BACK UP YOUR MOBILE DEVICE

By creating a backup for your smartphone or tablet, you can easily restore your personal data if your device is ever lost, stolen or damaged. You may also need to create a backup if you're upgrading and want to transfer your information to a new device.

Back Up Your Apple Device

You can back up your Apple device using either iCloud or iTunes.

iCloud stores backups in the cloud, so you can create backups from anywhere using Wi-Fi. It provides unlimited storage for music, movies, apps and books purchased from iTunes and up to 5GB of free storage for contacts, photos and other data. You can purchase additional iCloud storage for a monthly fee.

With iTunes, backups are stored on your computer, so you must be connected to your computer to create them. Your storage space is only limited by the space available on your computer.

Tips to Keep in Mind Before Creating Your Backup

  • Use the latest version of iTunes. To make sure you are up to date, select Help and then Check for Updates in iTunes.
  • Photo Stream does not back up all photos automatically. You must also set up the Camera Roll backup.
  • Due to the file type iTunes uses for backing up photos, you cannot browse your photos in your backup file. If you want to see the photos in your backup, you must import them to a computer.

Devices Running iOS 8 and Later — Backup Using iCloud

  1. Make sure your device is connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. Navigate to Settings.
  3. Select iCloud.
  4. If you are a new iCloud user, log in using your Apple ID and password and accept the terms. It will ask if you want to merge the data on your device with iCloud. Select Yes. Also, turn on Location Services at the bottom of the iCloud screen.
  5. Choose what you want to back up. Select On or Off for each item. Anything set to Off will not be backed up.
  6. Scroll down and select Backup.
  7. Make sure iCloud Backup is set to On.
  8. Select Back Up Now.

Devices with iOS 8 and Later — Backup Using iTunes

  1. Unlock your device and connect it to your computer.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer. (It may open automatically once the device is connected.)
  3. If iTunes is set to sync automatically, wait until the sync is complete before proceeding.
  4. Back up content you downloaded from iTunes or the App Store by selecting File > Devices > Transfer Purchases from the iTunes menu.
  5. To back up all your files, select File> Devices > Back Up.
  6. Let the backup process run to completion. To check if it's complete, select iTunes > Preferences > Devices. The name of the device you backed up should appear along with the date and time it was backed up.

Devices with iOS 7 — Backup Using iCloud

  1. Make sure your device is connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. Navigate to Settings.
  3. Select iCloud.
  4. If you are a new iCloud user, log in using your Apple ID and password and accept the terms. It will ask if you want to merge the data on your device with iCloud. Select Yes. Also, in the Settings app, under Privacy, turn on Location Services.
  5. Choose what you want to back up. Select On or Off for each item. Anything set to Off will not be backed up.
  6. Scroll down and select Storage & Backup.
  7. Make sure iCloud Backup is set to On.
  8. Select Manage Storage.
  9. Select the name of the device. It may also be labeled This iPhone.
  10. Scroll to Backup Options. Switch Camera Roll to On. Switch on any other apps that have data you want saved.
  11. Select the back button in the upper left until you return to the Storage & Backup screen.
  12. Scroll down and select Back Up Now.

Devices with iOS 7 — Backup Using iTunes

  1. Unlock your device and connect it to your computer.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer. (It may open automatically once the device is connected.)
  3. If iTunes is set to sync automatically, wait until the sync is complete before proceeding.
  4. Back up content you downloaded from iTunes or the App Store by selecting File > Devices > Transfer Purchases from the iTunes menu.
  5. To back up all your files, select File > Devices > Back Up.
  6. Let the backup process run to completion. To check if it's complete, select iTunes > Preferences > Devices. The name of the device you backed up should appear along with the date and time it was backed up.

Back Up Your Android Device

Create a Backup Using the Cloud

  1. From the main menu, select Settings.
  2. Select Accounts and Sync. (If a Gmail account is already listed, skip to step 4.)
  3. If no Gmail account is listed, select Add Account and follow the directions to sign in to your existing account or create a new one. (If you're creating a new account, you can select Keep this device backed up with my Google account when you're setting it up.)
  4. From the account list, select the name of your Gmail account to bring up sync options. (If more than one Gmail account is listed, try the one with the g icon first.)
  5. Select Sync Contacts and any other data you want to back up. (If you do not see the options you are looking for, try another account.)
  6. If there is a Sync Now button, select it. Otherwise, select the home key and wait for the sync to complete.

