With any mobile device, it's hugely important to make regular backups to prevent you from losing your data such as photos, text messages, notes, voice memos, contacts and more should something happen to it. Here, we show you how to back up an iPhone so you don't find yourself without a way to retrieve that precious data.
How to back up an iPhone using iTunes
There are two main ways to make a backup of your iPhone. The first is through iTunes. All you need to do is connect your iPhone to the computer that you normally sync with using the USB cable, open up iTunes and then find your device in the Devices menu on the left of the iTunes window.
In the 'Summary' field (which should be the default landing page when you click on your device), click Back Up Now. It might take a while, but when it's finished, you'll have a complete backup of your iPhone on the computer. Now, if you happen to drop your iPhone down the loo tomorrow, or you lose it on the way home, you'll still have all of the data that was stored on that iPhone stored on your computer. You'll be able to plug in a new iPhone and restore all of that data onto the new device.
If you choose to use iCloud as your method of backing up your data, you'll need to go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and then toggle the iCloud Backup switch on. Your device will now automatically back up your camera roll, accounts, documents and settings content when it is charging, locked and connected to WiFi.
You only get 5GB of free storage in iCloud, though, so you may find that you want to pay a the extra to get an additional 10GB per year, 20GB per year or 50GB per year (£14, £28 or £70 respectively). Before you cough up the cash, though, check whether there's anything you can cut out of your backup.
iCloud automatically backs up the following:
Photos and videos in your Camera Roll
Home screen and app organisation
iMessage, text (SMS) and MMS messages
Apple also stores the most recent 1,000 photos from your Photo Stream if you've turned on that feature. You can do so by going to Settings > iCloud > Photos and then toggle My Photo Stream. These photos don't count against your storage quota.
What isn't backed up with iCloud, though, is music and apps, though if you've purchased them from iTunes or the iOS App Store you'll be able to easily re-download them for free should you need to restore an iPhone from your backup.
If you find that you are running out of iCloud storage space, it's worth checking that you're not backing up anything you don't really need before you pay for more storage. Go to Settings > General > Usage on your iPhone and then scroll down to Manage Storage. Tap on your device, and go to Backup Options. Here, you can turn off backups for individual apps.