Anguish

Backup your iPhone and save a world of pain

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I used to work for the Apple Store Sydney as a Genius (note the capital "G" denoting this is a title, not a claim!)

We saw many things at the Genius Bar, but the one thing which consistently amazed me was the number of times people didn't back up their devices, whether Mac or iPhone.

In fact, the only time someone cried (literally) at the Genius Bar was when the Mac owned by a young couple had a failed hard disk. The couple didn't have a backup, and consequently they lost every precious photo they'd taken of their baby's first year!

What do you do in such a situation? There was nothing we could do but hand over a box of tissues.

The Future

Fast forward to a day in the future when you too lose all the photos on a device. I'm not saying this scenario may happen, I'm saying that in all likelihood this scenario will happen.

Why?

There are a myriad reasons. Phones get stolen, are dropped in the ocean, are forgotten on a train in a foreign city. Your ex could make off with your iPhone. Your roommate could make off with your iPhone. Your ex and your roommate could make out and then make off with your iPhone! And then everything on that iPhone which wasn't backed up is gone. Forever.

Avoid Pain

Apple, as the inventor of the smartphone, has looked into it's crystal ball to see this day, and has you covered. All you have to do is take advantage of what's available. So let's revisit how to back up your iPhone.

Firstly, some data doesn't need to be backed up separately. If you have your calendar, contacts, notes, reminders, and email in the cloud then your data is automatically synchronised, and in the event you need to replace your phone that information can be synchronised with your new phone in just a few minutes.

But what about everything else? Your game progress? Your Skype login? Your FaceBook account? And, more important than all of those - your photos!

Most people know that backing up their iPhone to their Mac or PC can be done via iTunes, but this only happens when you're on the same wifi network, and when your computer is on and iTunes is running. In some cases this is further restricted to happen only when your iPhone is physically connected to your computer.

But when you're out and about - the times you're most likely to be taking family snaps - your computer is nowhere near you. If you're on holidays it could be weeks before you get back to your computer!

Solutions

Apple has a number of solutions to this, and they all assume you have an iCloud account.

  • A free iCloud account gives you 5 GB of storage
  • 50 GB of iCloud storage costs $1.49 / month
  • 200 GB of iCloud storage costs $4.49 / month
  • 2 TB (or 2000 GB) of iCloud storage costs $14.99 / month
  • These are Australian prices, and include GST
  • Prices may change, so click here for current information

If you have an Apple ID (for the iTunes or App Store) then use that to sign in to iCloud.

Once you've setup your iCloud account on your iPhone you're ready to use one of Apple's backup solutions.

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iCloud Backup
  • What it is: A backup of everything on your iPhone to iCloud
  • Pros: Everything on your iPhone is backed up; a lost iPhone can be restored from the last backup
  • Cons: Backups can take up a lot of space, so you may need to pay for more iCloud storage
  • To activate:
    • Go to your iPhone Settings
    • Click on your name at the top
    • Click on iCloud
    • Scroll down to iCloud Backup and switch it on
  • Important: Backups only happen when your iPhone is plugged into power, locked, and connected to wifi; use a hotspot or your hotel wifi when on vacation.
iCloud Photo Library
  • What it is: A copy of your entire photo library on iCloud
  • Pros: Uses less storage than iCloud Backup, and photos can then be shared with Photos on your Mac, so all photos automagically appear on your iPhone and Mac
  • Cons: Only backs up your photos (you may need a paid iCloud subscription if you have many photos and videos)
  • To activate:
    • Go to your iPhone Settings
    • Click on your name at the top
    • Click on iCloud
    • Click on Photos
    • Switch on iCloud Photo Library
  • Important: Photos will upload via both wifi and cellular data, so be aware of any cellular data charges (especially when overseas). To enable or disable cellular data for Photos go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data on your iPhone.
Photo Streaming
  • What it is: A stream of the last 30 days of photos from your iPhone
  • Pros: Takes up the least storage on an iCloud account, so you may not need a paid iCloud subscription
  • Cons: Only the last 30 days of photos are stored in iCloud, so you'll need to download these to your Mac or PC or risk losing them, only works with wifi
  • To activate:
    • Go to your iPhone Settings
    • Click on your name at the top
    • Click on iCloud
    • Click on Photos
    • Switch on Upload to My Photo Stream
  • Important: Uploads only happen when your iPhone is connected to wifi; use a hotspot or your hotel wifi when on vacation.

Follow this guide and you should never need a box of tissues because you've lost your photos.

For the full Apple support document on backing up, go here or contact iHelp IT.

Posted in Blog.

One Comment

  1. The backup your data of iPhone was panic and miserable. But the situation has been changed because there are many tools and apps have been developing which is easily backup all data and other valuable things into a safe place.

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