Tutorial: manually backup your iOS device to your computer via iTunes

It is a good idea to backup your iOS device frequently, especially before upgrading software. iCloud backups are great, but they require a steady internet connection, as well as requiring the device to be in a certain state. One can backup to iCloud manually by initiating a backup in Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup, but the beauty of iCloud backups are that, in the best case senario, they happen automatically. As many clients have found out the hard way, In order for iCloud to backup automatically, your iOS device must be:

  1. plugged into a power source
  2. asleep (turned off, but NOT fully booted down, that is to say, do NOT “slide to power off”)
  3. connected to a Wi-Fi network

Even if you are consistently backing up to iCloud, I suggest that you backup to your computer periodically, especially before a software upgrade.

The following diagrams document how you can easily backup your iOS device to your computer via iTunes.

For those of you who view your iTunes library with the Sidebar left-side menu bar, it will look like this (or you can choose to Show Sidebar in the View menu to follow these directions):

Backing up your iOS device to your computer via iTunes

How to manually backup your iOS device to your computer via iTunes. Click on the image for a full-size (readable) image!

For those of you who do not view your iTunes library with a Sidebar visible, it will look like this (in two steps):

Manual backup no sidebar 1

Manual backup no sidebar 2

How to backup you iOS device to your computer manually with iTunes. Click on the images to view larger (readable) images!

As you can see from the diagrams, there are three steps:

  1. Choose your device either in the left side-bar or on the upper right corner if your sidebar is hidden.
  2. Once you have chosen your device, go to the Summary tab
  3. Choose “Back Up Now” in the Manually Back Up and Restore” settings area.

And, that’s all there is to it! Here’s a video tutorial in case the screen shots above aren’t clear: