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Taking Full Data Backup from Apple Device [Guide]

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iOS update process replaces the current iOS from your Apple device. After the update your Apple device will be fresh without any previous installed apps, music, files, videos, contacts or anything that was copied, created or installed previously. If you have copied music, videos, and installed new apps in your device, you might want to take full data backup of Apple device before you update iOS on it. That will save a lot of time later on. There are many ways you can take backup from Apple device and we are going to explain every possible way to do it. The time in taking backup depends on how much data you have in your device. Here are several ways to take backup from iPhone, iPod or iPad.

You can take automatic backups over-the-air that are then stored in the Apple servers, or you can use Windows PC or MAC tools to take local backups in your computer. iCloud enables you to take automatic backups wirelessly and by using iTunes, iTools, iFunBox and Syncios, you can take local backups. We will explain procedure, pros and cons of each in details so that you may decide and choose convenient method for you.

iCloud Backup

iCloud app comes built-in your Apple device. Its used to take backups wirelessly and automatically. Backups will be stored in Apple servers and you do not need to do anything manually, except configuring your iCloud settings one time. Configure iCloud app from your Apple device and that is it. Now every time when your device is connected to the Wi-Fi and is charging, iCloud will sync data from your device and take backup.

Its almost full backup and you get 5 GB free space for that. Additional iCloud storage space of 10 GB costs $20 per year. Chances are that you will run out of iCloud storage space for backup. You can purchase more space (iCloud storage upgrade pricing chart in your local currency) from Apple anytime. This is most easy method to take automatic backups.

If you’re using iCloud, you can verify your iCloud backup and make sure that it’s up to date by following these steps:

From your device, tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
Turn on iCloud Backup if it’s off.
Tap Back Up Now.

Restore process from iCloud is also simple. If you have got a new device and you want to restore backup from iCloud, follow the initial setup in iOS setup assistant and select ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’ when the assistant asks you to set up your iOS device. It will prompt to select from backups created earlier.

iCloud automatically backs up the following items:

  • Mail, contacts, calendar, reminders, safari data, notes, documents and data, keychain
  • Photos and videos from Camera Roll
  • Device settings
  • Apps data
  • Home screen and app organization
  • iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemail

You can select the areas you want to backup or skip few things from backup task.

iCloud won’t back up the music, or the apps on your device. In fact, it doesn’t back up any media. According to Apple, iOS devices back up “purchased music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books,” but what’s actually saved are links to those items in the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore. None of that counts against your iCloud storage space.

If you have to restore your iOS device from an iCloud backup, you’ll re-download those items from their respective stores. You will not, however, have backups of any non-purchased items. Hopefully, you have those on your Mac or PC in your iTunes library.

You can restore a backup only by using the iOS Setup Assistant. If you’ve already set up your device, you can erase all current content to go through the iOS Setup Assistant again. To do so, Tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Do this only if you already have a backup, because this step will remove all current content from your device.

If you do not want to setup device again, make sure the iCloud is setup on your device and its connected to the Wi-Fi. Plug the device to charger, and iCloud will sync the device with previously taken backup. All data that was in your iCloud account will be copied to your device again.

If you don’t back up your iOS device to iCloud for 180 days or more, Apple reserves the right to delete your device’s iCloud backups from their servers.

So iCloud has got few limitations. It can delete the backup if you don’t use it or sync after certain period of time, it has limited free space available for backup and it won’t backup everything.

iTunes Backup

Use iTunes to back up and restore your content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. But that also has got some limitations. iTunes and iOS do not support installing backups of newer versions of iOS onto devices using earlier versions of iOS.

To backup the content from your iOS device, follow these instructions:

Make sure your computer has the latest version of iTunes installed. Connect your iOS device to your computer. By default, this will launch iTunes and start the sync process, which includes making a backup. If not, launch iTunes and let it detect the connected device. From iTunes, choose File > Devices > Back up. If you’re using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right-click the device from the list in iTunes, and choose Backup Now. You can also back up by syncing your iOS device with your computer. When you use iTunes to sync, backing up is the first step.

