4 ways to backup your iPhone

iCloud (5GB storage free)

Backing up the iPhone is as simple as using iCloud for backup.  This is one of the most convenient methods. iCloud backup can include the following:

  • App data
  • Apple Watch backiups
  • Device Settings
  • HomeKit configuration
  • Home screen and app organization
  • iMessage, text (SMS) and MMS messages
  • Photos and videos on your iPhone
  • Purchase history from Apple Services
  • Ringtones
  • Visual voice mail password

Here is how to use iCloud for backup:

  • Connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network
  • Tap Settings
  • Choose <your name>
  • Choose iCloud (While on this screen, take a look at the items being backed up and select those you want to backup from those that you don’t)
  • Choose iCloud Backup
  • Turn on iCloud Backup and tap backup now (Note when backing up using iCloud
  • To check your latest backup, go to Settings>iCloud>Storage>Manage Storage and then select your device

You can also review the backup by signing in to the iCloud portal using your apple account credentials.

iTunes Backup

This method will provide a complete backup of your iPhone  (photos, videos, text messages, application data, etc) to your computer as often as you wish. It can also help restore deleted files within 30 days of deletion.

  • Open iTunes
  • Connect your phone to your computer with a  an original cable from Apple (other cables may not work)
  • Click File>Devices>Backup or simply hit the backup now button on the summary page

By default iTunes will save the data it has backed up in this file path:


If space becomes an issue in the internal drive you might want to create a backup folder on an external drive instead.

Here’s how to set that up:

  • Connect the external drive. The external hard drive is recognized by the computer when the drive name appears on the “This PC” sub-menu of File Explorer.
  • Open the drive and create a new folder called Mobile Sync. The file path should appear as: <drive>:MobileSync
  • Now go to: C:UsersUsernameAppleMobileSync or

For desktop iTunes version:

  • C:UsersUsernameAppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSync
  • Cut (CTRL+V) the existing backup folder from that location and paste (CTRL+P) it into the one you just created. The new path of your backup file should now be something like this:


  • Run a command prompt by typing in “CMD” in the search menu. Right click on Command Prompt in the search results and click “Run as Administrator”
  • Click the “Yes” button when you get the User Account Control screen

Online Storage Options

You can also use a number of other online services to backup content from your iPhone. These services are different from Apple based backups and so not all contents of the iPhone will be backed up.

Most of these products/services are limited to just photos and documents, do not include backups of text messages, voicemails, contacts, applications, settings and content that can be only be understood by Apple platforms.

Examples of such online products/services include: Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive.

Layered Backup

The safest way to preserve data is to use a couple of these methods and to secure these by backing up your computer that contains the iPhone data along with all of your other digital files.

Joshua Defante is a Consultant at Triella.  We are a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium-sized firms. Joshua can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to our blog page. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.

© 2019 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

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