Backing up your iPhone or iPad is important. In this article I discuss backing up with iTunes vs. iCloud and what works best for me.

Using iTunes – This method involves plugging into your computer directly. ITunes will perform what’s called a local backup. This can, by default, be a more comprehensive backup option. It will preserve several backup copies. If you were to buy a new iPhone, you can use one of these copies to quickly restore your settings, photos, apps, and music. You can quickly get your new phone restored by using a backup file of your previous iPhone. However, if your computer crashes, dies, or is stolen, then you risk losing your backup files.

Using iCloud – This method doesn’t use cables and will work automatically to upload the backup copies to iCloud storage. This can be setup to be a minimal backup option or a more comprehensive option, depending on what you select to be backed up and the space you have available with your iCloud.

This is my preferred method of backup. Go to the Settings menu and select iCloud

Go through all of the toggles and decide which items you want to have backed up, such as your photos, music, or calendar. 

Since I use Google Photos for my photo management and handle my music with a different application, I turn these toggles off. They would take up a lot of space on the iCloud, but handling these files with a different cloud service, like Google Photos, works best for me.
If you’ve never turned iCloud backup on before, you won’t have an existing backup. I recommend that you set time aside, perhaps before you go to bed, plug in your phone to power, and connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network. Select Backup Now.

Be aware that it may take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on what is being backed up and the speed of your internet connection. Connect to a Wi-Fi network to perform this initial backup, as this process would otherwise use a lot of mobile data for which you could incur charges.

If you don’t have enough space to complete a back up to your iCloud account, you will be notified. If you need a bigger storage plan for backing up, apart from the free service, you will be shown a few different options. I use the 50GB iCloud storage plan which is enough to back up all of my family’s devices. 

To check to see what might be taking up space on the iCloud, go to Storage within the settings of your iPhone.

Select Manage Storage, and it will show you everything that is presently backed up. There might be an old device you no longer use that you can delete to free up some space on the iCloud. Select the Backup you no longer need and hit Delete Backup

Find My Phone
Another iCloud feature to keep turned on is Find My Phone. Also install the Find My Phone App. This will help you locate your phone by displaying its location when you go to on your computer.

The iCloud’s features work well and ensure that you’re always protected from losing important photos and information. Whenever you get a new iPhone, be advised that some employees will skip turning these functions on because they are in too much of a rush to get your phone ready to make calls, rather than getting it ready to be secured and backed up!

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