Back Up and Restore your iPhone and iPad with iCloud or iTunes

Learn how to use iCloud or iTunes to back up and restore content on your iPhone and iPad.

If you are unsure whether to back up in iCloud or iTunes click on the link for information on what each does.

Use iCloud to back up your iOS devices if you want an automatic backup solution, you want to restore data to your device from almost anywhere via Wi-Fi, you don’t connect your iOS device to a Mac or PC very frequently, or you don't own a Mac or PC.

Use iTunes if you frequently use the computer that hosts your backups, you don't have an iCloud account or don't want to use iCloud, you want on-site and networked backups, or you'd like to have a manual or secondary backup to use with an iCloud one.

Get help deciding whether to use iCloud or iTunes to back up the content on your iOS device.

  • iCloud Backup provides an easy and reliable backup solution for customers who want to back up their iOS devices wirelessly and automatically.

    Back up

    If you're using iCloud, it can automatically back up your data. To back up using iCloud:

    1. Tap Settings > iCloud > Backup.
    If you're using iOS 7 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.

    How to backup and restore

    2. Tap iCloud Backup to turn it on.

    3. Tap Back Up Now.

    Once you've turned on iCloud Backup, you won't need to come back to this screen to back up your device. You can check when the latest back up happened, however, under Back Up Now.

    Restore

    If you have a new iOS device, or if you need to restore your iOS device to resolve an issue:

    1. Turn on your device. You should see a Hello screen.

    How to backup and restore

    2. Follow the steps in the iOS Setup Assistant until you get to the Set Up screen.

    How to backup and restore

    3. Select Restore from iCloud Backup.

    4. Select a backup.

    You can go through the iOS Setup Assistant again by erasing all the content on the device. Just tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This will remove all content from your device, so do this only if you already have a backup. The iOS Setup Assistant is the only way to restore a backup.

  • You can use iTunes to back up and restore your content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

    Back up

    To back up the content on your iOS device to iTunes on your computer:

    1. Make sure your computer has the latest version of iTunes.
    2. Connect your iOS device to your computer.
    3. Choose File > Devices > Back up.
      If you're using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right-click the device and choose Backup Now.

    You can also back up by syncing your iOS device with your computer. When you use iTunes to sync, backing up is the first step.

    To check that the backup finished successfully, open iTunes Preferences and select the Devices tab. You'll see the name of the device along with the date and time iTunes created the backup.

    How to backup and restore

    Restore

    If you have a new iOS device, or if you need to restore your device to resolve an issue:

    1. Connect your iOS device to the computer that has your backup.
    2. Install the latest version of iTunes.
    3. Choose File > Devices > Restore from Back up.
      If you're using iTunes 10.7 or earlier, right-click the device and choose Restore from Backup. iTunes and iOS don't support installing backups of later versions of iOS onto devices that are using earlier versions of iOS.