Your iPhone contains all sorts of important data: pictures, contacts, bookmarks, passwords and so on. It’s important to have a copy of that information somewhere else, in case your device gets stolen, lost or damaged beyond repair. And to minimize your losses in such an event, it’s important to keep those backups up to date. Тhe easiest way to go about it is by using Apple’s recommended solutions. In this guide we’ll show you how to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Backing up your iPhone to iCloud

Chances are your data is already secured on iCloud, even if you didn’t know about it. But to make sure the function is turned on for your iPhone, go to Settings and then:

Tap on [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Tap the toggle in case it was set to off.
This will turn on the automatic backup process, which activates when your iPhone isn’t used, but is connected to Wi-Fi and charging. If you want to save your data immediately, after you turn on “iCloud Backup”, tap on “Back Up Now” button that will show up below. Once the backup is completed, below the “Back Up Now” button you’ll see the date of the last successful backup.

Every Apple account receives 5 GB of iCloud space for free. For more, you have to pay a monthly fee, depending on the amount that you want. US users can choose between three plans:

  • 50GB for $0.99 a month
  • 200GB for $2.99 a month
  • 2TB for $9.99 a month

If you want to save on iCloud storage space, you can stop certain apps from storing data using the toggles in the iCloud menu on your iPhone.
What data does the iCloud backup include? Here’s the list:

  • App data: Files that your apps, including third-party apps, have downloaded or created during use.
  • Apple Watch backups
  • Settings: Things such as language and region preferences, alarms, home screen and app arrangement, display brightness, and more. Your HomeKit devices are also saved the way you have them set up.
  • Call history, iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages
  • Photos and videos: Pictures and videos that are in your Photos app
  • Purchase history from Apple services, like your music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books. The backup only contains the list of purchases. The files themselves are not backed up, but you can download them again if you restore the backup.
  • Ringtones

Some important data types are missing from this list, but that’s only because they are already on iCloud. That includes your contacts, calendars, Safari bookmarks, notes, and shared photos. Apple Pay information, Face ID and Touch ID settings are not backed up.

If you want to save your app logins, Wi-Fi passwords and associated credit cards to iCloud, you can turn on Keychain from the iCloud menu (you can see it above iCloud Backup at Step 3 above).

Using Messages in iCloud and iCloud Photo Library

You can remove your photos from the backup process and gain some extra functionality by turning on iCloud Photo Library. In the iCloud menu, tap on Photos and toggle on “iCloud Photo Library”. This will sync all your photos and videos to iCloud when your phone isn’t used and is on Wi-Fi. They’ll still be safe, but your backups will be a lot less bulky.

Similarly, for your text messages, you can have them stored on iCloud by turning on “Messages” from the iCloud menu. This will prompt you to activate two-factor authentication, in case you don’t have it already. Turning on iCloud for messages will store your texts (both SMS and iMessage) on iCloud and allow you to sync them between all your devices that use it. This enables you to have the same conversations on all your Apple devices, and if you delete a message or an entire conversation, it will be deleted for all of them.