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How to Backup Your iPhone

iPhone 12

If you’re an iPhone user who has been wanting to backup your iPhone, you’ve come to the right place.

For those of us who actively use our phones, losing data and files is one of the most dreadful things that could ever happen. Many of us use our phones to access crucial messages, emails, pictures, videos… you name it. It doesn’t matter if your phone was stolen or your kid decided it was a good idea to give your phone a bath—losing the data stored on your phone can set you back years. 

Recently, there has been a lot of concern over how to keep your important data secure. For iOS users, Apple provides the iCloud storage option. You’ll be able to store relevant information, including app data, passwords, and encryption keys, in Apple’s secure database.

However, as you must have noticed, the iCloud feature may not be enough to store all your iPhone data—even if you run backups every day. This feature is quite limited without your input, so you may be in for a rude awakening when you try to recover your files.

We’ve identified some of the best ways to back up your iPhone for free in this article. Let’s dive in!

iCloud Storage

The first thing you need to know is that the automatic backup feature on your iOS device doesn’t save everything on your phone. To ensure that you’re saving all your data, you’ll need to tweak things manually.

Take a look at the different ways you can run a comprehensive backup for your iPhone below:

How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with iCloud - Apple Support

iCloud backup is undoubtedly the most popular method of backing up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. If you’ve been searching for where to back up your iOS device, this option must have come to mind. 

iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage feature that helps you access your saved information with your Apple ID. The iCloud backup feature is built into all Apple devices, including your iPhone. This means that your information will be stored automatically in the cloud as you use your device. You could also get the iCloud feature on your Windows PC!

However, relying on this automatic feature may not be sufficient. Apple only offers 5GB of storage space for free across all your Apple devices. If you want more, you’ll need to pay a fee to access iCloud+, which gives you access to more Storage based on your chosen plan.

We’ll show you how to back up your iPhone on iCloud below.

How To backup Your iPhone to iCloud

Even if you’re using only an iPhone, you’d agree that Apple’s free 5GB of iCloud space is insufficient to store your relevant data. Regardless, iCloud backup is one of the easiest ways to keep your records safe and secure. Here’s how to do it:

1: Turn on Your Data Connection

You’ll need internet access to back up your iPhone to iCloud. It doesn’t matter whether you’re connecting through your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection—we recommend connecting to a Wi-Fi network to minimize the cost of your internet plan.

Regardless of what option you go for, all that matters is that you have stable internet access.

2: Settings → Name → iCloud

After ensuring that you’re connected to Wi-Fi, the next step is to access your iCloud backup settings. Depending on your iPhone model, you’ll find the settings icon in your homepage layout.

Once you tap settings, click on your name: this should be one of the first things you see in the dropdown menu. This will open up another menu that includes the iCloud option.

3: Tap iCloud Backup

After clicking on iCloud, you’ll see the iCloud backup option. Select that and then tap “Backup Now.” Below, you’ll find details of previous iCloud backups. If you do not have enough iCloud Storage left, tap “manage storage” or purchase a better storage plan.

Of note, you should ensure that your iPhone is connected to a power source while backing up your files. 


How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with your Mac - Apple  Support

For Apple enthusiasts who use many Apple devices, including Macs, you’ll be able to back up even more information by syncing your Apple devices. By backing up your iPhone to your Mac, you won’t need to rely on iCloud’s limited storage options.

Read on to find out how to back up an iPhone to your MacBook.

How To backup your iPhone To Mac

An iPhone backup to your MacBook is beneficial in so many ways, mainly if your work requires using the two devices simultaneously. Apple’s integration features across its devices are top-notch so that you won’t have any problems linking your devices and storing information. Here’s how to do it:

1: Connect your iPhone To Your MacBook

You’ll need a USB cable to connect your device to your Mac, so check that your Mac has the USB port required. If it doesn’t, you can use an adapter. 

2: Finder Sidebar

After connecting your iPhone to your MacBook, click on the Finder sidebar in your menu bar. If you’re using an older version of a MacBook, you’ll need to use the iTunes method to backup your iPhone. 

