Your iPhone will automatically sync and back itself up each time you connect your iPhone to your computer and iTunes, according to Apple Support. Updating iTunes will automatically create a backup of your iPhone including your iPhone contacts. When performing an iTunes restore, iTunes will ask you if you want to create a backup file for your iPhone. If you have iPhone 2.0 software and iTunes 7.7 or later, you can manually backup and restore your iPhone and your iPhone contacts.
How To Manually Backup an iPhone & iPhone Contacts With iTunes
The first step of manually backing up an iPhone with iTunes is to right-click (For Windows) or control click (For Macs) on the iPhone symbol on the left side of your iTunes window, according to Apple. Select “Backup” from the drop-down menu. This will create a backup file of your iPhone along with your iPhone contacts. This backup file can be used to restore your iPhone and your iPhone contacts.
How to Backup iPhone Contacts Before a Manual Restore
To manually perform a restore from a backup, right-click (For Windows) or control click (For Macs) on the iPhone symbol on the left side of your iTunes window. Select “Restore From Backup.” You won’t be able to restore your iPhone from a backup file unless you’ve previously created a backup file. However, if you’ve connected your iPhone to your computer before, then iTunes has automatically created backup file of your iPhone and your iPhone contacts for you. Before iTunes begins your restore, it will ask you if you want to create a backup file with your iPhone contacts, click “Yes.” The best way to back up iPhone contacts is to perform manual backups and syncing your iPhone before performing any type of update or iPhone restore.
Backup File Locations
On Macs, backup files that contain your iPhone contacts are stored in “~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/.” On Windows XP, backup files with your iPhone contacts are stored in “\Documents and Settings(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.” In Windows XP, backup files are stored in “\Users(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.”
About Syncing & Automatic Backups
Syncing is a process that makes the content on your iPhone, including your contacts, the same as the content on your computer. Each time you sync your iPhone with iTunes, your old backup file is deleted and a new backup file with your contacts is created.
Restoring From Backup vs. Full Software Restores
Restoring from a backup file is very different from a full software restore, according to Apple. Performing a restore from a backup file will restore settings, application data and other types of saved information. Performing a full software backup deletes all saved data, including your iPhone contacts, and restores your iPhone to factory settings.