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I am surprised at how many people neglect to backup their important data, pictures and movies until it is too late and they are standing in line at our service counter seeking to have that data recovered. We have talked about backing up your Mac using Time Machine. It is so easy and drives are so inexpensive that there simply is no excuse for not having a backup.

But what about your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? You can’t just hook up a drive to them to back-up. Fortunately, Apple has given you two easy ways to backup your data from your iOS device. You can use iCloud back-up or backup using iTunes. I use BOTH and urge you to consider that, too!

iCloud Back-up

Backing up your iPhone using iCloud backup is easy. Make sure your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) is connected to your Wi-Fi network. Tap on “Settings” scroll down a bit and select “iCloud”. Once you are in the iCloud screen you can select “Back up”.

Make sure backup is turned on. If you are doing this for the first time, select “backup now” grab a nice cold brew coffee and wait for your back-up to complete. Make sure that the backup finished: Tap Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, then select your device. The backup should appear in the details with the time and backup size.

Tell iCloud to automatically back up your device each day:

  • Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  • Connect your device to a power source.
  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Make sure that your device’s screen is locked.
  • Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup.

iTunes Back-up

To make an iTunes back-up you need to have a Mac or PC running iTunes (doh!). Connect your iOS device to iTunes with a USB cable. If a message pops up for your device passcode or to “Trust This Computer”, follow the onscreen steps.

Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod when it appears in iTunes. If you want to save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, you will need to encrypt your backup. To do so, select the box called “Encrypt backup” and create a memorable password. Write down your password and store it somewhere safe, because there’s no way to recover your iTunes backups without this password.

If you are a couch potato like me and don’t want to backup your health and activity data you can skip this step and simply click “Backup now”. To check to see if your backup was successful you can click on iTunes Preferences > Devices and you should see your backup listed.

Once you have set up iCloud or iTunes backup to be automatic you can rest comfortably that your data is safe from that unfortunate accident with the sea. The way I handle backups is to make iCloud my automatic backup and from time to time plug my devices into my Mac and back them up using iTunes. Whatever way you choose, take a few moments to give yourself peace of mind and backup your iOS devices now!

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