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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

If you back up your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you’ll have a copy of your information to use in case your device is ever replaced, lost or damaged.

First, choose a backup method.

iCloud

  • Stores backups in iCloud
  • Offers up to 2TB of storage (your first 5GB are free)
  • Always encrypts your backups
  • Lets you create and use backups from anywhere with Wi-Fi

Computer

  • Stores backups on your Mac or PC
  • Storage depends on your Mac or PC's available space
  • Offers encrypted backups (off by default)
  • Lets you create and use backups from your Mac or PC

How to back up with iCloud.

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to "Settings" > [your name], and tap "iCloud."
  3. Tap "iCloud Backup."
  4. Tap "Back Up Now." Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.

You can check the progress and confirm that the backup completed. Go to "Settings" > [your name] > "iCloud" > "iCloud Backup." Under "Back Up Now," you'll see the date and time of your last backup.

How to automatically back up with iCloud Backup.

To let iCloud automatically back up your device each day, here's what you need to do:

  • Unlock your device and connect it to your computer.
  • Connect your device to a power source.
  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Make sure that your device's screen is locked.
  • Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup. When you sign in to iCloud, you get 5GB of iCloud storage for free. If you need more iCloud storage, you can buy more from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac.

How to back up with iTunes.

  1. Connect your device to your computer. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes.
  2. If a message asks for your device passcode or to "Trust This Computer," follow the onscreen steps. If you forgot your passcode, get help.
  3. Locate your device on your computer. If your device doesn't appear on your computer, learn what to do.
  4. If you want to save Health and Activity data from your device or Apple Watch, you need to encrypt your backup: Select the box called "Encrypt [device] backup" and create a memorable password. If you don't need to save your Health and Activity data, you can make a backup that isn't encrypted. Just click "Back Up Now."
  5. When the process ends, you can see if the backup finished successfully.

Note: Write down your password and store it somewhere safe, because there's no way to recover your iTunes backups without this password.

Can I use my device's backup for another kind of device, like an iPhone backup for an iPad?

You can restore a device from a backup of another kind of device, like using an iPad backup for an iPhone, but certain types of content won't transfer. This content includes photos, Messages and attachments in Messages*, Voice Memos, and apps that aren't compatible with the device that you’re setting up. For example, apps compatible only with iPad won't transfer to your iPhone.

*If your devices use iCloud and Messages in iCloud, your iMessages and text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages are automatically stored in iCloud.

iCloud backups.

iCloud backups include nearly all data and settings stored on your device. iCloud backups don't include:

  • Data that's already stored in iCloud, like Contacts, Calendars, Notes, iCloud Photos, iMessages, Voice Memos, text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages, and Health data*
  • Data stored in other cloud services, like Gmail and Exchange mail
  • Apple Mail data
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Face ID or Touch ID settings
  • iCloud Music Library and App Store content (If it's still available in the iTunes, App or Apple Books store, you can tap to re-download your already purchased content.)

*When you use Messages in iCloud, Health data on iOS 12 or later, or Voice Memos, your content is automatically stored in iCloud. If you turn on iCloud Photos, your content is also automatically stored in iCloud.

Backups from your computer.

Be aware that syncing your device with your computer isn't the same as making a backup. A backup from a computer includes nearly all of your device's data and settings. A backup from your computer doesn't include:

  • Content from the iTunes and App Stores, or PDFs downloaded directly to Apple Books
  • Content synced from iTunes, like imported MP3s or CDs, videos, books and photos
  • Data already stored in iCloud, like iCloud Photos, iMessages, and text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages
  • Face ID or Touch ID settings
  • Apple Pay information and settings
  • Apple Mail data
  • Activity, Health and Keychain data (to back up this content, you'll need to use Encrypted Backup in iTunes.)

Backups from your computer.

Manage your backups Restore your device from a backup

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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.

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