Backing up your computer and other devices is one of the most important maintenance tasks you can do. It can save you from certain disaster if you’re iPhone ever dies or you accidentally drop and break it. If you don’t have any of the data on it backed up, you’re at risk of losing it all if the device ever crashes or fails, which could be a huge deal depending on what you have stored on your iPhone, like photos or important messages.
And of course, your iPhone is one of the most important possessions you have, considering that you probably take it everywhere with you and store all of your photos, videos, music, movies, TV shows and ebooks on it.
Some of this you may already have backed up, thanks to syncing through various services, but if not, you’re putting yourself at risk if you don’t have it backed up. You can either back up your iPhone using iTunes, or do it through iCloud, which takes little effort. Here’s how to back up your iPhone using iCloud so that you don’t lose any of your important media if the device fails at any point.
What iCloud Backs Up
While backing up your iPhone using iCloud is more convenient than backing up through iTunes, iCloud doesn’t back up everything.
Backing up your iPhone with iTunes backs up your entire device, including apps. However, iCloud only backs up photos, videos, documents, iMessages and SMS text messages, and settings, so it won’t back up the apps you have installed, although it will back up app data. This makes sense, because a lot of apps take up a lot of space, and with only 5GB of free iCloud storage, that may not be enough to store all of your apps. So while you can back up using iCloud, we’d still recommend backing up through iTunes as well.
To begin backing up your iPhone using iCloud, simply open up the Settings app and navigate to iCloud > Storage & Backup.
Then turn on iCloud Backup if it isn’t already.
Once iCloud Backup is turned on, go ahead and tap on Back Up Now to begin the backup process. Depending on how many photos and other files you have stored on your iPhone (and how fast your WiFi connection is), it could take a while, so sit back and relax. Remember that your iPhone will automatically back up through iCloud whenever your iPhone is plugged in, locked, and connected to WiFi.
Once it’s done, congrats! You now have your data backed up to iCloud, but what if you need to restore an iCloud backup? That’s just as easy.
How to Restore from an iCloud Backup
If you ever need to restore your iPhone, you can do so pretty easily using the iOS Setup Assistant, which is the fancy name for all the menus that you go through when you first set up your iPhone.
During this, you’ll eventually get to a screen that will ask you how you want to set up your new iPhone. You can either set it up as a brand-new iPhone or restore it from a backup. You’ll want to select Restore from iCloud Backup.
If you have multiple iCloud backups, it’ll give you a list where you choose one to restore to. Usually, the most recent backup is the one you’ll want to choose.
And that’s it! Backing up and restoring a backup with iCloud is really easy, and it’s more convenient than having to plug your iPhone into your computer and open up iTunes just to back up, but be aware that iCloud won’t back up everything, so if you want an exact copy of your iPhone backed up, you’ll want to do it through iTunes.
Why You Should Back Up Your iPhone
Your iPhone shouldn’t break or fail on you, but it certainly can happen. It’s not a perfect world, so you’re always at risk of things breaking on you when you least expect it. That’s why it’s important to back up your iPhone regularly, so that if it does crap out at any point, you won’t lose any of your photos, messages, app data, etc.
Backing up your various devices is so important, that there’s an entire day dedicated for raising awareness for it. There are various ways you can back up your iPhone too, such as automatically backing up photos and videos you take to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Whatever method you choose, just be sure you’re backing up your most important files, because they could disappear with the snap of a finger at any time without any warning.