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How to Back Up iPhone to Mac

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

Just want to backup iPhone to transfer data onto a new iPhone? iTransfer and Phone Transfer will do you a favor.

How do I back up my iPhone to my MacBook? I want to grab the latest version of iOS. I plug the device to the computer but I do not remember how to sync or back it up. I don't want to losing any data.

Everyone who has an iPhone needs a robust way to back up their data. That starts with an iCloud backup, but it should end with backing up iPhone on a Mac for safeguarding the information against damage or loss. Making an iCloud backup is always a good practice to store the files and settings to the online server where it can be accessed from any device using the same Apple ID. You may sometimes need to upgrade iCloud storage plan, though.

Many diligent users are serious when it comes to backing up iPhone to Mac, but how it works can be a little confusing, especially for those on macOS Catalina 10.15 or later. Take it easy! Here's a brief overview of instructions on how to use Finder, iTunes in macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, as well as an iPhone backup tool to back up an iPhone on Mac (MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc.), and eventually, you could copy data and settings to the hard drive including photos, videos, contacts, messages, music, reminders, calendar events and more.

The process applies to all iPhone models, no matter the iOS version. To restore your device from a backup on the computer, read this article.

Back Up (and Restore) iPhone in macOS Catalina, Big Sur

With macOS Catalina 10.15, you can no longer use iTunes to back up iPhone to Mac computer or sync media files on the device, but the Finder. When you connect your phone to the Mac, it will appear in the Finder sidebar, and you can easily create the backup. You can also use the following instructions in Mac OS Big Sur and later.

  • Connect your device to the Mac with a USB or USB-C cable.
  • Open Finder, and select your device in the sidebar.
  • Click General from the button bar.
  • Click Back Up Now.

How Do I Backup iphone to Mac Computer

iPhone backup location on Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/. To locate a specific backup:

  • In Finder window, click your device.
  • Under General tab, choose Manage Backups.
  • When see a list of backups, right-click on a backup you want, then choose Show in Finder. If you need to delete old backups on Mac (for freeing up space or whatever), simply choose the Delete option.

How to Restore iPhone Backup on Mac

Now that you have a backup of iPhone on Mac's drive, and know where the backup is stored, you can use the backup to restore data on the phone—whenever you need the data:

1. Open Finder, and attach your iPhone to the computer.

2. Click your iPhone under Locations in the left-hand sidebar.

3. Hit Restore Backup.

4. From the pop-up menu, choose a backup you want to restore to the device. If your backup is encrypted, type in your password.

5. Click Restore. The restore process will finish in a matter of minutes.

Back Up iPhone on Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier

On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, things aren't changing. You can continue to use iTunes to backup, update or restore your iPhone. The process is basically no different than that via Finder. Here's how to back up iPhone to iTunes with Mac.

  • Plug your device to your Mac machine.
  • Open iTunes, and click iPhone icon on the top left of the window.
  • Click Summary on the iTunes sidebar.
  • Enable "Encrypt local backup" if you'd like to make a full encrypted backup of iPhone to Mac.
  • Choose Back Up Now.

Why Can't I Backup iPhone to Mac

If iPhone isn't backing up to Mac, try the following:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on the Mac. In the menu bar, click Help > Check for Updates. If you get the ''A newer version is available. Would you like to download it now?' messages, click Download iTunes to update it instantly.
  • Check that you have latest iOS on the iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. If there's a new iOS released, tap Download and Install.
  • If you're prompted there's not enough free disk storage, free up space on Mac. Delete the apps you seldom use and the useless files.
  • If you're prompted the backup is corrupted or incompatible, update your Mac. From Apple menu, choose System Preferences, then click Software Update. If any update is available, click Update Now.

Employ an iPhone Backup and Restore Tool (All Mac Machines)

Generally speaking, Apple's Finder and iTunes are reliable, and they make managing iOS device easier without intervention. If you use one of them for backing up iPhone files to Mac, then you should know it does not allow you to access the backup files straight away, unless doing a restore.

In other words, if you're concerned about flexibility, it's not a bad idea to install an iPhone to Mac backup software program. A better one-stop option would be iOS Data Backup & Restore.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

The flexible utility sorts the files on iPhone's memory into different directory items as long as the phone is connected, and allows you to back up everything in a suitable way: Standard Backup or Encrypted Backup. It's only an a-few-minute job and doesn't require tech skills. Once the iPhone is backed up, you could certainly move the folder into an external hard drive so it doesn't take up space on the Mac machine.

Once your device is backed up, the program will enable you to restore certain files to the device or desktop without losing anything. This is the powerful restore feature shipped with the utility.

To get the most from the software and back up iPhone with Mac, you will need your device unlocked, a USB cable, a Mac computer with iOS Data Backup & Restore installed. Now we'll illustrate the instructions.

Step 1: Connect iPhone to Mac (desktop & laptop)

Once you get the application set up in Mac, launch it. On the opening window, click "More Tools" option, then choose "iOS Data Backup & Restore" tab to get to the next screen.

Then, click "iOS Data Backup" tab to continue.

Next, you're now required to connect iPhone via a lightning cable. Do it and then click Start button.

Step 2: Back up iPhone to Mac (MacBook Air, Pro, iMac, etc.)

In the window that opens, locate types of files you intend to back up, or copy to Mac: photos, videos, messages & attachments, voicemail, Notes, app documents and so on.

Click Next button and let the application do its business.

Back Up an iPhone to a Mac without iTunes

Wait for the iPhone to Mac backup to finish, and that's it: The content stored in iPhone is now available on Mac's hard drive. Now eject your device and use the iPhone device as per usual.

How to Restore iPhone from the Backup

Restoring your iPhone from a backup you made with iOS Data Backup & Restore software is straightforward, and the great thing is that you can access the backup and see what's in it. The program is dedicated to this.

1. With the software open, click "More tools" on the sidebar, then choose iOS Data Backup & Restore.

2. Click iOS Data Restore.

3. Choose the backup from the list and click View Now.

4. The software accesses the backup and shows you all the backed-up data.

5. Choose certain files you want to restore, such as call history, messages, notes, contacts, reminders, photos in Camera Roll or apps, Safari history, etc.

6. Click Restore to Device button, or Restore to PC button.

Done! Read Also: How to Recover Deleted Data on iPhone with/ without Backup

Sync iPhone to Mac via a Transfer Tool

Would like to copy songs, podcast, playlists, audiobooks, pictures, videos, ringtones and more media files from iPhone to a Mac for a backup? This is where iTransfer comes in. It's considered to be an iTunes alternative that is capable of transferring iPhone data to Mac for backup in a direct manner. Plus it can move contents from iPhone to another device, like a new iPhone, iPad, or even an Android device. The "Phone to Phone Transfer" feature makes that happen seamlessly. [Also Read: How to transfer music from one iPhone to another]

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

Take backing up music on iPhone to Mac computer as an example.

  • Download the tool and install it on your Mac.
  • Launch it, and connect your iPhone to the computer.
  • Select Music on the top menu bar.
  • Choose which songs you'd like to back up or copy.
  • Click Export, and choose Export to Mac.

The music will save into the path of your choice in the Mac computer. Repeat the process for photos, podcast, messages, contacts and any other types of files you wish to back up on Mac.

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