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How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac, iCloud, or Windows 10

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. Then you can easily recover your data when you lose, damage, or replace your smartphone. Here’s how to back up your iPhone to iCloud or to a Mac or Windows 10 PC.

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.
  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.
    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 reduce the type of files that your iPhone backs up. 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 > Backups 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 can have up to 2TB of cloud-based storage. However, only the first 5GB is free.

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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 included. However, it will not back up your data stored in other cloud services, Apple mail data, Apple Pay information, and settings, Face ID or Touch ID settings, and Apple Music Library and App Store content. 

After enabling iCloud backups, your iPhone will automatically back itself up to the cloud 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.   

If you just want to back up your photos, check out our step-by-step guide on how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer.

How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac

To back up your iPhone to a Mac computer running macOS Catalina or later, connect your iPhone to your computer and open a Finder window. Then select your iPhone from the left sidebar and click the Back Up Now button.

  1. Connect your iPhone to a Mac. You can do this 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 left-clicking the desktop and hitting 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.
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  4. Finally, click Back Up Now. If you don’t see this, click the General tab near the top of the Finder window. 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. It will take a while for the back up to be saved on your Mac, but make sure not to disconnect your iPhone until the backup is complete.
How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac

Then wait for your iPhone to backup. This process might take several minutes, and you should not disconnect your phone 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 your iPhone to the computer and open the iTunes app. Then 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 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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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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Updated on October 1, 2021

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