How to Back Up an iPhone

By Andrew Tennyson

Backing up your iPhone keeps your music, photos and contacts safe in case of accidents and technical issues that can lead to data loss. With your iPhone successfully backed up, you can restore it to its current state should something go wrong in the future. You have two backup options in iOS 8: iTunes and iCloud. When iCloud backup is enabled, copies of your data are sent wirelessly to Apple’s servers -- certainly the best solution for people who would rather have their data backed up without having to think about it and who don’t use a computer frequently. Alternatively, iTunes runs on your computer and is the preferred choice if you often connect your iPhone to your PC, want to keep your backups locally or are wary of online storage.

Back Up Using iCloud

Step 1

Connect to a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone. Using Wi-Fi is typically faster than your cellular connection and ensures you don’t use up your monthly cellular data allotment.

Step 2

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select “iCloud.”

Step 3

Tap “Backup” and then toggle the “iCloud Backup” switch to the On position.

Step 4

Tap “Back Up Now” to back up your iPhone.

Back Up Using iTunes

Step 1

Download and install the [latest version of iTunes](http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/) on your computer.

Step 2

Connect the iPhone to your computer using the cable that came with the phone.

Step 3

Launch iTunes on the computer if it does not launch automatically when you connect the iPhone.

Step 4

Click “File” on the main menu in iTunes, select “Devices” and then choose “Back Up.”

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also back up your iPhone in iTunes using the Summary tab. Connect the iPhone to iTunes, click the “Summary” tab and then “Back Up Now.” This option also enables you to encrypt your backups so that they are only accessible by you. Place a check mark in the “Encrypt iPhone Backup” check box, select a password and click “Set Password.” Click “Back Up Now” to back up your iPhone with encryption.
  • To restore your iPhone after a factory reset using iCloud, turn the iPhone on, slide the virtual “Slide to Set Up” switch at the bottom of the screen and follow the prompts to enter your information. When you reach the Set Up iPhone screen, tap “Restore From iCloud Backup” and then choose the backup you want to use.
  • To restore your iPhone using iTunes, connect the iPhone to your computer and open iTunes. Click “File” on the main menu, select “Devices” and then choose “Restore From Backup.” You can also restore backups using the Summary tab in iTunes.