In 2011, Apple provided users with a means to store their documents, pictures, videos, etc. on remote servers called iCloud. Not only does this technology encourage file sharing between Apple device users, but also it serves as a backup for files. Before Apple launched their cloud service, users depended on iTunes to manually backup their iPhone files. Although an efficient method, you can able to access iTunes only through a Mac or PC to store your iPhone data. On the other hand, iCloud doesn’t need anything, just a good internet connection. That’s being said, smart users backup their iPhone files using both Mac and iCloud. As such, you can restore your files at home or on the road, whether you have a computer or not. There is just one last question; how can you backup your iPhone using iCloud and Mac? You’re about to find out.
Taking iPhone Backup
Note that Apple removed iTunes from Mac and now you can use the default Finder apps to take a backup of your iPhone. The backup will be stored on your Mac which you can use for restoring purposes. However, you can still use iTunes in Windows PC for taking a backup of your iPhone data. In this article, we will focus on iCloud and Mac and not the Windows option.
1. How to Backup Your iPhone With iCloud?
Follow the two steps outlined below to backup your iPhone using iCloud.
1.1. Setup iCloud
The first thing you want to do is update your iOS device to the latest version. That’s because Apple recommends iOS 15 or later for using iCloud though the minimum requirement is iOS 5 on an iPhone 3GS. Next, you must sign into your iPhone using the same Apple ID as your iCloud account. Go to your iPhone “Settings” and tap on the “Sign in to your iPhone” link showing on the top of the screen. If you are already signed in, then you will see your Apple ID name instead of the sign in link.
The above screenshot is from Apple website to show you the sign in link. Do not sign out of your Apple ID for any reasons. If you sign out and sign in again, the synchronization process will start and take long time.
1.2. Turn On the iCloud Drive
You need to turn on the iCloud backup on your iPhone after signing in with your Apple ID. From the iPhone’s settings, select your name and tap iCloud. A long list of apps to backup on the cloud should pop up. Scroll to iCloud Drive and swipe to turn it on.
Make sure to enable all the apps that you want to sync in the iCloud.
1.3. Turn on iCloud Backup
On the same settings page, you will find the “iCloud Backup” option. Tap it and swipe to toggle on. That’s all you need to backup your documents, home configurations, and settings in the cloud. Please note that your iPhone must meet three conditions to use automatic backup. These include;
- It must be connected to Wi-Fi.
- iPhone must be locked.
- Must be connected to a power source.
You can also tap on “Back Up Now” link any time to start the backup manually.
1.4. Restore Your iPhone Content from iCloud
Follow the below steps to restore your iPhone data from iCloud backup.
- Open the “Settings” page and tap “General” section.
- Select the “Transfer or Reset iPhone” option, then “Erase all Content and Settings”.
- On the next screen, you will see a list of items which will be deleted from your phone. Tap on “Continue” button to confirm the deletion.
- Upon completion of the process, your iPhone will restart and an “Apps & Data” screen pops up.
- Select “Restore from iCloud Backup” and input your Apple ID.
- Select the appropriate date and time and wait for a couple of minutes for the process to be completed.
Now, you will have all the old data on your iPhone from the selected backup. If you miss any apps, go to “App Store > tap on your Apple ID profile icon > Purchased” section. Tap “Not on this iPhone” tab and search the apps you are missing on the phone. Tap on the cloud icon and download the app from cloud.
2. How to Backup Your iPhone Using Mac?
To back up, your iPhone using Mac, follow the steps outlined below.
2.1. Connect iPhone and Mac
As mentioned, earlier you need iTunes app taking backup of your iPhone from Mac. Now, simply connect your phone with Mac using USB cable. You will get the message for “Trust this Computer?” on your iPhone screen. Tap on “Trust and input your device’s passcode to proceed.
Open Finder app and select your iPhone from the sidebar menu items. Go to “General” tab and select “Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac” option showing against “Backups” option. If you want to encrypt the backup data, select “Encrypt local backup” checkbox and provide a password to protect the content. After that, click on “Back Up Now” button to copy your iPhone data to Mac.
If this is a first time you backup, it may take sometime for the entire content on your iPhone to sync on your Mac. When you backup periodically, the backup time will be shorter. If you want to take an automatic backup, enable “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” option.
You can click on the “Manage Backups…” button to view all available backups on your Mac. It is also possible to right-click on any item and view the source file location in Finder app.
2.2. Restore Your iPhone Using iTunes
To restore your files, just click on the “Restore Backup” showing just below the “Back Up Now” button on the “General” tab. This button will be available only if you have taken a backup using your Mac. Next, compare the date and sizes to select the most relevant backup accordingly and click “Restore Backup” button. Wait a couple of minutes for the process to be completed and keep your iPhone connected all through.
When the backed up files is fully restored, your iPhone will restart and start to sync again. Note that you will have to input your password for an encrypted backup.
It is a good idea to back the content of your iPhone continuously. This will help to restore when you have problem with upgrades and resetting your phone. We have explained how simple it is to backup your iPhone files using iCloud and Mac. You can go for iCloud option which automatic and easy. However you need to upgrade your plan for storing more than 5 GB of data. Otherwise, connect the phone to Mac and sync the content periodically to have regular backups.