How to Back Up Your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch

How to Back Up Your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch

If you're considering upgrading your existing iPhone to a newer model like the iPhone 8 or iPhone X, or don't want to run the risk of losing your favourite photos and personal files if your current device is lost, stolen or damaged, then creating a backup is a must.

Of course, all Apple products - including the iPad and iPod Touch - can be backed up. Below, you'll find easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on how to do just that, either with iTunes or with iCloud.

While other backup options exist, the two solutions created by Apple offer an all-inclusive service, with your messages, contacts list, and applications data all stored.

Create a backup with iTunes

The first step to backing up an Apple device with iTunes? Make sure your Mac or desktop PC has iTunes already installed. This way, your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can communicate effectively with your computer.

You'll also need a reliable Wi-Fi connection, or a USB cord to manually link up.

To backup with iTunes, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Your device may then ask if you 'Trust This Computer'. Click yes.
  3. If prompted, you may also need to enter your device's passcode.
  4. Look to the left-hand side of iTunes. When your device appears, click it.
  5. Head over to 'Backups'. Make sure that 'This Computer' is selected.
  6. If you're into fitness, and want to make sure your Health and Activity data is also saved, you'll need to tick 'Encrypt iPhone backup'. Once selected, you'll be asked to create a password. Make a note of this, if you forget it you'll be locked out of your entire backup.
  7. Ready to back up your device? It's simple - just click 'Back Up Now'.
  8. The process will then begin.
  9. Once finished, don't forget to look at the time and date of your latest backup to ensure everything has been saved successfully.
  10. And that's it - you're finished.

It doesn't matter if you're creating a backup for an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - the process is exactly the same for all three Apple products.

Backup with iCloud

With fewer steps, and no wires or other devices required, backing up with iCloud is probably the most popular option for Apple users.

All you need is an iCloud account (created when you purchase your first Apple device), enough storage space (iCloud users can enjoy 5GB for free) and Wi-Fi.

To get started, head to 'Settings', tap your name and then select 'iCloud'. If you're using an older device that runs iOS 10.2 or earlier, this step varies slightly. Instead, click 'Settings' and scroll until you find 'iCloud'.

To backup on the iCloud, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure 'iCloud Backup' is turned on.
  2. Tap 'Back Up Now' to begin. You'll need to make sure your device will stay connected to Wi-Fi throughout, otherwise the backup will fail.
  3. Once complete, you'll see the date and time of your last successful backup under 'Back Up Now'. A handy way to check if it was successful.

One of the major advantages of iCloud is that you can set your device to create a backup every single day. This way, you'll never have to worry about losing your most recent photos, messages and files because you haven't manually created a backup.

Want to set up an automatic backup on iCloud? The good news is Apple devices are set to do this automatically. You just need to plug your device into a power source, connect to Wi-Fi and keep the screen locked to begin the backup.

How to backup an Apple Watch

Every Apple Watch is linked to a companion iPhone, meaning its data will automatically be stored when you create a backup (with either iTunes or iCloud) of your phone.

The backup will include a whole host of data, from watch-specific app data to clock face settings, dock settings and notification settings. There are a handful of things your iWatch backup won't include however. Bluetooth pairings, credit and debit cards used on Apple Pay and your watch's passcode won't be saved when you backup via your iPhone.

If you choose to upgrade your iPhone, you'll need to unpair your Apple Watch from the older model. Doing this erases all content on the watch itself, but if your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi at this time it will create a final backup of your Apple Watch. When you come to pair your watch to your new iPhone, you'll have the option to restore the settings.

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