Backup & restore your device

Got a replacement iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? New iOS software? Or having troubles with your device? You may need to back up or restore your device. Apple makes it easy to keep all your settings, apps, messages, call history, photos and more. Here are two methods.

Backing up and restoring with iTunes

This is the most-reliable method, as long as you can connect your device to a computer. It’s best to use a computer you’ve synced with in the past when possible so iTunes can restore synced media.

  1. Open iTunes and click your device at the top of the window. Not there? Attach it to the computer with the USB sync cable.
  2. Click the Summary tab.
  3. Choose the option to back up to This Computer. Check the box to encrypt the backup so it remembers all passwords.
  4. Click Back Up Now. Wait for the backup to complete. Stop here if all you need is backup.
  5. To transfer to a new device turn it on or reset your device. When asked, choose Restore from iTunes.
  6. Attach the device to the computer and restore from a backup of the old device.

Backing up and restoring with iCloud

No computer? You can use iCloud to transfer data between devices, as well as keep things in sync as they change in the future. Backing up requires space in the cloud for the data. If iCloud says it can’t complete the backup, see Managing iCloud Storage or use iTunes instead. Before you begin, make sure both old and new devices are connected to a wi-fi network.

  1. On the old device, tap the Settings app and select your name at the top, then tap iCloud. Make sure iCloud is signed in and make a note of the iCloud account at the top. If necessary, set up the iCloud account.
  2. Scroll down and tap iCloud Backup.
  3. Turn on iCloud Backup.
  4. Tap Back Up Now. Wait for backup to complete. Stop here if all you need is backup.
  5. To transfer to a new device turn it on or reset your device. When asked, choose Restore from iCloud.
  6. Sign in with the same iCloud account used for the old device.
  7. Restore from a backup of the old device.

Missing apps and data? You may need to sync your device with iTunes after restoring. Syncing adds back your iTunes music, movies and photos. Connect your device to the computer you’ve used for syncing in the past. See iTunes device sync for more details.

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