How to back up your devices using iCloud or iTunes

If you back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll have a copy of your information to use if your device is ever replaced, lost, or damaged. Backups let you transfer data from your last device to your new one.

Choose a backup method

Before you get started, learn the difference between making backups with iCloud and iTunes. Decide which method is best for you and follow the steps below. In case you ever need an alternative backup, you can make one in iCloud and another in iTunes.

Make a backup using iCloud

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. In iOS 8 or later, tap Settings > iCloud > Backup.
    In iOS 7 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup. 
  3. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  4. Tap Back Up Now. Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.
  5. Make sure the backup finished by tapping Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and then select your device. The backup you just made should appear in the details with the time and backup size.

Follow more steps if you need help making a backup in iCloud.

Back up automatically in iCloud

After you've turned on iCloud Backup, iCloud can automatically back up your device each day. iCloud makes these daily automatic backups only if:

Make a backup using iTunes

  1. Open iTunes and connect your device to your computer. 
  2. Save content that you downloaded from the iTunes Store or App Store by clicking File > Devices > Transfer Purchases. Then wait for the transfer to finish. If you're using Windows and you don't see a File menu, hold down the Control and B keys.
  3. If you want to save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch, you’ll need to encrypt your backup: Select the box called Encrypt [device] backup and make a memorable password.

    Write down your password and store it somewhere safe, because there's no way to recover your iTunes backups without this password.
    If you don't need to save your Health and Activity data, you can make a backup that isn't encrypted. Just click Back Up Now. If you're using Windows click File > Devices > Back up (if you don't see a File menu, hold down the Control and B keys).
  4. After the process ends, you can see if your backup finished successfully in iTunes Preferences > Devices. You should see the name of your device with the date and time that iTunes created the backup. If you encrypted your backup, you should also see   beside the name of your device.

Follow more steps if you need help making an iTunes backup. Learn how to encrypt your backup.

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