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How to Back Up and Restore iPhone without iTunes Efficiently

Elena Spencer Updated on Apr 15, 2022 3:55 PM

Backup iPhone to transfer data over to a new phone? You may be interested in iTransfer and Phone Transfer.

I have a Windows computer and iPhone 6s, and I'm going to back up my iPhone 6s to PC for iOS 12 update. The slow speed and the choppy performance disappointed me. I can't even choose which data to backup. It is possible to backup my iPhone without iTunes? I really need a good iTunes alternative. Help!

iTunes or Finder is a good backup and restore service for iPhone and other iOS devices. Both backup and restore processes are an all-or-nothing affair that some users may not prefer to use iTunes for the task.

This article points to ways you can try backing up iPhone without iTunes to save the WhatsApp conversations, notes, SMS, iMessages, images, videos, app documents, etc. Once the backup is made, you could use the backup to restore the iPhone as well, without iTunes.

How to Back Up iPhone with iCloud

iCloud service is certainly one way to go, if, however, you decide to back up an iPhone without using iTunes. It's good and solid as an online option for backing up iOS content without a computer such as apps, documents, photos in Camera Roll, and settings. This has to be done automatically whilst your iPhone is connected to a network, locked and plugged to a power source.

Bear in mind that you only have 5GB free storage space that is totally limited to back up the whole iPhone. If you're not going to upgrade the plan, you'll need to abandon iCloud backup. Otherwise, make sure you have enough iCloud storage, then set up wireless backup within Settings on your iPhone, and you'll be surprised by the hassle-free backup process:

  • Connect your phone to the Wi-Fi network.
  • Navigate to Settings > [your name], and tap iCloud.
  • Select iCloud Backup.
  • Tap iCloud Backup to turn it on.
  • Tap Back Up Now.

Back Up iOS Without iTunes/ Finder

That's it! Automatic backup takes care of everything with no iTunes (or Finder) needed. You could locate and manage the backup in iCloud. If it appears that your device can't back up to iCloud, for instance, the process got to just over half way albeit with a projected times scale of 6 hours, read along this article from Apple Support to solve the issue.

To restore iCloud backup, you can restore (or reset) your iPhone in Settings and select the most recent backup to restore to.

How to Back Up iPhone to Computer without iTunes - A Good Alternative for iTunes

Q: "An iTunes error is preventing iPhone from backing up or syncing. Any alternative way?"

Looking for a software option that can back up iPhone on your computer like iTunes does? If you're going to make an iPhone full backup without iTunes locally, a quick hack is to use iOS Data Backup & Restore. It's a totally free, lightweight and popular iTunes alternative among beginners.

The tool will do mostly what Apple's iTunes could do for you. It grants users to back up and restore iPhone without iTunes or Finder. When backing up an iOS device to a Mac or PC, the program gives you options for choosing certain types of data you wish to include, say your photos and contacts. This makes itself differed from an all-or-nothing iTunes backup. The nice Restore feature is designed for viewing and accessing the content in the backup. You could restore single file without restoring your device.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

The trick to backing up iPhone files with the software is simple. Follow the on-screen instructions and test iPhone backup without iTunes or Finder for yourself. The procedure applies in both MacOS and Windows platform.

[Also Read: How to Recover Data on iPhone without iTunes Backup]

Step 1: Run the software

The software is easy to install and doesn't require to open iTunes or Finder.

Once the program is installed, launch it, and click "More Tools" option in the left column.

How Do I Back Up iPhone Without Finder on Mac

The software will display three main toolkits included. Choose "iOS Data Backup & Restore" tab for the task of making a backup of your iPhone when iTunes is not available.

Step 2: Connect iPhone to your Mac or PC

Then, plug your device into computer and once it's connected, click iOS Data Backup button.

At this stage, you could leave the "Standard backup" selected and click Start button to proceed. Alternatively, check "Encrypted backup" if you'd like to set a password for your backup in the sake of security.

Step 3: Choose types of data to be backed up

Now, you will see all types of data of your iPhone that can be backed up to the hard drive. You can back up iPhone media files (photos, audio files, videos), messages & attachments, contacts, voicemail, WhatsApp chats & attachments, notes & attachments, reminders and many more.

Simply check the corresponding boxes to highlight whatever you wish to back up.

Step 4: Back up iPhone without the use of iTunes or Finder on computer

Before clicking the Next button to immediately back up iPhone to computer, check where the iPhone backup is stored. Click Menu icon (three lines) on the top-right of the utility, and you should see a default backup folder on the pop-up dialog window. You can change the path to wherever you want. Don't save the backup to the location where iTunes keeps the backup: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

Now click on Next button to begin backing up files from iPhone to computer without iTunes or Finder.

