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How to Properly Backup and Restore iPhone Data

It sucks when something happens and you lose your phone or break it, then realize that it means all your photos, videos, texts, and Flappybird scores are gone. But it doesn’t have to be so brutal, as long as you properly backup your data, you can restore everything to a new iPhone. There are three ways you can easily backup your iPhone and Geek Insider has done you, beautiful reader, the favor of compiling all three methods here in this little article.


How to Backup Your iPhone To Your Computer

The first method is to backup your data onto your computer. It’s pretty simple and fast.


What You Will Need

  • A computer (obviously)
  • iTunes (which can be downloaded for free)

As long as you have these two things, you’ll be fine.

First, you’ll need to connect your iPhone to your computer. Launch iTunes and you’ll be able to find the options that will allow you to backup your iPhone data to your computer or iCloud. There is one major difference between backing up to your computer and onto you iCloud account: iCloud will only backup what is considered important data from your iPhone while your computer will backup almost everything.


This means, essentially, that iCloud will only back up photos, videos, device settings, purchase history(for music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books), app data, home screen and app organization, iMessage, text messages, MMS messages, ringtones, and visual voicemail.

On the other hand, a backup to your computer will include photos, contacts, contact favourites, calendar accounts, events, Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, offline data, currently open pages, auto fill for webpages, notes, offline web app cache/database, mail accounts (however, messages are not backed up), Microsoft Exchange account configurations, call history, iMessages, text messages, MMS pictures and videos, your voicemail token, voice memos, network settings, your keychain account, app store data, app settings, app preferences, in-app purchases, game center account, wallpapers, location service preferences for apps and websites, home screen arrangement, installed profiles, map bookmarks, recent searches, iPod settings, paired Bluetooth devices, and keyboard shortcuts.


Once you are in the menu section, choose either option and click “Backup.” Geek Insider strongly suggests that you do both types just to ensure full and complete protection.


You can find the backup option under the “Summary” tab of your device.

Or you can right click on your device as listed on the side and click on “Backup.”


On your computer, you’ll also have the ability to backup and restore your apps.

  • Right click your device in iTunes
  • Click on “Transfer Purchases”

This process saves the data from your apps on your computer so you can fully restore them should you need to restore your iPhone.


Restoring From Your Computer Backup

Now that you’ve managed to destroy your phone, it’s time to restore all your iPhone data to your new device. The process is super easy.

  • Just connect your new iPhone to your computer and start iTunes.
  • Right click on your device or click on “File” and go to the “Devices” option
  • Select “Restore From Backup”
  • Choose the latest backup file and it will be restored to your iPhone

How to back up iphone


Backing Up Using Your iPhone

Fun fact: if you have an iCloud account, you can also backup and restore your account from your phone directly. Just follow these steps:


  • Tap “Settings”
  • Tap “iCloud”
  • Tap “Backup”

Or for iOS 7 or earlier:

  • Tap “Settings”
  • Tap “iCloud”
  • Tap “Storage & Backup”


You can set up your iCloud account to backup automatically by tapping on the “iCloud Backup” option. Or to backup your iPhone data immediately, tap the “Backup Now” button.

Backup iphone


  • Turn on your iPhone (you should see a “Hello” screen)
  • Select “Restore from iCloud Backup”
  • Select the backup you want

Iphone setup

Backing Up Your iPhone with Third Party Options

iTunes and iCloud are really simple and convenient but a lot of times, you’ll end up paying more for iCloud’s storage services than for what a third party app might cost. Right now, iCloud offers 5GB of free storage. If you need more space than that, you will have to upgrade to a larger plan which will increase your monthly bill. It ranges from 20GB more for $1.00 a month to 1TB for $20.

Geek Insider found three great alternatives, should you find yourself needing more than 5GB of data and reluctant to pay for iCloud services.



Phone copy

This is a free app that work for iOS and Android. Its function is to create a backup of your data and store it in the cloud. You can then access your data on the PhoneCopy website. An added benefit is that, after you initially backup your data, the program syncs with your device for quicker backups in the future. It goes even further to save a history of all your previous backups so if you delete something important to you, you can get it right through the PhoneCopy app.

The process of backing up your iPhone (or Android) to PhoneCopy is easy.

  • Create an account from your device or online
  • Click the “Synchronize” button to backup your data to PhoneCopy’s server
  • Once it is finished, you can log in to view and edit your saved data




This app is free and will backup your contacts to their cloud storage so you never have to worry about losing your mom’s phone number if you lose your phone. You can access your data from the app’s website at any time. It also has a feature that lets you schedule backups so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to do it often enough.

This app also helps you locate your iPhone if you misplace it. All you have to do is log into your account and the app will ring your phone (even if it’s placed on vibrate.) Should the situation be dire enough, you can activate Lookout’s kill switch option, which will wipe all your private data so no thieves can get it.

It even has a feature that asks whoever finds your iPhone to call specific friends that might be able to help. On top of all this, it includes basic security measures that protect your iPhone against malware and spyware. If you want the premium version, it only cost $3.00 a month and lets you automatically backup photos and manages up to three devices on one account.


SOS Online Backup

Sos back up

Another great app, this software will store all of your contacts, photos, and videos with easy access through their website for $8.00 a month. It allows you to have one computer on a single account, along with unlimited tablets and smartphones. It goes farther to protect your data with military-grade encryption before it even leaves your device.

The premium version costs up to $60 a year but with it, you get unlimited storage and access to all your backup data regardless of what device you use. The app also offers a free trial if you want to try it before you buy it.

Just download the app from the App Store or the app’s site and create a new account. To backup your data, just follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Protect” tab
  • Click either “Protect All Contacts” or “Protect All Photos”
  • Your iPhone data will then be backed up on SOS’s cloud

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