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.

iPad and iPod touch on the Apps & Data screen, where you can use a backup to transfer apps and data to another device.

Decide 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.

iCloud

Computer

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 nearly all data and settings stored on your device. iCloud backups don't include:

  • Data that's already stored in iCloud, such as Contacts, Calendars, Notes, iCloud Photos, iMessages, Voice Memos, text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages, and Health data
  • 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 how to back up your device using iCloud or how to manage iCloud storage and delete backups that you no longer need.

When you use Messages in iCloud, Health data on iOS 12 or Voice Memos, your content is stored in iCloud automatically. If you turn on iCloud Photos, your content is also stored in iCloud automatically.

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 Finder or iTunes, such as imported MP3s or CDs, videos, books, and photos
  • Data already 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 in iTunes).

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

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. This content includes photos, messages and attachments in Messages*, Voice Memos, and apps that aren't compatible with the device you’re setting up. For example, apps compatible only with iPad won't be transferred to your iPhone.

If your devices use iCloud and Messages in iCloud, your iMessages and text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages are stored in iCloud automatically.

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