Once you open the Finder window, select “General.” This will show you the option to “back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.”

3: Backup Now

Voila! Select the “Backup now” option, and you’ll be good to go!

If you’d like to protect your files, this method also allows you to encrypt your backed-up files on your Mac. Select the “Encrypt local backup” option and choose a password.

Note, If this is the first time you’re connecting your iPhone to your MacBook with a USB cable, you’ll need to set up your iPhone for the first time. You’ll also need to sync your devices to keep your files updated on all your gadgets. You can also set up wireless syncing for your iPhone and Mac for a seamless experience if you like.


How to back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes on your PC -  Apple Support
iTunes backup page. Image source: Apple support

iTunes is another Apple software that you can use to back up your iOS devices. It was created as media library software, and it can also be used to save essential media files on your iPhone.

While your iPhone can sync seamlessly with other iOS devices, who says you can’t back up your iPhone with your Windows computer too? Windows has since incorporated a way to integrate mobile devices into the computer experience, and this is not limited to Android devices. 

Backing up your iPhone to iTunes is particularly great for those using older iOS versions and Windows. Whether you’re using a MacBook or a Windows laptop, iPhone users will be able to access the iTunes store to back up their media files, purchase music and redeem gift cards. Here’s how to do it.

How To backup your iPhone to iTunes

As mentioned above, this method is perfect for those who have not updated their iOS versions or are using Windows. Since you already have a significant amount of experience using iTunes, iTunes backup won’t be much of a hassle. Check out the steps below:

1: Connect iPhone to computer

Once again, you’ll need to connect your iPhone to your computer through a cable and then open iTunes on your computer. This option is versatile—you can use a Windows PC as well.

2: Allow access

After connecting your iPhone to your computer, you’ll need to follow the onscreen steps to allow iTunes to access the files on your iPhone. You may see a pop-up like “Trust this computer,” You’ll also need to enter a device passcode where indicated.

3: Device → Summary

After syncing your iPhone to your computer, the next step is to tap on the “Device” option at the top left corner of your iTunes window. From the dropdown menu, select “Summary.”

4: iPhone Backup

Your media files will automatically be saved to your iTunes account by clicking the backup now option. You’ll be able to see backup progress in the iTunes window, so make sure the backup has been completed before you disconnect the cable.

Google Drive

The last method (and probably the least commonly known) of iPhone backups is saving your files on Drive. Like Apple, Google also has a cloud storage feature that lets you backup files to your Google account. Unlike iCloud, which gives only 5GB of Free Storage, Drive allows for up to 15GB.

The best part? Like the iTunes option, you’ll also be able to initiate backup with a Windows PC. Here’s how to do it.

How To backup Your iPhone With Google Drive

Apart from simply saving files, Drive also allows iPhone users to sync their contacts, photos, and calendar appointments from their iCloud accounts. Take a look at this step-by-step guide:

1: Set Up Internet Access

Like backing up your iPhone to iCloud, you’ll need a stable internet connection to back up to your Google Drive.

2: Open Drive

If you’ve not downloaded Drive on your iPhone, visit the Appstore to do so. Once you’re signed in, click on the menu button in the top-left corner and click on the Settings option.

3: iPhone Backup

You should see the backup option immediately after you select the Settings option. Clicking on “Start backup” will automatically trigger the backup process. You’ll be able to view your current backup progress and your backup history.

Congratulations! You now know how to run an iPhone backup based on your preferences. You’ll be able to stay connected to your files on the go with your Apple ID, as long as you have a Wi-Fi network. This includes app data from previous backups, backups stored in your iCloud account, etc.

To restore your last backup to a new device, you’ll need to visit your phone’s backup settings and turn on Wi-Fi syncing. That way, you’ll be able to access your data across all your devices.

Toby Grey contributes as a How To expert for BGR. Typing away like a keyboard super hero, he covers just about anything you can think of. If Toby isn't writing, he's probably reading a book or playing video games.