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How do I back up my iPhone?

Many of us store our lives in our iPhones. From treasured photos to private emails, our gadgets carry a great deal of valuable personal data, so it’s essential to ensure frequent backups are performed.

Should you drop, damage or lose your phone, you can no longer access your content via that device: backing up helps you to protect precious information and transfer it to a new phone, if the need arises.

The good news is that it’s easy to back up your iPhone, as you’ll learn in this article.

Apple’s clever designs make protecting your data straightforward, with iCloud’s backup service enabling iPhone users to upload data and link their Apple devices with ease.

Third party applications and iTunes can also be used to back up data, so there are plenty of options to choose from.

While backing up helps to safeguard your personal data, securing reliable iPhone insurance helps to protect your investment in the device itself. iPhones aren’t cheap, so it’s essential to protect your gadget (and bank balance) from risks such as damage, theft and loss.

Gadget Cover is here to help. We provide covering theft, loss, accidental damage, unauthorised usage and more.

We know how important your phone and its contents are to you, so take a look at our handy guide to backing up your iPhone – a few minutes learning how to back up could save you a lot of hassle down the line.

How do I activate iCloud backup?

iCloud is Apple’s online backup system, incorporated into all iPhones. If you own more than one Apple device, your gadgets can be linked together using iCloud, once you activate the service.

You’ll be able to access your iCloud backup from anywhere, from any gadget with an internet connection, making the service incredibly handy for those who are on the go, unable to access computers.

You can verify whether or not you’ve activated iCloud backup by going to your phone’s Settings section. You’ll find your name positioned at the top of the menu: tap on this. Next, you’ll see another menu, from which you’ll need to pick iCloud, found near the top of the list. This will take you to a page with your services and apps, showing you which of your iPhone’s services and apps are using iCloud, and which haven’t yet activated it.


Does backing up protect my photos and games?

Backing up doesn’t just protect your contacts and conversations.

For most of us, our iPhones double up as cameras, thanks to their cutting-edge photographic capabilities. We bring our gadgets with us everywhere – to the park, on holiday, out for meals and more.

This increases the chance of accidents or theft, putting our phones at risk of costly damage, so reliable iPhone insurance is a must-have. Aside from this, taking fun snaps every day starts to use up your device’s memory – whether it’s Samsung, Apple or another brand, a smartphone’s memory has its limits!

Photos can quickly eat up storage capacity so backing up is a handy way of securely storing them, without impacting your iPhone’s memory levels.

Most importantly, we all want to ensure photos of treasured moments are kept safe, in the event our phones are damaged, stolen or lost, so uploading them to iCloud gives you extra peace of mind.

Select the Photos option on the iCloud page on your phone and then check what your current settings are.

It’s protocol for 2019 iPhones to come with “Optimise iPhone Storage” mode pre-set. This clever service stores your photos on iCloud at full resolution, and once your iPhone starts getting tight on storage, it switches the copies of those snaps on your gadget with smaller local files of a lower resolution.

This allows users to store the original shots on iCloud, while still being able to access to less detailed versions of the snaps on their iPhones, saving memory.

Have you ever been part way through a game, only to lose your progress? Perhaps you dropped your phone in a puddle or left it behind on the train? Either way, it’s incredibly frustrating.

While specialist iPhone insurance can provide your phone with dependable cover, Game Centre will save your progress in games, sparing you the headache of starting from the beginning should you lose, upgrade or break your iPhone.

How does iCloud back up work?

Once you’ve activated iCloud, your iPhone will automatically refresh and sync its cloud backup on a frequent basis.

If you wish to manually trigger a cloud backup update, you can do this too:

  • Go to Settings, then to iCloud.
  • Tap on iCloud Backup, and you’ll be directed to a page with a master switch for the backup service.
  • You’ll also find the Back Up Now option, which can trigger the backup of any new content on your iPhone to iCloud.
  • In addition to this, the page shows you when your device was last backed up.


Is it worth using iCloud?

If you want a straightforward, reliable backup service, iCloud is a good choice for your iPhone. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a limit to the amount of free online storage each user gets, which won’t suit users prone to taking lots of snaps – the standard allowance is 5GB.

You can upgrade to a storage plan with a greater amount of space – up to 2TB but you’ll have to pay. To switch storage plans, simply go to Settings > Manage Storage Plan > Change Storage Plan and select your preferred option.

How else can I backup?

Not a fan of cloud-based backup? You can still use an Apple service, backing up to iTunes instead.

Should I back up to iTunes?

This option involves backing up your iPhone’s contents to your desktop or laptop hard drive, via the iTunes programme.

If you have a vast hard drive, this option could suit you. It may not be the best pick for a device such as a MacBook, as its solid-state storage is very costly and very rapid per gigabyte: expensive memory may end up being drained by low-value backup data you’re unlikely to need or use.

