It’s a concept that’s rarely mentioned by friends in conversations or by your favorite tech influencers, but as soon as disaster strikes your beloved iPhone, it rears its head out of the shadows – Backup.

And everyone suddenly becomes a smug, ‘I-told-you-so’, backup enthusiast. But let’s be real- No, they didn’t tell you so. Chances are, they never even backed up their own phone. They, like you probably, were living in sweet ignorance of the oh-so-real dangers of not having a backup for that rainy day.

iPhone failures are inevitable. Like any piece of technology, they’re bound to fail without notice, especially if you have an older model.

If you’ve landed on this page, it’s probably because your phone is still safe and you’ve decided to back up your precious data. Or you’re encountering issues on your phone and want to perform a Factory Reset. Or you’re soon upgrading and need to transfer all your data to your shiny new iPhone. Whatever the reason, there are a few different ways you can use to easily backup your iPhone.

  1. Use iCloud
  2. Use iTunes
  3. Use a third-party software

Let’s get into each of the three in detail.

Backup Using iCloud

iCloud logo

iCloud has been one of the most common ways to back up your iPhone. iCloud functionality comes pre-installed in your device. You can backup almost all your data with iCloud – purchase history from iTunes, App Store and iBook store, photos & videos, App data, Settings, iMessage, text messages, home screen etc.

Your purchased apps, movies, music and books are later downloaded when you restore using an iCloud backup.

Steps to create an iCloud backup

  1. Make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network
  2. Head over to Settings > (Your Name) > iCloud. For iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings, scroll down and tap iCloud
  3. Tap iCloud Backup
  4. Now tap Back Up Now. Your device will now start backing up all your data. Stay connected till the process completes
  5. Once the backup is finished, you can find the backed-up data by navigating to Settings > {Your Name} > iCloud > iCloud Storage > Manage Storage and then selecting your device. You’ll be able to see your backup details with the timestamp and file size.

Apple lets you store data up to 5GB of data for free, for every Apple ID. Photos and videos can quickly fill up 5GB of space. You can buy additional iCloud storage if required.

Your phone can also backup automatically to iCloud, by ensuring that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > {Your Name} > iCloud > iCloud Backup.

You might want to keep in mind that Apple also holds a decryption key for your iCloud backups and has been known to share iCloud data with FBI for their investigations. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can choose the next option.


Backup Using iTunes

iTunes logo

iTunes is also a familiar way for users to back up their device, considering they use it often for all their apps, music and movies purchases. With iTunes, you can even back up your photos, videos and other media not purchased from iTunes.

Your other data like App data, settings, messages, calendar, bookmarks etc. are obviously included in the backup. Unlike an iCloud backup, an iTunes backup will also back up your downloaded apps, music, movies and books. It also includes additional data like your Passwords, Wi-Fi settings and Internet History.

You also need a computer to create an iTunes backup- your Mac or PC. You cannot do it on your iPhone.

Steps to create an iTunes backup

  1. Connect your phone to your computer using a cable or using Wi-Fi
  2. Open iTunes on your phone. If the device asks for your passcode or to Trust This Computer, provide the necessary permissions
  3. On your computer, select your phone when it appears in the Devices list
  4. Click Summary and then click Back Up Now
  5. You can also encrypt your backup with a password using Encrypt {Device} Backup
  6. You can view your Backups using Edit > Preferences

Backup Using Third Party Software

There are a few limitations with iCloud & iTunes backups. You cannot recover an accidentally deleted file, you can’t backup to the Cloud using iTunes and migrating your backups between iOS and Android is not really possible.

There are quite a few third-party alternatives available that offer solutions to these issues, plus a host of other features. Some of the most popular backup solutions are Acronis True Image, Macrium Reflect, Dr.Fone, EaseUS MobiMover and iMazing. This is not an endorsement for any of these software. You can check these out yourself or do some more research to discover other alternatives to get a simple, effective solution to backing up your phone.


Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash


It’s a useful practice to back up your devices once every month or at least every alternate month. It doesn’t hurt to have a safety net, a restore point, in case something goes wrong and you lose all your data.

And it doesn’t have to cost you either, with Apple’s own iCloud and iTunes software. With time, you might want some extra backup features that don’t come pre-installed in your phone. For those needs, you can check out numerous, industry-recognized, third-party software to fill the gap.

Tuesday 14th September By

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