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Back up and restore your iOS device with iCloud or iTunes

Learn how to use iCloud or iTunes to back up and restore the most important content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Get help deciding whether to use iCloud or iTunes to back up the content on your iOS device.

Use iCloud

iCloud Backup provides an easy and reliable backup solution for customers who want to back up their iOS devices wirelessly and automatically.

Back up to iCloud

If you're using iCloud, it can automatically back up your data. Use these steps to check your iCloud backup and make sure that it's up to date:

  1. Tap Settings > iCloud > Backup. If you're using iOS 7 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
    iCloud backup settings
  2. Make sure iCloud Backup is on.
  3. Tap Back Up Now.

Restore from an iCloud backup

If you have a new iOS device, or if you need to restore your iOS device to resolve an issue, use these steps:

  1. Follow the steps in the iOS Setup Assistant until you see the set up screen.
    Set up iPhone
  2. Select Restore from iCloud Backup.
  3. Select a backup.

You can go through the iOS Setup Assistant again by erasing all the content on the device. Just tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This will remove all content from your device, so do this only if you already have a backup. The iOS Setup Assistant is the only way to restore a backup.

Use iTunes

You can use iTunes to back up and restore your content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Back up

To back up the content on your iOS device, use these steps:

  1. Make sure your computer has the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your iOS device to your computer.
  3. Choose File > Devices > Back up.
    If you're using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right-click the device and choose Backup Now.

You can also back up by syncing your iOS device with your computer. When you use iTunes to sync, backing up is the first step.

To check that the backup finished successfully, open iTunes Preferences and select the Devices tab. You'll see the name of the device along with the date and time iTunes created the backup.
Your backup in Devices Preferences

Restore from a backup

If you have a new iOS device, or if you need to restore your device to resolve an issue, use these steps:

  1. Connect your iOS device to the computer that has your backup.
  2. Install the latest version of iTunes.
  3. Choose File > Devices > Restore from Back up.
    If you're using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right-click the device and choose Restore from Backup. iTunes and iOS don't support installing backups of later versions of iOS onto devices that are using earlier versions of iOS.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Sep 23, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Sep 23, 2014
  • Article: HT1766
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