It’s not enough to just let your iPhone back up to iCloud, not when you need to make sure you won’t miss anything important. Here are your options for backing up iOS devices.
Steve Jobs once made the point of telling the audience that he had not sponsored all these years of being a NeXT. However, that does not mean that copying is not important. It was because it was very important that all NeXT employee data were automatically backed up.
Maybe Jobs brought that ethos to Apple, because the company has been working to make it a little easier to make backups easier – and unthinkingly. You see this whenever you change iPhones and all your apps, and their data, from the new ones.
But as simple as it is, it also makes you not think your data is safe. No, unless you take positive steps – and always.
How to back up your iPhone
Backuping means storing a copy of everything on one device, and storing it in secure storage. Unfortunately, there are problems with both conclusions.
On the iPhone, there is a way you may not realize how much information is there. And on the other hand with secure storage, when you need to restore your data, you need to be able to quickly restore the data.
There have been two clear decisions to make a backup copy of the iPhone. Things are not clear now, in part because there are three options.
You can backup automatically and wirelessly to iCloud, connect your iPhone to Mac. Or you can sync your iPhone to your Mac.
It used to be that Cloud supports the basics, whatever you need to just go again and get data. And it used to be that making a Restore WhatsApp Backup from Google Drive to iPhone Directly to copy on a Mac takes an exact copy of everything on the iPhone.
Synchronization has always been a third option, but it has become more appropriate, more useful, because some have improved considerably – and the lines between you are much darker.
How to Backup Your Full data iPhone to iCloud
Making a backup copy on iCloud is so straightforward that it takes the power to stop it from happening. But check that you are still backing up to iCloud – and while you are there, back up iCloud right now. [Upgrade to iCloud + for more storage]
- On your iPhone, go to Settings
- Tap on your name, then Cloud
- Next, select Cloud Backup
- Make sure iCloud Backup is turned on
- Optionally, open Back Up Over Cellular
- While you are here, tap Do Back Now
As soon as you tap Do Back Now, backing up begins. You have the option to cancel making a backup copy, but you can also continue to use any other application instead of waiting.
You receive a notification, “Estimating time remaining,” which seems to last longer. Then the time it will take to back up your iPhone depends on how much data you have.
Backups are done periodically however, which means on the other hand means that currently there is almost nothing new, or different, that can be downloaded. Equally, though, it means that your iPhone uses your internet connection regularly to perform these WhatsApp backups.
And that is why you may want to consider whether or not to use Back Up Over Cellular. Any single backup may not take much time, but it is all inclusive – and Cloud supports many different things.
iCloud backup contains at least:
- Photos and videos
- App data
- Device settings and preferences
- Apple Watch Backups
- Home screen and app organization
It also contains the purchase history for all Apple products. So it is not real movies or books you have bought, but a list of details.
An iCloud cache copy also saves your Visual Voicemail password, if you have one. Apple says that to restore this later, “requires a SIM card that was used during backup.”
Apple also notes that if you use the Apple Watch for Family Setup and do not have an iPhone, it backs up the backup directly to iCloud.
Some data that is usually in iCloud however – such as contacts, Calendar and more – is not included in the cache copy.
How to Backup iPhone or iPad to Mac in MacOS with Finder (Big Sur & Catalina)
Wondering how to back up your iPhone or iPad to macOS Big Sur or MacOS Catalina? With iTunes gone, even the most experienced iPhone and iPad users can be unlocked if they are going to keep their devices after upgrading the Mac to macOS Big Sur or Catalina. With the loss of iTunes, everything has changed, and now managing your iPhone and iPad is done with Finder. Don’t worry it still works, but it’s different. We’ll tell you how to use Finder on macOS Big Sur and Catalina (or later) to backup an iOS or iPadOS device.
As you may know, when Apple unveils macOS Catalina and puts iTunes in the pastures, they build Music, Podcasts, and TV applications. Those apps capture playback of live media within iTunes, but when it comes to managing iOS and iPadOS devices go down to Finder. Now, iPhones and iPads work like any other external device connected to a Mac, which means they appear in the side bar of the Finder window. Making a backup copy of an iPhone or iPad works the way you would expect it to. Let’s continue to backup the device to MacOS this way.
How to Backup iPhone or iPad on macOS Big Sur & Catalina with Finder
You will need a USB cable to complete the backup of iOS or iPadOS to MacOS, otherwise it is a matter of doing the following:
Step: 1) First, connect your iPhone or iPad device to your computer using a USB cable and open the Finder window by clicking on its icon in Dock.
Step: 2) In the Finder window that opens, click the name of your iPhone or iPad in the sidebar.
Step: 3) If this is the first time you have used your device with this Mac, click the “Trust” button to allow it to connect.
Step: 4) You will need to enter your passcode to verify the iPhone or iPad itself.
Step: 5) The next screen you will see should get used to it quickly because it is very similar to iTunes. Click the “General” tab and check the “Make a backup copy of all data on your [iPhone / iPad] on this Mac.”
Step: 6) If you want to create an encrypted copy, select “Encrypt local backup.” This ensures that the backup copy includes sensitive data such as keychain information and more. You will be asked to provide a password that allows you to remove the backup encryption when the time comes, too.
Step: 7) Click “Backup Now” and wait for the process to end.
That’s all there is to it.
Backup can take a while to complete if the iPhone or iPad has a large amount of storage and has a lot of features in it, so just let that process complete.
Once the backup is complete you can disconnect your device and be on your way.
Also, you can restore from iOS and iPadOS How to Recover Forgot iPhone Password With iTunes Backup Unlocker from MacOS Finder again, read these instructions to find out more about that if you’re interested.
If you haven’t upgraded to MacOS Big Sur or Catalina, don’t let the loss of iTunes put you down. There are other reasons for not reviewing it for other users, but the loss of iTunes is not one of them. If you decide to review, be sure to prepare your route well in advance to avoid any unexpected problems.
For backups, if you’d like to just back up your devices to iCloud, that’s an option, too. In fact, why not do both? Backup backup can be a good idea, so there’s nothing wrong with backing up your iPhone and iPad on both your local Mac, and iCloud as well, (even on PC with iTunes).
Whatever path you take to save an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, do not skip regular backups, they are an important part of your digital system and can prevent you from losing data in case you lose a device or sensitive issue when you need to restore a backup.
If you want to know how this backup process works and you would like to see the best video, Apple has included a short tutorial on YouTube that makes the process of supporting iPhone to Mac via MacOS Catalina (or Big Sur) using Finder. As you will see it is the same as discussed above, except for the video form.
What does not get a backup on Mac or Cloud
Making a backup copy of iCloud is easy, and backing up a Mac at least keeps your data stored locally. But also no one backs up everything on your iPhone.
Much of this makes sense. ICloud or Mac will not store the movies you bought in the iTunes Store, because worst of all you can just download them again later.
In fact, the articles are not available even after you have purchased them, but in theory they are always available so they are not eligible for support.
Similarly, no system backs up text messages. Or Apple Mail data. And for security reasons, there is no backup of your Apple Pay information, or Face ID and Touch ID settings.
But then there are gray areas, and when you need to know what can be supported, because you can never guess.
For example, Apple support pages state that iCloud backups will not include “data stored on other cloud services, such as Gmail and Exchange.” Although the same page, in its section on making a backup copy of Mac, does not mention any other cloud services.
Apple points out that, “PDFs downloaded directly from Apple Books” will not be backed up on Mac – but says nothing about iCloud backup.
It is good to think that if Apple can openly say that something is supported by iCloud or Mac, it is not supported on either. Fortunately, there is a third option.
When to sync your iPhone and when not
Sync takes a complete copy of your iPhone’s data and saves it to your Mac – unless it’s still incomplete. It is close to completing what you can find, however, as it integrates iCloud data like contacts and calendars, and copies movies, books, and more.
That is a lot of data by nature. And everything has to go somewhere, so you may need a lot of local storage – and time for sync to happen.
So you can probably have iCloud automatic support all the time, and then weekly or monthly backup on your Mac. And six months, or a year, it makes a compromise.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac
- When prompted for an iPhone, select Trust This Computer, and enter your passcode
- Open the Finder window
- If necessary, click next to Locations to open the drive list
- Click the name of your iPhone
- When prompted, click Trust
- Make sure the General tab is highlighted
- Click the Sync button at the bottom right
- After a long time, unplug your iPhone.
It is best to click Normal before you start, but it is not a requirement. Instead you can click on any of the nearby tabs, such as music, movies and more.
The advantage is that before you click Sync, you can see which categories will be supported or which cannot be backed up. For example, clicking on Music will show you that you can not sync music – if you also subscribe to Apple Music (new customers receive one month free).
You have to do it
There are so many options and choices that everything can get your backup. But the main reason for the confusion over what is being done and what is not supported, is that Apple has been making iCloud backups very useful, complete.
And it ‘s better to be reminded of all of this on Earth Backup Day – than to learn about backups only after losing everything.
How to back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your Mac — Apple Support
Learn how to back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your Mac in macOS Catalina or later, using the Finder.
To learn more about this topic, visit the following articles:
What do you think of backing up iPhone and iPad in the latest macOS versions? Do you miss iTunes for backups, or do you prefer the new Finder approach for backing up iOS and iPadOS? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.