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By default your device will automatically sync and create a backup each time your device is connected to your computer. If you want to manually create a backup though, it is very easy.

How to start a backup:

  • Plug your device into the computer
  • Launch iTunes
  • Select your iPhone in the ‘DEVICES’ list
  • Right-Click on your iPhone
  • Select “Back Up”
  • Wait for iPhone backup to complete

This will create a backup of your device that you will be able to restore from later, and the procedure is the same in Mac OS or Windows. It is a good idea to create a current backup before you download and install the latest iOS version.

Backup without a computer

Once you have iCloud set up, it becomes easier than ever to keep recent backups of your iPhone/iPod/iPad. Keep in mind that the backup starts automatically any time the device is connected to a power source and the synced computer is turned on and connected to the same wifi network. Automatic backups are great but if you want to be absolutely certain you have the most recent backup stored in iCloud before you do something like an iOS restore, software update, or even a jailbreak, you’ll probably want to do a manual backup first.

Whatever your situation, we’ll show you exactly how to initiate a backup to iCloud instantly on an iPhone, iPad, or touch:

Start a Manual Backup to iCloud from an iPhone or iPad

You’ll need iOS 5+ (or later) and iCloud, and a Wi-Fi connection for this to work:

  • Launch the “Settings” app
  • Tap on “iCloud” and scroll to the bottom, then tap on “Storage & Backup”
  • Navigate down and tap on “Back Up Now”

iOS will give you an estimated time before the backup is complete, and there’s a progress bar to watch too. It’s generally fairly quick but since it’s uploading to iCloud the overall time to completion is largely dependent on your internet connection speed.

Remember that you can also backup from iTunes as well, which is a perfectly reasonable solution for those without broadband access or if iCloud storage is over capacity, just keep in mind that won’t save to iCloud.