How to back up your iPhone: the definitive guide to securing your cell phone

How to back up your iPhone: the definitive guide to securing your cell phone

Save your data from limbo technology

Losing your cell phone or destroying it so badly that you can’t even use it, is a technology nightmare. But the data in it is very important for most of us. Not glass and aluminum on the outside.

Use the iPhone as Apple wishes and it’s almost difficult to lose most of the items we value, such as photos and messages. However, you still have to go to backup school to make sure you are ready for the worst.

We will look at ways you can back up your data with Apple’s own actions, as well as how third parties keep your data safe.

How to back up to iCloud


Apple likes to make life easy if, and this is ‘if’ big, you buy Apple’s way of doing things. The device is knitted together by iCloud, the company’s online backup service.

This is built on all iPhones and makes securing your data very easy.

To check whether iCloud backup has been activated, open Settings on your device, tap your name at the top of the list and select iCloud, near the top of the system menu. On this page you will see a list of all applications and services currently connected to iCloud.


Photos are a big memory drain. Tap the Photos entry on the iCloud page and you get an idea of how it works. As a standard in 2019, the iPhone is set to a mode called “Optimize iPhone Storage”.

This uploads your photos to iCloud at full resolution, and, when your iPhone starts running out of space, quietly replaces local files with smaller, less detailed ones.

Game Center is also very important. This saves your progress in many games, so you don’t have to restart completely if you upgrade or lose your phone.

But how does iCloud backup work? Your iPhone will automatically update its cloud backup regularly. For example, now at 9:46 a.m., our iPhone shows iCloud backup as the last update at 7:39 a.m.


You can do this manually too. In Settings> iCloud> iCloud Backup all see the main switch for your iCloud backup, and the option to force a refresher on what’s in iCloud.

iCloud is breezy, easy and reliable. But if you use it a little, you will immediately fight Apple upsell. You get 5GB of online storage as standard, which won’t be too far for this type of photographer.

Go to Settings> Manage Storage Packages> Change Storage plan and you can increase to space up to 2 TB, but you have to pay. So what other options are there?


Google Photos

You can use Google Android’s photo backup service as wide as possible even if you have an iPhone. That it offers unlimited free image storage with low quality is the main attraction.

Your photos actually decrease in terms of resolution if it’s more than 16 megapixels, so there’s no problem for your iPhone. But Google also puts things through compression, to make them take up less space on its servers.

You need two things to get started with Google Photos backup. First, the Google Photos application. Simply download it from the App Store.

A Google account is also required. Most of you probably have it now. You do not? Simply register at

Google Photos doesn’t make you reduce the quality of your photos. You can also upload the original. Just like iCloud, you are limited by the storage allocated to your account. However, Google is slightly cheaper than Apple. It offers 15GB as standard rather than 5GB.

You will see an option to back up your photos through Google Photos, the first time you run the application on your iPhone.

How to back up your iPhone to iTunes

If you sit there in front of your laptop or cellphone screen wondering why everyone is obsessed with ‘cloud’ lately, there is another way. You can also back up your iPhone the old way, using iTunes.

This downloads all content from your mobile to your hard drive, for a backup that looks more solid than iCloud can provide.

Quite easy. Connect your iPhone to your laptop or desktop using the power cable and run iTunes. If this is your first time connecting the two, you must use the telephone to ‘trust’ the computer.

In the Summary tab in the iPhone area in iTunes you will see a backup box. This allows you to switch from an iCloud backup to local storage, and manually create a backup file.

For most people, this is only a good option if you have a large hard drive rather than MacBook solid-state storage. MacBook SSDs are very fast and very expensive per gigabyte, so this can be wasted on data backup that will only sit there.

Go third party


There are also some third party applications that give you more control than Apple’s own solution. When you back up with iTunes, you end up with a large number of files that can’t be touched until you need to use them to restore to a new iPhone.

Packages like iPhone Backup Extractor are a little different. It has an interface that allows you to browse the contents of the backup.

This is very useful if, say, your iPhone is stolen and you decide to switch to Android. In this case you might be able to get all your photos saved by iCloud without a hitch, but other types of data might be more problematic. This third-party backup application helps.

iPhone Backup Extractor lets you extract SMS messages, iMessage, call history, voice recordings, WhatsApp and Tinder chats, and much more.

As with any third party software that handles your data, you must be extra careful about which applications you trust. And this is why you really need to join a long-known service such as iPhone Backup Extractor or iMazing, rather than claiming to keep your backup for free.

The free version of iPhone Backup Extractor allows you to extract four files from a backup, to check and you like the interface pretty well. For the full featured version, you have to pay $ 69.95 / £ 59.94 (around AU $ 95). The free iTunes service might look like a pretty neat option now, right?

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