iOS devices are known for their ease of use, excellent build quality, and fantastic cameras. Whether it's your precious memories captured in pictures or your business contacts and calendars, backing up your iOS device is essential to safeguard your precious data. Thankfully, backing up and restoring your iOS devices is relatively simple, and can be done either automatically over Wi-Fi with iCloud, or with iTunes on your Mac or PC via your USB charging cable.
Backup to iTunes:
First, open iTunes on your Mac or PC and connect your iOS device using your charging cable. From the iTunes Store or App Store page, click on File > Devices > Transfer Purchases. This will import any apps or music you purchased or downloaded on your iOS device to your Mac or PC. Next, navigate to your iOS device's Summary page. From here you should see the option to set This Computer to be automatically backed up to. Select this option and click Apply in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Now your iOS device will automatically backup to iTunes every time it is plugged into your Mac or PC.
Be aware that data like account passwords, Health, and Homekit data requires that your backup is encrypted with a password to be backed up to iTunes. You should see this option below the This Computer option on your devices Summary page if you also want this data backed up.
Restore from iTunes Backup:
If your iOS device happens to have an unfortunate accident, or if you purchase a new device, restoring from your iTunes backup can recover and transfer important data like your contacts, text messages, and photos.
To start restoring, first, open iTunes on your Mac or PC, then connect your iOS device using your charging cable. Select File > Devices > Restore from Backup. Select your desired backup from the list organized by date and click Restore.
Backup to iCloud:
To enable iCloud backup on your iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud > Backup. From inside the Backup screen, turn on iCloud Backup. To manually start a backup press Back Up Now, and stay connected to Wi-Fi until the backup is complete. To verify that your backup is complete, tap Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and then select your device from the list, and you should see your backup organized by date.
Now that your iOS device is set to backup automatically, it will do so when it is connected to Wi-Fi, connected to a power source, and when your screen is locked. Typically this is when your device is charging overnight while not being used.
Restoring for iCloud Backup:
If your iOS device happens to have an unfortunate accident, or if you purchase a new device, restoring from your iCloud backup can recover and transfer important data like your contacts, text messages, and photos.
First, turn your device on. Then you should see the Hello screen at the beginning of the initial setup. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect to Wi-Fi, and then choose Restore from iCloud Backup when prompted. Sign into your iCloud account and choose the appropriate backup from the list organized by date. Stay connected to Wi-Fi while the restore processes, otherwise it will pause until you reconnect to Wi-Fi. Depending on your Internet speed and the size of your backup, restoring may take a while, so ensure your device is connected to a power source.
If you need to restore from a device that is already setup, navigate to your Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Once your device is wiped, follow the same instructions above to set your device back up.