Once the backup process is complete, a backup of your iPhone data is made on the computer. You could confirm that the backup finished correctly by using the "View" function.

Back Up iPhone Without Internet or Computer Running iTunes

The software grants user to make multiple incremental backups of your iPhone, and a new backup will not overwrite previous backups. Best of all, any backups created by the tool are independent of those made via iTunes. For example, you've made a backup in iTunes and forget the encryption password, you can perform the backup with the program.

How to Restore iPhone without iTunes

The iOS Data Backup & Restore has the ability to restore your iPhone from the backup without using iTunes. It can view and extract contacts, messages and any other files from backup made by the tool, making the restore a time-saving process. You're able to just restore contacts and notes to the same iPhone, new iPhone, or other iOS devices, regardless of which iOS version the gadgets are running.

1. To begin with the restore process, run iOS Data Backup & Restore, and click iOS Data Restore.

2. The software will list all available backups. Choose one you want to restore your iPhone to and then click View Now.

3. The software analyzes the backup quickly and after that, it shows you the data in the backup.

4. Choose certain contents you need to restore.

5. Hit Restore to Device or Restore to PC.

  • Restore to Device: Only contacts and notes can be restored to device.
  • Restore to PC: Any files are saved to the location of your choice on the computer.

Happy restoring! Your iPhone backup is restored without iTunes.

How to Restore from iTunes Backup - Get Specific Items?

Chances are that you had an iTunes backup but you can't restore your new iPhone due to iTunes error. If iTunes won't restore the backup, it's likely that it's corrupted. Or you may want to get specific items from the backup, right?

Don't worry. It's possible to browse iTunes backup, restore it, and extract certain files as expected. iOS Data Recovery software takes care of this.

1. Launch the utility, and choose Recover from iTunes Backup File.

2. Select a backup and click Start Scan button.

3. The application begins scanning the backup and accessing the data. Once that done, you will get a comprehensive result of the backed-up files.

4. Check each single file to restore and then press Recover button. Or you can select all files to do a full restore - with no overwrite.

Can You Back Up a Disabled iPhone?

Yes. You can back up disabled/ locked iPhone with iTunes on a trusted computer. If you would like to back up contents of iPhone without iTunes, iOS Data Backup & Restore is portable and able to help making partial backups.

iCloud could still make a backup when iPhone is disabled, only if you enabled auto iCloud Backup option in Settings.

Why You Don't Want to Use iTunes to Back Up iPhone?

Here are some cases where you're set to finally ditch iTunes for the iPhone backup and restore job.

  • iTunes could not back up the iPhone because an error occurred.
  • No option to Back up iPhone on iTunes (Windows PC).
  • Don't carry a laptop just to run iTunes to back up iPhone while travelling.
  • iTunes is not available anymore, how to make backup of the iPhone.
  • Have backed up iPhone iOS 11 via iTunes before update to iOS 12, but iTunes (or your computer) doesn't see the device when recovering data to the new phone.
  • You're annoyed with automatically sync feature when your device is connected to iTunes.
  • You have iTunes backups, but you can't get specific items from the backup. iTunes restore overwrites the data currently on the iPhone with the data in backup.

It wouldn't be a problem any more, since the alternative ways mentioned above are provided to easily back up iPhone without iTunes.

How Can I Backup My iPhone Using iTunes or Finder?

Actually, the iPhone is designed to be backed up by iTunes or Finder over USB connection with the computer. It stores and manages your purchased content: music from iTunes Store, apps from App Store, etc.

On a PC or a Mac with macOS 10.14 or earlier:

  • Connect your phone to the computer.
  • Launch iTunes.
  • Click your device icon on the top left corner.
  • Select Summary.
  • Click Back Up Now.

On the Mac with macOS 10.15 Catalina (or newer):

Q: "iTunes is now removed on my MacBook. How would I do a complete backup on Mac without iTunes?"

iTunes isn't being switched off. Assuming you're using macOS Catalina, use Finder now instead of iTunes. The backup, restore, and sync options will now be part of Finder.

  • Open Finder.
  • Attach iPhone to the Mac.
  • Locate your device on the left of the Finder window.
  • Choose General tab.
  • Click Back Up Now.

One key note: Backing up and restoring iPhone is a crucial step for transferring data to a new iPhone.

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