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How to back up iPhone or iPad

Martyn Casserly | May 8, 2016
Here's how to back up your iPhone or iPad. Keep data (including Health and Activity data) safe by backing it up to iCloud or your Mac or PC - then you can restore it easily if disaster strikes

Why is backing up so important?

Our iPhones and iPads are among the most important and valuable possessions we have. Putting aside the financial worth of each device, these little slabs of silicon and glass have become the central repositories for our memories, whether photographs of once-in-a-lifetime events or important documents.

Making sure that all of this precious data is backed up somewhere is a crucial safeguard against theft, damage, or leaving our worlds behind on the back seat of a taxi. Then of course there's the more joyous occasions of upgrading to a newer model and being able to transfer all of your data quickly and simply by using a backup.

Thankfully there are many ways to store your information on the web or your PC or Mac, all of which are free and easy to use.

Apple's iCloud service means your iPhone or iPad can constantly sync important data with web-based servers, and iTunes also offers a simple one-click backup facility. And there are several third-party services that offer a variety of options these days. As a safety precaution we recommend using at least two of the available solutions, because if the worst happens and your backup is somehow corrupted, you'll have another version to fall back on.

How to back up an iPhone or iPad: Creating an iCloud backup

One of the simplest ways to back up the data on your iPhone or iPad is to use Apple's own iCloud service.

Each Apple ID has 5GB of storage available, in which you can store bookmarks, contacts, calendars, iCloud documents, mail message, notes, and your iCloud photo library. If you take lots of pictures and videos then you may need to upgrade the storage capacity, as it will fill up pretty quickly

While iCloud backups are very handy, they're best used in conjunction with iTunes, to cover all bases. iCloud backups are very easy to set up and once done they will automatically run in the background each time your device is plugged in and on a Wi-Fi connection.

To create and use iCloud backups you'll need an iCloud account, which are usually created when you first set up your device. 

On your Apple device, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and you'll see the option to toggle on iCloud Backup. That's it: you're good to go. Now your phone or tablet will automatically look after your data without any need for you to get involved.

How to back up and iPhone or iPad: iCloud

If you want to erase the contents of your iPhone or iPad because you're selling it, or because it's not working properly, here's how to reset an iPhone, erase the contents of an iPhone and restore from a backup.


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