To verify that the backup has finished successfully, open iTunes Preferences and select the Devices tab. You’ll see the name of the device along with the date and time iTunes created the backup.

If you have a new iOS device, or if you need to restore your device to resolve an issue, you can restore that backup from iTunes by following these instructions:

Make sure this computer has the latest version of iTunes. Connect your iOS device to the computer that has your backup. From iTunes, Choose File > Devices > Restore from Back up. If you’re using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right-click the device from the list and choose Restore from Backup.

Also read iTunes Backup VS iCloud Backup

Let’s lift of above mentioned limitations. Why not use other tools to take selective backup of anything from Apple device and restore from that backup as we like? Following tools are handy for this purpose. These won’t just give you single backup file. Instead you can drag and drop or import and export selective files, apps, items in between computer and device. You can manage your Apple device without iCloud or iTunes by using any of the following tools. However these tools may need iTunes installed in your computer, to work.

iTools Backup

Manage iDevice (iPhone, iPod, iPad) data just like external drive’s data. iTools is a free software for Windows and MAC that allows you to transfer photos, contacts, music, videos, iBooks, apps, files from PC to Apple devices and from Apple devices to PC in a simple way of drag and drop. Its easy to take backup of anything from Apple device. You can install apps from PC to iDevice. You can import, export apps, music, videos, iBooks and more easily.

This amazing tool is small and portable. You do not need to install it. On front screen it displays Apple device information (type, storage capacity, jailbreak status, device region, device warranty status, iOS version, and how much space has been used for several kind of data). Features include:

  • Drag and drop files, photos, videos, music, iBooks, e-Books and apps
  • Install or update apps
  • Install apps by IPA files
  • Take data backups, restore backups
  • Create and manage playlists
  • Auto convert music video (while transferring) into compatible format to play on Apple device
  • Handy system tools and controls
  • Access file system and raw storage easily
  • By accessing system files, you can do a lot with the apps, games and iOS. For example you can unlock game levels that are locked or you can reset password of your Apple device.

iTools is available for MAC from here and for Windows PC here and here.

iFunBox Backup

iFunBox is a software for MAC and Windows PC to manage data on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) just like you do in Windows explorer. You can copy files, apps, music, ring tones, videos and more from PC to apple device and from Apple device to PC. You can install apps (ipa files) from PC to mobile device. iFunBox makes iPhone or iPad just like an external disk drive. You can even reset password for your iPhone or iPad, if you have forgotten it. Apple device and its system files are secure but you can still access these system files by using iFunBox.

Features include:

  • Copy (export/import) files, apps, music, videos from PC to Apple device and device to PC
  • install apps by using ipa files from PC
  • ipa, music, videos, ibooks backups
  • Use Apple device as an external storage by copying files in ‘file storage’
  • Portable software, no need to install
  • Reset iPhone, iPad or iPod password
  • Change carrier logo on your iPhone
  • Unlock locked levels of games.

iFunBox is available for MAC and Windows PC.

SynciOS Backup

SynciOS is a free (and paid) iOS backup tool that can backup Apple devices safely and quickly. You can backup purchased music, TV shows, apps, and books*; photos and video in the Camera Roll; device settings (for example, Phone Favorites, Wallpaper, and Mail, Contacts, Calendar accounts); app data; Home screen and app organization; Messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS), ringtones, and more.

Features include:

  • Transfer Music, Audiobook, Ringtones, Voice Memos
  • Backup Contacts, Messages, Notes, Bookmarks
  • Transfer Movies, TV shows, Music Videos, Podcasts
  • Manage Images, Photos, Camera shot files
  • Access iOS devices to manage Apps
  • Transfer Ebooks between iOS devices and PC
  • Add or delete Playlist for iPod/iPhone/iPad
  • Create iPhone ringtones & convert audio/video files
  • Access & transfer system files of your iOS devices

Above methods enable you to take full data backup from your Apple device. Before you update iOS on your device, it is recommended to take backup and then proceed to iOS update on device.

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