About backups in iCloud and iTunes

You can copy and save the data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by backing up your device in iCloud or iTunes. If you replace your device, you can use its backup to transfer your information to a new device.

Decide which method is best for you

This article can help you decide which backup method is best for you. In case you ever need an alternative backup, you can also make one in iCloud and another in iTunes.

iCloud

  • Stores backups in the cloud
  • Offers up to 1TB of storage (your first 5GB are free)
  • Always encrypts your backups
  • Lets you make and use backups from anywhere with Wi-Fi

iTunes

  • 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 make and use backups from your Mac or PC

 

iCloud backups

With a Wi-Fi network connection, you can make a backup of your device using iCloud. You don’t need to plug your device into a computer or even be at home 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 the cloud, like contacts, calendars, notes, My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Library
  • Data stored in other cloud services, like Gmail and Exchange mail
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Touch ID settings
  • Content you didn't get directly from iTunes, App, or iBooks Stores, like imported MP3s, videos, or CDs
  • iTunes in the Cloud and App Store content (If it's still available in the iTunes, App, or iBooks Store, you can tap to re-download your already purchased content.)

Learn how to make an iCloud backup, and how to manage iCloud storage or delete backups that you no longer need.

iTunes backups

From your Mac or PC, you can make a backup of your device in iTunes. Syncing your device with your computer isn't the same as making a backup.

An iTunes backup includes nearly all of your device's data and settings. An iTunes backup doesn't include:

  • Content from the iTunes and App Stores, or PDFs downloaded directly to iBooks (You can back up this content using Transfer Purchases in iTunes.)
  • Content synced from iTunes, like imported MP3s or CDs, videos, books, and photos
  • Photos already stored in the cloud, like My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Library
  • Touch ID settings
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Health and Keychain data (To back up Health and Keychain data, you'll need to use Encrypted Backup in iTunes.)

Learn how to make backups in iTunes, how to find them on your Mac or PC, and how to delete backups you no longer need.

Data that won't transfer from one kind of device to another

When you restore a device from a backup of another kind of device, like using an iPad backup for an iPhone, certain types of data won't transfer:

  • Photos
  • Messages and attachments in Messages
  • Voice Memos
  • 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.)

Learn more

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