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How to Back Up iPhone to a Computer (Mac & PC) with/ without iTunes

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Apr 15, 2022 4:15 PM

Want to transfer music, movies and photos to and from iPhone without iTunes? You may be interested in iTransfer.

This is backing up to computer problem. I have a prior backup of my iPhone 7 from a week ago. Now I'm trying to back it up to my computer again, and the estimated time in iTunes is 10 hours. iCloud backup happens automatically every night and it does not take that long to finish. Why does it take several hours to backup my iPhone 7 to my computer using iTunes? My device comes with 256GB of storage, and is using about half of that for music, movies, photos.

I know how important it is to have all your data on your iPhone, from photos, content purchased in the iTunes, documents, apps to personal information like messages, contacts, health data. You will still need to copy and save the information by backing it up to a computer — though iCloud backs up the iOS device automatically. Either an iCloud backup or a local backup could safeguard the data from loss in the event of factory reset, new device upgrading, iOS update, etc., but a computer backup of an iPhone is more secure if you're care more about the privacy.

We'll go in-depth on how to back up iPhone on computer via a direct cable connection to make sure all stuff is saved on the PC or Mac. Once the backup for iPhone is in place, you can use it to easily transfer information to a new iOS device, and the iPhone backup can be used for an iPad or vice versa. Also see: How to recover deleted data files on iPhone memory.

Get started making a backup using the computer in a few simple steps.

1. Apple iTunes

Apple's iTunes is the native way for backing up iPhone to a computer, and it works virtually on Windows PC as well as on Mac before macOS 10.15 Catalina. You can save most important data and settings from the phone memory, and Health and Activity data can also be backed up locally if you're considering the data's security—though keep in mind that the encrypted iPhone backup can only be accessed and restored by the person who you've shared the password with. The principle is the same when backing up on Mac with Finder.

Before you begin backing up files to computer using iTunes, make sure iTunes is up-to-date by installing the latest update.

  • Open iTunes on PC/ Mac (in macOS Mojave and earlier).
  • Connect your device to iTunes on the computer via USB cable.
  • Click your device icon.
  • Choose Summary on the left column.
  • Check "This computer", or "Encrypt local backup" if needed.
  • Click Back Up Now.

Your computer should directly back up iPhone and store a copy of information in its hard drive. You could find the backup in the iTunes Backup folder, but you're allowed to access or preview the backup files. Apple has outlined the location clearly in this article.

2. Apple Finder in macOS Catalina or later

Apple has crammed the backup feature into Finder in the computer running macOS Catalina, which is set to replace that in iTunes. The screen should look familiar and arguably more intuitive.

  • Launch Finder.
  • Attach your iPhone with your computer.
  • Click your device on the sidebar.
  • Choose General.
  • Check the box for "Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac".
  • Click Back Up Now.

Create a Backup of iPhone on Computer

Performing local backups of iPhone on the computer with Finder or iTunes can take a bit of space, but it's free. Once the process is done, click Manage Backups under General tab in Finder windows and you should find the most recent iPhone backup to restore from.

3. iPhone to computer backup software

Do you want more options for dealing with data backup of iPhone? Do you need to use the computer you store the backups on to access them? Despite the huge selection of powerful backup utilities, iOS Data Backup & Restore is easy to use for backing up iPhone files on computer without using iTunes via the handy wizards.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

The software is a pretty solid tool for backing up iPhone with personal computer (Mac & PC) in order to save the important data locally. The backup option is flexible. You can back up the contents you care about instead of all the files. Notes, photos, videos, contacts, messages, WhatsApp, call history, Safari history, reminders, and more data files can all be backed up to the computer. It's comprehensive overall.

Whether you use a Mac or a PC, the buttons across the tool are straightforward. Here're a few steps for learning how to create an iPhone backup from computer to protect the files—after that, you can access backup you made using your computer.

Guide: How to Back Up an iPhone to a Computer

Having your data backed up from iPhone to computer is a simple job and doesn't require tech skills. Download the software on the computer and install it.

  • Plug your device to the computer through the supplied lightning cable.
  • Open iPhone data backup application.
  • Choose "More tools", followed by "iOS Data Backup & Restore".
  • Click iOS Data Backup button.
  • Customize your backup option by checking either "Standard backup" or "Encrypted backup".
  • Click Start button.
  • Select your desired data of that type to back up.
  • Hit Next button to finish the backup.
  • Now you should have a backup to the PC. Unplug your iPhone. Locate the entire backup file using the full file path this way: go to the Menu icon (three horizontal line segments) on the upper-right of the software interface, choose Preferences, and you should see the backup folder.
  • With the View feature in the program, you could find the files that you stored in the backup. To do this, click on Restore iOS Data, select a backup, and click View Now button.
  • Backing Up iPhone Data to Computer

  • The software will read your backup and display a list of files that have been backed up from iPhone to the computer on the screen. Confirm the contents are backed up, and if you want your backup readable, simply click Restore to PC/ Mac button to see all the data in a single place.

4. Transfer data for backup purpose

You can also use Phone Transfer, a handy tool that works well in transferring iPhone data to computer for backup purpose. Though it's not as intuitive as the iPhone data backup utility mentioned above to access single file on iPhone from computer, it grants users to pick certain types of data including contacts, text messages, calendars, call logs, photos, music and videos to include in the backup copy. It's a one-click backup process.

The "Restore from Backups" function is readily prepared for restore content to an (new) iPhone without erasing the original device as it did in iTunes or Finder.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

  • Fire up the tool after it's installed.
  • Hook up iPhone to the computer.
  • Select the types of content to backup.
  • Click Strat Transfer (or Start Copy on Mac version).

See also: Stuck on Apple loading screen? Get help to fix an iPhone stuck in Apple logo screen instead of restoring entire iPhone and erasing important data on it.

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