Backup and Restore Your iPhone
Edited by Sean, Dougie-1
Backup and Restore your iPhone or iOS device
iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches all use the same methods for restoring and backing up those devices. Primarily this guide is for backing and up restoring your iPhone, but for the most part everything will also work for iPads and iPod Touches.
You may want to backup and restore your iPhone for various reasons, like if you got a new iPhone and you want to restore all of the apps, contacts, photos, and settings from your previous iPhone, or if you just want to back up all of those things onto your computer or iCloud for safety purposes. The process isn't very complicated, but this guide will explain exactly how it works and what your options are for backing up and/or restoring your iPhone.
Backup your iPhone
If you've used your iPhone before and have connected it to a computer then you know that everything related to backing up, syncing and restoring the data on your iPhone is done through Apple's iTunes program. This should process should work on either Mac or Windows. To back up your iPhone using iTunes follow these instructions:
- 1Use your iPhone's USB cable (from the charger) to connect your iPhone to your computerAdvertisement
- 2iTunes should either automatically open up or prompt you to download it if you haven't done so beforeAdvertisement
- 4Click on that iPhone icon to see all of your options and information
- 6First, click on that Sync button the bottom right to make sure all of your data is synced
- 7Now, click scroll up to the Backups section and click Back Up Now to manually back it up
- 8You may also use the Automatic Back Up options and choose to have your iPhone automatically backup to the iCloud service or just straight to your computer
iCloud or Manual?
- iCloud - The iCloud is Apple's famous (also sort of infamous) digital storage service that lets you store documents, apps, notes, contacts and more for free, but only up to 5 gigabytes. You can pay for the service to increase your size limit and this service is available to a large majority of newer Apple devices. You can easily use this to store all of your iPhone data, but just be aware of the size limit and all of the options. With the iCloud you can also backup your iPhone without going into iTunes and may do so straight from your device. This is the best option if you use many different computers and don't have a main one that you regularly use.
- Manual - This is a pretty straight forward option that saves all of your phone's data (contacts, apps, photos and everything) onto your computer. This way, you have direct control over all of that data on top of it being very easy to do. This is the best option if you have a reliable single computer you constantly use, or if you don't want to worry about being connected to the internet all of the time.
If you are worried about losing that data you can also backup your data using both of these options, but you cannot use automatic manual backups if you are also using iCloud.
Restore your iPhone
Restoring all of your saved data onto your iPhone works similarly to backing up your iPhone. Just like previously described, you need to get to the main iTunes page for your iPhone. If you need to backup your data (contacts, photos, apps, settings and everything) from an old iPhone so that you can restore it to a new iPhone then first follow the previous instructions on backing up your iPhone. After you back everything up then follow these instructions below for restoring all of your data to your new iPhone, or if you are just restoring data because for any other reason.
*If you just read the Backup your iPhone section then skip straight to step 6.
- 1Use your iPhone's USB cable (from the charger) to connect your iPhone to your computer
Restoring using iCloud and only the iPhone itself
Everything previously described is the method you use to restore your iPhone using iTunes on a computer, but if you are using iCloud you have the option to backup your data and restore your data using just your iOS device, specifically an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. However, note that your iOS device needs to be at the setup stage to be able to restore date. So, you may need to back it up using the iCloud and wipe it first before using this option to restore your data. To restore your data using iCloud follow these instructions below:
- 1Turn on your iOS device
- 2Using the Setup Assistant going through the normal setup options until you see the option Restore From Backup
- 3Click on Restore From Backup
- 4Look at the list of available backup via iCloud and pick whichever one you want to use
- 5It will automatically start downloading all of your old apps, movies, music, data and whatever you had saved to that iCloud backup
- 6You may need to sign into iTunes or the App Store, but otherwise it should be pretty automated
- 7Lastly, you can check to see if everything backed correctly by going into Settings, then iCloud, and then Storage
Done! You also always have the option to manually restore it using iTunes and by plugging it into the computer you have everything backed up on.
As you can see, restoring and backing up your iPhone, or iOS device, is a fairly easy process that Apple seems to make easier every year. As long as you follow this guide you will be good to go and if you have any questions about any specific step, or anything, then feel free to ask. Don't forget about your options when it comes to backing up and restoring your phone, and don't forget that if you are using either manual or iCloud backups you can always check to see when your latest backup was.