Backing up with iCloud enables you to access your data from any device hooked up to the Internet, whereas if you back up with iTunes, you can only access your stored content from a computer.

This could pose a problem if you lose your phone while you’re abroad, or in a location with no access to laptops or desktops, so it’s important to consider this restriction when assessing whether you should back up using iCloud or iTunes.

How do I back up to iTunes?

Using your iPhone’s charge cable, you’ll need to connect your phone to your computer and then start iTunes. If you haven’t connected the two gadgets before, you’ll be required to authorise access on your iPhone, enabling it to ‘trust’ your laptop/desktop.

In the iPhone section of iTunes, find and select the Summary tab. You’ll find a backup box, where you’ll be able to opt for local storage rather than iCloud backup, manually generating the creation of your own backup folder.


Can I back up to Google Photos?

iPhone users aren’t restricted to Apple services when it comes to backup. Want unlimited photo storage at zero cost? Google offers an image backup service, suited to a wide range of handsets that include the iPhone.

The catch? Your images will be compressed (to prevent them from guzzling up too much storage on Google’s servers) and, if they’re more than 16 megapixels, they’ll be stored at reduced quality.

You can opt to upload your original, high-resolution snaps, but you’ll be limited by your account’s storage allowance. Google offers a standard allowance of 15GB as opposed to Apple’s 5GB, so you’ll have a little more space to play around with.

How do I back up to Google Photos?

Using Google Photos is pretty easy: all you need is the Google Photos app and a Google account.

The Google Photos app can be downloaded onto your iPhone from the App Store. To create your Google account, head to and sign up for free.

Once you install the Google Photos app and run it on your iPhone, you’ll be given the option to use Google Photos as a backup service.

Are there any other recommended backup services?

Tech Radar states that many third-party apps allow users to benefit from more control over their data (and more transparency) than they would when using one of Apple’s services.

They explain that, when backing up with iTunes, users are left with an unwieldy, hard-to-access file that they’re unlikely to use – at least, until they need to restore their personal content to a shiny new iPhone.

Dependable iPhone cover can provide an added layer of protection when it comes to risks such as loss, damage or theft. However, if you need a replacement phone and opt for a handset from another brand, you may have trouble shifting all your content across from Apple platforms. This is where third-party backup services can really come in handy.

Tech Radar recommends applications such as iPhone Backup Extractor and iMazing – both of which are reputable, long-standing services.

iPhone Backup Extractor allows you to sift through your backup data and extract personal content such as iMessages, SMS messages, WhatsApp conversations, call history and voice recordings, to name a few.

Of course, it’s vital to be extremely cautious when choosing a third-party software package. You want to make sure your data will be in safe, secure hands, which may mean paying a little extra – be wary of free backup services.

For a service such as iPhone Backup Extractor, you’d need to shell out £59.94 for the full version. You’re able to perform a test-run before committing to this, but the price tag means many iPhone users opt to backup to iCloud/iTunes instead.


How do I restore iCloud/iTunes backup on a new iPhone?

If you’ve backed up to iCloud/iTunes, restoring data from your old iPhone to your new iPhone is relatively simple.

When setting up your new model, you’ll need to log into your iPhone via your Apple ID. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to choose from two options: setting up your iPhone as a totally new device or extracting backup data from your old iPhone via iCloud or iTunes.

If you choose to restore existing backup, you’ll be asked to select Backup from iCloud or Backup from iTunes. Next, you’ll be able to pick the most up-to-date backup uploaded from your previous iPhone.

After you’ve chosen the backup you want to extract data from, the transfer will begin. The length of this process depends on factors such as Wi-Fi speed and the size of the selected backup.

If all goes well, your old preferences and content will be restored to your new iPhone, including contacts, photos, messages and more.

Protecting your iPhone

While you can take the necessary steps to back up your iPhone, you can never rule out every risk.

Your iPhone probably comes with you everywhere. This means it faces increased exposure to a multitude of risks, such as falling into the bath or being stolen when you’re out and about.

It’s a smart move to buy a sturdy, protective case for your iPhone, as this lessens the chance of your device’s screen smashing during an accidental drop, but the best investment you can make is in a reliable insurance policy.

Gadget Cover offers . Along with unlimited claims, low excess fees and the first month free on policies paid annually, our cover can include:

  • Liquid damage
  • Accidental damage
  • Theft
  • Unauthorised usage
  • Loss
  • Accessories

Apple is renowned for its high-quality products, so it’s no surprise that iPhones come with hefty price tags attached – as do their accompanying accessories.

If you lose or break your device, you could end up considerably out of pocket, having to pay out for a replacement.

The moment you sign your contract with Gadget Cover, your gadget and its accessories will be protected by dependable iPhone insurance.

Don’t wait – get a quote today.

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