You can verify your data is backed up to your Google account by logging in to your account in a web browser. Your contacts, pictures and other data should be there.

Create a Backup Using Your Computer

  1. Connect your device to your computer with the USB cable. Your device may automatically prompt you to choose a connection type. If it doesn't, swipe down from the top of the screen to pull up the main menu. Choose USB Mass Storage, Options, Disk Drive or something similar.
  2. Next, your computer may automatically generate a pop-up menu. Select the following options:
    • Sync photos and videos with your computer. Follow the instructions to back up your photos and videos.
    • Open to view files. This lets you click and drag images and files, like your exported contacts file, to your hard drive.
  3. If the computer doesn't automatically prompt you as described above, follow steps 4 through 8.
  4. Select My Computer.
  5. Select the connected device.
  6. Find the DCIM folder. You'll need to search through your folders to find it. (There may be a second DCIM folder on your SD card.)
  7. Drag the folder to your computer desktop or other file location.
  8. Browse to find any pictures and files you wish to save, and drag them to your desired backup location on your computer.

Create a Backup Using an SD Card

Back Up Your Contacts

  1. Open Contacts. (It might be called People or Address Book.)
  2. Select Menu.
  3. Select Import/Export.
  4. Select Export to Storage or Export to SD and then follow the directions.
  5. When it exports, note the name of file. It will end with .vcf.
  6. That's it. You're done. You can remove the card.

Back Up Your Photos and Videos

  1. Open the File Manager app on your phone. (It may be called Files or My Files. HTC phones may need to download a file manager from the Play Store).
  2. Find the DCIM folder, select and hold it.
  3. Select Move or Copy.
  4. Find the SD Card and select Move or Paste.
  5. Remove the SD card, and then check your phone for the photos. If they are no longer in the gallery or photo album, they have been successfully moved.

Back Up Your Windows Device

If you are changing to another Windows phone, contacts, music, photos and videos already backed up in your Microsoft account will sync automatically when you log in. To do this, you need one of the following e-mail accounts: Hotmail, Windows Live ID, Xbox Live, Outlook, or WindowsPhone.com. If you do not have a Microsoft account, check out How to Create a Microsoft Account.

Create a Backup Using the Cloud

Back Up Settings and Apps

This includes apps, passwords, call history, accounts you set up, Internet Explorer favorites and other settings. First sign in to your Microsoft account. Then, do the following:

  1. Go to the App list and select Settings > Backup.
  2. Select Apps + settings.
  3. To back up your settings, turn on Settings backup.
  4. To back up your apps, turn on Apps backup. (Settings backup must be turned on first.)

Back Up Text Messages

  1. Go to the App list and select Settings > Backup.
  2. Select Text messages and turn on Text message backup.

For Windows 8 Only

  1. From the main screen, swipe left to bring up the App list.
  2. Scroll down and select "Settings".
  3. Select Backup.
  4. Make sure the following options are set to On and choose the appropriate settings within each one:
    • App list+settings
    • Text messages
    • Photos+videos

Back Up Photos Using OneDrive

Most Windows phones automatically save photos to an SD card. Windows 8 phones back up photos and videos automatically as long as Photos+Videos backup is turned on. For an added level of protection, we recommend using OneDrive.

This includes apps, passwords, call history, accounts you set up, Internet Explorer favorites and other settings. First sign in to your Microsoft account. Then, do the following:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account.
  2. Go to the App list and select Settings > Backup.
  3. Select Photos + videos. Then you can choose to select the following:
    • Don't upload. Select if you don't want to back up your photos to your Microsoft account.
    • Good quality. Select to upload photos at a lower quality. This reduces the amount of space they use in your OneDrive account.
    • Best quality. Select to upload photos at the highest possible resolution.
  4. You can verify your data is backed up to OneDrive by logging in to your Microsoft account in a web browser.

Need Some Help?

Geek Squad is here for you around the clock. Chat with an Agent or call us at
1-800-433-5778.

Strength in Numbers

You'll find Geek Squad in every Best Buy store, with more than 20,000 Agents across the country ready to assist you.