How to Backup your iPhone (iOS) Settings and Data Manually

Backup your settings, applications and personal data for on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

By using iTunes, you are able to backup your settings, applications and personal data from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. You'll definitely want to backup your iPhone if you are upgrading to a newer iPhone model (or plan to sell your iPhone) so can transfer any saved data from the old device to the new iPhone (iOS device). Also keep in mind, that if you plan to wipe the device completely to fix a problem or to send it in for repair, you can restore an iPhone with a backup that you have made. 

An iPhone backup will contain the phone settings, so when you sync your iPhone, personal files will be saved (like: contacts, calendar, music, podcasts, apps, photos and videos).  However, syncing your iPhone to iTunes does not automatically transfer purchases you made on your iPhone to your backup (See below how to manually transfer purchases). It's always a good idea to create manual backup of your iPhone to your computer, so you will have a full backup copy when you go to restore a new iPhone (or iOS device).

Here’s how you can backup the settings and data on your iPhone or iOS device with iTunes:

  1. Download the latest version of iTunes onto your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone (iOS device) to your computer and sync it with iTunes, this may create a backup.
  3. However, I highly recommend you do a Manually Back Up just to be sure. 
  4. To do a manual backup in iTunes: 
    1. In iTunes, click on your iPhone (device), this will bring up the Summary page for your iPhone.
    2. In the Summary page, go to the Backups section -> underneath Automatically Back Up, select 'This computer' to make a full backup of your iPhone.  Optionally, you can also check Encrypt iPhone backup to save account passwords used on your iPhone.
    3. Manually Back Up your iPhone by clicking on the Back Up Now button.
    4. Note: You may get a pop-up box asking if would like to Back Up Apps which are on your iPhone, but are not in your iTunes library. If you do, click on the Back Up Apps button.
    5. Your iPhone will begin syncing and backing up to your computer (and transferring any purchases from your iPhone to iTunes on your computer)
  5. Once everything is backed up successfully, you'll see the time of the latest backup on the Summary page -> under Backups section -> "Latest Backup: Today 2:24 PM to this computer"
  6. You should now have a Back Up for your iPhone (iOS device) that can be used to restore your current device or a new iPhone.


Often times if you've bought apps or music on your iPhone and then sync your phone to iTunes you'll get a pop-up box, asking if you'd like to transfer the purchases you made from your iPhone to iTunes.  However, you may also just want to check to make sure you've transfered all your purchases

Here's how you can Transfer Purchases manually:

  1. In iTunes, make the Sidebar visible (if it is not already), to do so click on the top menu View -> Show Sidebar
  2. Now under Devices, right-click on your iPhone (iOS device) and select Transfer Purchases.  This will back up the applications you’ve downloaded on your iPhone from the iTunes Store.

If any Purchases were transfered, you should run another manual Back Up Now, so your iPhone backup copy has all the latest purchases included.




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