How to Backup your iPhone to iTunes

How to Backup your iPhone to iTunes
How to Backup your iPhone to iTunes
Backing Up Data

For iPhone users it’s crucial to understand how to backup your data using the Apple services. Your iPhone stores photos, videos, contacts, all sorts of documents, messages, internet history and so on. It is important to make sure that this data is safe so you won’t lose it in case something happens to your device.

Why use iTunes?

The answer is, to create your iPhone backup file. A backup file is basically a copy of your iPhone that includes not only your files but also your preferences in matter of general settings, app organization and configuration. Apple gives its users two possibilities of backing up their data, iCloud and iTunes. Backing up with iCloud means that your data is saved on the Apple servers using the WiFi, and iTunes gives you the possibility to store your data on your computer. So the main difference between the two is where the data is stored. Accessing these backup files works the same as storing them, so if you wish to restore an old iTunes backup you’ll need your computer.

Although it’s a lot easier to use iCloud for backing up your data, the safest choice would be to use both iCloud and iTunes. iTunes has the advantage of giving you full control on the storage space, while iCloud only gives its users up to 5GB of free space.

Backing up your iPhone to iTunes

Backing up your iPhone to iTunes is pretty easy. All you have to do is download iTunes if you don’t already have it. You can check if you have the latest version by going to Help and then Check for Updates. Follow the next steps to learn how to backup your iPhone to iTunes:

  1. Open iTunes and use a USB cable to connect the iPhone to the computer.
  2. Type in the device’s passcode if it’s required, or to “Trust Computer” on you iPhone.
  3. On your computer, check out the device tab and select your iPhone.
  4. Right-click the device and click on the Back Up button.
  5. Right under your iPhone’s name click on Summary and make sure that the Encrypt iPhone backup box is marked.
  6. The backup will be saved on your computer only if you also check the box named This Computer. Encrypting your backup file is necessary if you wish to include Activity and Health data.
  7. Click on the Back Up Now button to start the process.
  8. After it’s done loading, check the date of the latest backup from the Summery tab, Latest Backup. It’s right under the Back Up Now button.

The latest versions of iOS (higher than iOS 5) come with a new feature called Wifi Syncing, meaning that syncing your iPhone with iTunes on your laptop, PC or Mac can be done through a WiFi connection. It is not very popular because it works a lot faster if you use the previously mentioned method that includes the usage of a USB cable, but it’s still a good way of backing up your iPhone to iTunes while having more freedom of movement.

Although the syncing happens wirelessly, you must connect the iPhone to the computer when you’re doing it for the first time. In iTunes click on the button that looks like an iPhone, and then go to Summary. Then go to Options and click on Sync with this iPhone over WiFi. Click on the Apply button and then hit the arrow that’s close to the device icon. At this point it’s safe to disconnect the iPhone from the computer.

After making these changes to iTunes, you must change a few things on your iPhone. Go to Settings, and then to General. Tap on iTunes WiFi Sync (you should also see your computer in this menu), and then tap on Sync Now.

For this method to work your computer and your iPhone must be connected to the same WiFi network. Now each time you’ll charge your iPhone while being connected as the same network as the computer, it will sync automatically.


Aldo, a lawyer by training, is the former Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorship for Kaspersky. He co-founded Kaspersky Lab Italy in 2008 and subsequently held the positions of GM for Italy, Malta and Israel before leaving in 2013 to join the EU Operations in London as EU Director for Marketing.

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