The iPhone is so well designed, stable and reliable that it almost seems like it doesn’t need to be backed up. But you should, and here’s how to back up the iPhone.
First of all, be aware that like any advanced technology, the technology has many details and layers, and further reading is always advised. Think of this article as a starter kit.
For the openers, there is a choice. You can save an iPhone (or iPad, iPod) on Apple’s iCloud or on a computer (PC or Mac). Or both.
In the early days of the iPhone, you had to connect an iPhone to a computer (running iTunes) with a USB cable. It worked well and still works. However, the iPhone has become so popular that not all iPhone owners have a computer. Or had the patience to work through the iTunes process. Apple has therefore introduced iCloud backups.
There is also a nice third-party solution that I will touch on briefly below.
Take a decision
Apple has several interesting support articles that go through the process. The first step is to read “About backups for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
The first thing to know is that you may have to pay additional monthly fees for iCloud storage that go beyond the 5 GB free per account. Second, while iCloud backups are encrypted, you may still feel uncomfortable with Apple hosting your only backup in the “cloud” rather than on a computer under your control.
Finally, it’s good to understand what is backed up on iCloud and what is not. To do this, read: “What does iCloud backup?“
Now that you’ve decided which method to use (or both), it’s time to dig.
IPhone backup to Apple iCloud
To get started, go to “How to backup your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.“Click on the box:” Use iCloud. “This will take you to:”How to back up with iCloud.“If it turns out that you need more iCloud storage, this section has a link,”Get help with backing up or manage your available space in iCloud.”An additional 50 GB costs US $ 0.99 / month.
IPhone to computer backup
This section explains how, before macOS Catalina, we use iTunes. However, in macOS Catalina (and in the future), we use the Searcher.
I recommend that you choose to encrypt your backups. Apple explains why.
If you want to save health and activity data from your device or Apple Watch, you must encrypt your backup: check the Encrypt box [device] save and create a memorable password. If you don’t need to back up your health and activity data, you can make a backup that is not encrypted.
There are other applications that can back up your iPhone to a computer. A good that I know comes from iMazing. Mac and PC are supported. For more informationon, see the iMazing page: “IPhone and iPad backups.“
If you choose not to make iCloud backups, you will want to set up a reminder to back up your iPhone regularly to your computer. In addition, it is a good idea to make a backup using the method or methods you have chosen just before buying a new iPhone (or iPad, iPod). Having an iCloud backup on hand makes transferring all your data to a new iPhone, in an Apple store, very easy.
The next challenge is to learn how to restore an iPhone from a backup, but it’s an article for another day.