How to Backup iPhone Data [Guide]
In order to move forward, we have to back-up. That is very true and any server admin or even someone who has more sensitive information on their computer or other device has learned that at some point. I remember my first hard drive fail. I remember I had a Seagate 80GB HDD, which at the time was pretty big. It crashed and all my data was lost. I was devastated, and now when I think of it, I fear the moment when my HDD will fail again.
But not only computer hard disks fail, any other device that stores information can fail, and when it does, you are left with nothing, except if you have a backup of your files. A backup is probably the most important habit you must develop. What a backup means is that you have to have more than 1 copy of your data, on different storage devices or mediums (such as other HDDs, CDs/DDs, Cloud, etc). Nowadays, the fear of losing personal data is even greater.
How to Back-up iPhone Data
We depend so much on our devices, that if they fail, we have next to no identity. Take, for example, the humble smartphone, now it can hold precious information that we need on a regular basis. Credit card numbers, contacts, pictures, file etc. Everything about us on a tiny silicone and plastic brick. Unfortunately, a hardware breakdown is not all we have to worry about. Firmware upgrades can also erase our phones, physical damage, and even the fear of having it stolen. All of these can lead to unrecoverable data loss.
But fear not, there are solutions for us to avoid the problem of losing our data, and especially, our smartphone data. If you paid attention, I talked about how to backu-p your data on Android, and now, the spotlight lands on the next favorite when it comes to smartphones: The iPhone.
Although there are some apps that can make a fairly decent backup of your iPhone (unlike the many for Android that do a great job), I would prefer, and I think that so would you, to do this backup using Apple’s systems. These are developed by Apple’s own developers and they tend to work best.
2 Basic Solutions to Back-up Your iPhone Data
Apple has 2 very good options of backups you can try. They work very well and you can even use both for more peace of mind. These use the iPhone’s integrated backup features to make a copy of your personal data and keep it safe. Although they have 2 very different approaches, they both work very well and deliver great results.
Apple’s iCloud has gotten a lot of attention, although it offers a small space for free, it does provide a very useful tool for a backup. Either if you are upgrading to iOS 5 or for any other reason, you can trust Apple’s servers with your information. To make this type of backup, you will need to have an account with a registered Apple device (which I’m sure you have if you are reading this) and a Internet connection (I’d suggest a Wi-Fi network because the process of backing up and restoring can take a toll on your Data usage).
To enable this feature, navigate to “Settings > iCloud > Backup & Storage” and enable the service. This will backup your device on a daily basis if the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, connected to a power source and has the screen locked. Also, you can manually backup your device at any time by clicking on the “Back Up Now” button. What data is backed up with this method, well, Apple provides this information on their site:
- You get unlimited free storage for: Purchased music, TV shows, apps, and books
- You get 5GB of free iCloud storage for: Photos and videos in the Camera Roll
- Device settings (for example: Phone Favorites, Wallpaper, and Mail, Contacts, Calendar accounts)
- App data
- Home screen and app organization
- Messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS)
iTunes can also backup your iPhone files, but the difference between it and the iCloud, is that you have your information available on your computer. I tend to prefer this method, mainly because I’m old fashioned and I like to have my files, not just upload them on some server, but also because it can store much more information and I don’t need a Internet connection to do it. All you have to do is plug in your device, and as soon as it shows in your “Devices” menu, right click (or Control-click) and select “Back Up”.
This type of backup can save a great amount of information on your computer and you can easily restore it when you need. All without any Data charges. For a more detailed list of what information is stored, check Apple’s official page for backup with iTunes. These are the main ways to backup your iPhone if you do not have Jailbreak. Although, you might find apps that backup and restore information, try not to trust them completely. Make a backup using them, but do make a backup with one of these methods also, you will never know when they could come in handy.
PkgBackup App For Jailbroken iPhones
If you have a Jailbroken iPhone, then Cydia can help you out. You can backup your settings and apps using the PkgBackup app. This app can be purchased from Cydia and it offers a great backup solution. It’s very easy to use, all you have to do is hit “Backup” and then sync your iPhone with iTunes. A very quick way, but I still recommend making a full iTunes backup just in case.