore backing up these indispensable devices?! Fortunately for you, backing up your iPhone is not difficult.

How to Backup iPhone Using iCloud

iCloud is included with every iPhone with at least iOS 5. iCloud backs up your data automatically, but first, you have to turn the feature on.

How to turn on iCloud:

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network

  2. From the Home screen, tap Settings

  3. Tap the Apple profile at the top of the Settings menu.

  4. Tap iCloud (you may be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID and password)

  5. Tap iCloud Backup.

  6. Turn the iCloud Backup switch to “on”.

  7. Tap Back Up Now.

  8. Check your backup by tapping Settings > your Apple Profile > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and then choose your device. This will show you your latest backup and how much available space you have.

The first 5GB of iCloud storage are free. If you want more, you will be charged a monthly fee for a storage plan from Apple. For 50GB, it will cost $0.99 per month. For 200GB, it will cost $2.99 per month, and for 2TB, it will cost $9.99 per month.  

iCloud storage is an easy option for your data storage. Be careful though, if you take a lot of photos and videos, you will most likely use the free 5GB quickly and will need to purchase more storage. The prices are low, but happen to be more costly than some other options, something to consider when choosing the best option to backup your device.

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How to Backup iPhone with iTunes

Another option for backing up your iPhone is through iTunes. To do this, first, you will need to have your MacBook or iMac running iTunes. Then you must either connect your phone via WiFi or connect your phone with a USB cord to your computer. The reason you need to connect your iPhone to your computer is because with this method you are essentially backing up your phone onto your computer.

So, once your phone is connected follow these basic steps to backup with iTunes.

  1. Make sure your iPhone is connected via WiFi or USB cord to your computer

  2. Open iTunes

  3. Click File > Devices > Backup or click “Back Up Now” from the summary page

Using iTunes, you can back up everything from your iPhone as often as you like. This is a great free way to back up your iPhone. However, there are a few things to consider when backing up with iTunes. For one, iTunes does not backup automatically. There is a way to make it automatic, but this takes an enormous amount of bandwidth and can be used at the wrong time, consequently eating up your data. Another aspect to consider is that you will need enough room on your computer's hard drive to store the iPhone backup. If your phone is 128GB, this can be especially troublesome if you have a lot of files saved to your computer. More on how to better manage your computer and iPhone storage to come.  

Everything considered, iTunes is still is a great free way to securely backup your iPhone.

How to do the Most thorough Backup of your iPhone

To complete the most extensive backup of your iPhone, it is recommended to have one central place for all your digital files. This is typically a computer or laptop. For a complete iPhone backup, you must first backup your phone to your computer, then backup your computer to the cloud. Let’s divide this process into two simple steps.

  1. Follow the steps above to backup your iPhone with either iCloud or iTunes directly to your computer.

  2. Perform a backup of your computer with either an external hard drive or iCloud (see more here.)  

That’s it! This double protection ensures no matter what happens to your phone or your computer, that your data is protected. No more horrifying stories of lost wedding pictures, concert videos, or pictures of the grandkids. Don’t let your next iPhone drop be a catastrophe, protect yourself today by celebrating world backup month with Springboard. If you have any more questions about backing up your iPhone or iMac, come into Springboard today!