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How to Turn on iCloud Backup on Your iPhone

There are multiple ways to keep your personal iPhone data backed up, the most flexible method is via iCloud backups. With an iPhone iCloud backup, you are not taking any chances. Although local iTunes backups are the quickest to restore, they are more vulnerable to loss if you encounter issues with your computer.

If you choose iCloud as your backup location for iPhone, Apple takes care of all the data security and technical aspects of keeping your data safe. Even better than an iCloud backup: Automatic iCloud backups that take care of your data on a recurring schedule.

iTunes vs. iCloud backups

As noted above, the main advantage of local iTunes backups is speed. When iPhone or iPad backups are stored on a harddrive, they can be retrieved and thus restored much faster. This is due to the fact that the iCloud has to be accessed via the internet, thus your home broadband or 3G/4G connection is the limiting factor.

Note that Apple currently offers 5 GB of free storage to all customers, which might not be enough for your data needs. Especially if you use the iCloud for e.g. your photo library, you will run out of space and may opt to go for one of the paid plans for more storage. This situation will improve with the falling prices of online storage, but until then it remains a minor disadvantage of iCloud backups vs. iTunes backups.

A major advantage of iCloud backups is hassle-free automation. You won’t need to remember to regularly connect and sync your phone to a PC or Mac, even if you’re on holiday and accessing the hotel WiFi – your iPhone remembers to back itself up via the iCloud. Thus we recommend enabling automatic iCloud backups for your iPhone.

Automatic iPhone iCloud Backup

Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup (toggle)

Enabling automatic backups to iCloud is quite simple: Open up your “Settings” app and navigate to the “iCloud” section, then switch on the toggle for “iCloud Backup”. You will be prompted to re-enter your login credentials for iCloud before your first backup procedure. That’s it!

Your iPhone will now create backups of your photos, accounts, documents and other files and settings while it is locked and connected to a power source.

Manual iCloud backup / forced iCloud backup

To manually create a backup in iCloud, simply select “Back Up Now” at the bottom of the screen (the option only appears after enabling iCloud backups). This allows you to trigger the process at the time of your choice. Other than on special occasions such as system updates, there is no need to manually start the procedure.

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