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How To Back Up Your iPhone And Transfer Data

The information an iPhone contains is irreplaceable, from your contact information to that special photo from your last vacation — and it all can be lost if you don’t back up your phone on a regular basis.

Often, people only consider backups when they transfer data to a new iPhone, but it’s important to have a recent iPhone iCloud backup to restore data should your phone be compromised for some reason (for instance, if you need to restore an iPhone to factory settings). 

With that in mind, here’s how to perform an iPhone iCloud backup, restore your phone to a recent backup, and transfer data to a new iPhone. 

What Is A Backup?

A backup is a copy of all data on your phone that is stored in a different location, such as a computer or a cloud service. 

How To Backup iPhone Data To iCloud

One of the easiest ways to back up iPhone data is to back data up to the iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage and cloud computing service. The iCloud offers 5G of free data storage, with the option of purchasing additional storage as needed. 

To perform an iPhone iCloud backup take the following steps. 

  • Connect your iPhone to a trusted Wi-Fi network (completing a backup can take a while, so you don’t want to perform one while using your data plan).
  • Go to Settings>iCloud> Backup
  • If it isn’t already on, turn on iCloud Backup
  • Double-check to make sure you’re on a WiFi connection
  • Tap Backup Now
  • Wait until the backup is complete

To check that the backup worked, go to Settings>iCloud>Storage>Manage Storage and select your iPhone. You should see your backup listed along with the date of the backup and the amount of data stored. 

What Does iCloud Backup?

An iCloud backup stores the following data:

  • App data (But not the apps themselves. Those you’ll have to redownload)
  • Device settings
  • Homescreen data
  • iMessage, SMS, and MMS messages
  • Photos and videos
  • Ringtones
  • Visual voicemail passwords
  • Your purchase history from Apple services, so you can redownload any music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books you bought

Contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, and voicemails are already stored in the iCloud, so are not included in an iPhone backup. 

Activating An iPhone iCloud Backup Restore

If you have to erase and reinstall an iPhone’s operating system (a common solution to fix a device that’s running slowly), you can perform an iPhone iCloud backup restore to redownload any data erased during the rest process. To do so:

Perform an iCloud backup as described above and check Settings>iCloud> Storage>Manage Storage to ensure the backup was completed.

  • Go to Settings>General>Reset
  • Tap Erase All Content and Settings
  • During the setup process, follow onscreen instructions (including setting up your Wi-Fi) until you reach the Apps & Data screen
  • Select Restore from iCloud Backup
  • Sign in to your iCloud account, go to Choose Backup, and tap your most recent backup

How To Transfer Data To A New iPhone

Backups are especially important when you need to transfer data to a new iPhone. Here’s how to move your photos and other info to your shiny new device:

  • Make sure your old iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network
  • Open Settings on your old phone and tap the Apple ID profile at the top of the page
  • Go to iCloud>iCloud Backup>Backup Now to create an up-to-date backup
  • Once the backup is complete, turn off your old phone
  • Remove the SIM card from your old phone if you’re going to use it with the new device

Now you’ll switch to your new iPhone:

  • Insert your old SIM card if you want to use it with the new phone
  • Turn on the new iPhone
  • Either press the Home button or slide up, depending on your device
  • Follow setup directions to choose Language and set up your Wi-Fi
  • Tap Restore from iCloud backup
  • Sign in to your iCloud account (iCloud uses your Apple ID)
  • Tap Next>Agree and Agree again
  • Select the backup you just uploaded
  • Wait until the phone restores your data from the backup

Need to replace your old iPhone? Check out a GoWireless store near you today!