Backup methods for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

A backup allows you to copy and save the information from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. If you replace your device, you can use a backup to transfer your information to a new device.

Which method is best for you?

In case you ever need an alternative backup, you can back up your device using iCloud and also using your computer. Find out how to back up your device or restore your device from a backup.


  • Stores backups in iCloud
  • Offers up to 12 TB of storage (combined with an Apple One Premier plan, you can get up to 14 TB)
  • Always encrypts your backups
  • Lets you create and use backups from anywhere with Wi-Fi



  • Stores backups on your Mac or PC
  • Storage depends on your Mac or PC's available space
  • Offers encrypted backups (off by default)
  • Lets you create and use backups from your Mac or PC

iCloud backups

With a Wi-Fi network connection, you can back up your device using iCloud. You don't need to plug your device into a computer to back up with iCloud. 

iCloud backups include all the information and settings stored on your device that don’t already sync to iCloud. iCloud backups don't include:

  • Data that you already store and sync in iCloud, such as Contacts, Calendars and Notes
  • Photos, if you turned on iCloud Photos
  • iMessages, text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages, if you sync messages with iCloud 
  • Data stored in other cloud services, such as Gmail and Exchange mail
  • Apple Mail data
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Face ID or Touch ID settings
  • iCloud Music Library and App Store content

Find out more about what iCloud backs up

Backups from your computer

A computer backup of your device, which is not the same as a sync, includes almost all of your device's data and settings. A backup from a computer doesn't include:

  • Content from the iTunes and App Stores, or PDFs downloaded directly to Apple Books
  • Content synced from your Mac or PC, such as imported MP3s or CDs, videos, books and photos
  • Data already synced and stored in iCloud, such as iCloud Photos, iMessages, and text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages
  • Face ID or Touch ID settings
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Apple Mail data
  • Activity, Health and Keychain data (to back up this content, you'll need to use Encrypted Backup.)

Find out how to back up, find backups and delete backups that you no longer need on your Mac or PC

Can I use my device's backup for another kind of device, such as an iPhone backup for an iPad?

You can restore a device from a backup of another kind of device, such as using an iPad backup for an iPhone, but certain types of content won't be transferred: 

  • Photos, unless you use iCloud Photos
  • Messages and attachments in Messages, unless you sync messages with iCloud
  • Voice Memos
  • Apps that aren’t compatible with the device that you’re setting up. (For example, apps compatible only with iPad won't be transferred to your iPhone.)
Published Date: