How to Backup iPhone to iTunes and iCloud.
It’s important to back up the data on your iPhone. You don’t know when your iPhone might break, or when you might lose it in a coffee shop (if so, you should erase it immediately). By backing up your iPhone, you ensure that all important data such as your contacts, apps, and app data is securely protected on your computer or in the cloud.
If your Mac is running macOS 10.14 Mojave or earlier, you can use your old reliable iTunes to back up and restore your iPhone. If you’ve recently updated to macOS 10.15 Catalina on your Mac, you might be wondering exactly how to back up your iPhone now that Apple has removed the iTunes app. The Finder app is now responsible for syncing iPhone data.
Although this is a new location, the synchronization method is similar. Here’s how to back up your iPhone to Mac using iTunes or Finder.
How to backup iPhone using Finder on macOS Catalina
To start the backup process on your iPhone, open the Finder app on your Mac. You can do this with Spotlight Search. Press Command + Spacebar and type Finder. Press Enter to open the Finder app. You’ll also find the Finder app icon in the Dock.
- First, connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB-A / USB-C to Lightning cable.
- If this is your first time backing up iPhone from a Mac, you will see a pop-up asking if you trust this Mac. Here click on the “Trust” button and enter your password for confirmation.
- On a Mac, click the Trust button (when prompted). Your iPhone is now connected to your Mac.
- Now that your iPhone is connected, you’ll find it in the Location section of the Finder sidebar.
- Click a device to open the device management screen in Finder. This interface is similar to that of iTunes.
- Here go to the “Backups” section and switch to the “Back up all data from iPhone to this Mac” option.
- If you want, you can choose to encrypt this backup. The encrypted backup backs up sensitive data like your passwords, health data, etc. It is also protected by a unique password. If you forget this, you cannot restore the backup. If you want to use this feature, select the “Encrypt local backup” option.
- If this is your first time doing an encrypted backup, you will be prompted for a password (which will sync using Apple Keychain). Enter your password and select the Set Password option to confirm your password.
- Then click the “Back up now” button. This will start the backup process. You will see a progress circle next to the device name in the Finder sidebar.
Now give it time. If this is the first backup, the backup process may take 30 minutes (which will take more than 15 GB of disk space). If you want to stop the process at any time, hover your mouse over the device name and press the X button.
Once the backup process is complete, the progress circle will disappear. You can also check the “Last backup to this Mac” section to make sure the backup is complete. You can now click the Eject button next to the device name to safely remove iPhone from your Mac.
How to restore an iPhone using Finder on macOS Catalina
A backup is only good if you can restore it when needed. Fortunately, it is very easy to restore a Mac backup if it is still available on your hard drive.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac with the Lightning cable and open the Finder app.
- Here select your device from the sidebar.
- Now, click the “Restore Backup” button.
- You will now see a pop-up window where you can select a backup. Click the drop-down list next to the Backup option to select from all available backups (you can select them based on the backup date).
- If this is an encrypted backup, you will need to enter a password.
- Then click the “Repair” button to launch the restore button.
Now all you have to do is wait until the Mac has completed the process of restoring all data. When the process completes, you will see the counter next to the device name stop. Click the Eject button next to the device name to complete the process.
You can now go back to your iPhone. Once unlocked, you will see that all apps, data and your home screen are the same as on the day you backed up.
How to backup your iPhone using iTunes
If you’re using macOS Mojave or earlier, you’ll have to use iTunes to back up your iPhone.
- Connect iPhone to Mac with Lightning cable and launch iTunes. First, you will be prompted to authenticate and pair your iPhone. Click the Continue button in the iTunes app.
- On iPhone, press the Trust button and enter your password.
- Now that your device is connected, click the new iPhone button in the iTunes toolbar.
- You will now see the device management screen. Here go to the “Backups” section and select “This PC”. Here you can select the “Encrypt iPhone backup” option if you want to encrypt the backup. If you choose this option, you will have to set a new unique password and you will not be able to restore the backup if you forget it.
- Click the Backup Now button to start the backup process.
Now all you have to do is wait. In a couple of minutes, your iPhone will be backed up. You can now click the Eject button next to your device name to safely remove it.
How to restore an iPhone backup using iTunes
Restoring an old backup using iTunes takes just a couple of clicks.
- After connecting your iPhone, open the iTunes app. Connect iPhone by pressing the “Trust” button on iPhone.
- Then go to the Backups section of the iPhone Device Management screen. Here click the “Restore Backup” button.
- In the pop-up window, select a specific backup from the drop-down menu. Then click the “Restore” button. If the backup is encrypted, you will need to enter a password.
Now just wait for the process to complete. Your iPhone may restart during the process, so don’t worry if it takes more than a couple of minutes.
How to manage iPhone backups
If you have multiple iPhones and iPads and use the same Mac to back them up, you will soon find yourself running out of storage space. In such a case, your best bet is to move your backups to an external drive and delete them from your Mac.
You can find the backups in the library folder. To get there, open Spotlight Search with Command + Space and enter the following path: “~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync / Backup /”. Then press the Enter key.
This folder will show you all the backups located in different folders. The folder names are illegible, so you have to use the date and time to determine which backup is which.
From here, you can simply move the folder to an external drive to create a backup. You can also right-click the backup and select the Move to Trash option to delete it.
Alternatively, you can use the built-in Mac storage management tool to delete old iPhone backups.
- Click the Apple button in the menu bar and choose About This Mac.
- Here go to the “Storage” tab and click the “Manage” button.
- In the sidebar, select the iOS Files section.
- Here you will see a list of all iPhone backups. Right-click the backup and select the Delete option to delete the backup.
How often do you back up your iPhone? Do you use your Mac from time to time and use iCloud backups every night? Share with us in the comments below.
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