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How to Back Up Your iPhone to iCloud, Mac, or Windows

Backing up your iPhone lets you make a copy of all your phone numbers, text messages, pictures, and any other data stored on your device. This way, you can easily recover your data when your iPhone is lost or stolen. Here’s how to back up your iPhone to iCloud or to a Mac or Windows 10 computer.

How to Back Up Your iPhone to iCloud 

To back up your iPhone to iCloud, open the Settings app and select your name at the top of the screen. Then tap iCloud > iCloud Backup and turn on the slider next to iCloud Backup. Finally, tap Back Up Now and wait for the process to finish.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. If you can’t find the app, you can swipe down from the middle of your home screen. Then type “settings” in the search bar at the top of your screen and tap Go.
  2. Then tap your name. This will be the first option at the top of the screen next to your profile icon.
  3. Next, tap iCloud.
    How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac
  4. Then select iCloud Backup.
  5. Next, tap the slider next to iCloud Backup. If it is green, you will know that you have iCloud backups turned on, and you can skip to the next step.
    How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac
  6. Finally, tap Back Up Now. Wait until the backup process is completed. Do not disconnect from the internet while your iPhone is backing up your data.
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If you get a message that says the backup failed because there is not enough cloud storage, you can remove files from your backups manually. To do this, go back to the previous screen and uncheck some of the sliders or turn off some of the options. Then try backing up your iPhone again.

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If you still don’t have enough room, you might also have to go to Manage Storage at the top of the screen and select Backups. This will allow you to delete any old backups or remove certain types of files from your future backups. From here, you can also tap Change Storage Plan to upgrade your iCloud account. With iCloud, you only get 5 GB of cloud-based storage for free, but you can pay for a plan that gives you up to 2 TB of storage.

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What Does an iCloud Backup Do?

When you back up your iPhone to iCloud, almost all data and settings will be saved to the cloud. However, it will not back up your data stored in other cloud services, or Apple mail data, Apple Pay information, Face ID or Touch ID settings, and your Apple Music Library and App Store content. 

After enabling iCloud backups, your iPhone will automatically back itself up when it is turned off and connected to a WiFi network and a power source. This way, your iPhone won’t slow down every time it has to back up, and it should happen when you are sleeping.   

Read More: How to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac

To back up your iPhone, connect it to a Mac computer with a USB cable. Then open a Finder window and select your iPhone from the left sidebar. Finally, go to the General tab and click the Back Up Now button.

  1. Connect your iPhone to a Mac with a USB cable.
  2. Then open a Finder window. You can do this by clicking the half-blue and half-gray icon in your Dock. Or you can left-click the desktop and press the Command + N keys on your keyboard at the same time.
  3. Next, select your iPhone in the left sidebar. You should see your iPhone’s name appear in the left sidebar of your Finder window under Locations.

    Note: If you don’t see your iPhone appear in the left sidebar, click Finder in the Menu Bar at the top of your screen. Then select Preferences from the drop-down menu and click the Sidebar tab at the top of the pop-up window. Then check the box next to CDs, DVDs, and iOS Devices.

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    Note: If this is the first time backing up your iPhone on this Mac, you will have to click Trust on your computer. Then you will have to tap Trust on your iPhone and enter your passcode. This is the same passcode that you use to unlock your iPhone.

  4. Finally, click Back Up Now. If you don’t see this, click the General tab and try expanding the Finder window. If you want to back up all your data, also make sure to check the circle next to Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac.
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Then wait for the backup to finish. This process might take several minutes, and you should not disconnect your iPhone from your computer until it is complete.

Once you back up your iPhone, check out our step-by-step guide on how to restore your iPhone from a backup to get your data back.

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How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC

To back up your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC, connect it to the computer with a USB cable. Then open the iTunes app and click the iPhone icon to the left of the Library tab. Finally, click Back Up Now and wait for the process to finish.

  1. Connect your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC. You can do this with a USB cable.
  2. Then open the iTunes app on your computer. If you don’t already have the app installed, you can download it from Apple here.
  3. Next, tap the iPhone icon. You will see this appear to the in the upper-left corner of the window, just to the left of the Library tab.
    How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC
  4. Finally, tap Back Up Now.
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If you are having problems backing up your iPhone, check out our article on how to reset your iPhone to factory settings.

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Updated on December 24, 2021

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