Resolved How do you back up your iPhone to iTunes?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Fatalbert, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Fatalbert, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    UPDATE: OK, this is what you have to do: Trash the iTunes prefs plist, delete, reinstall iTunes. Works perfectly now. It's been having this problem for about 3 years, and it's finally fixed. What the heck, Apple?


    Unless I just somehow messed something up, this is a big failure on Apple's part in terms of ease of use. Can someone explain how I back this thing up locally (to my computer)?


    The buttons are greyed out. I can't press them. Ever since I got my iPhone AND when I had an iPod touch, the backup function has never worked. I have no backups, and it's supposed to back up automatically. It has never done so. It does work if I switch to iCloud backup, but I want a real backup on my own machine.

    I have 1000GB free on my bootup disk, so that's not the problem. 837MB free on the iPhone. Permissions have been checked, and they're OK. It has never worked in the history of my iPhone.
  2. macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    First, iCloud certainly does not cause issues. Works perfectly for both my iPhone and iPad.

    Second, is backup enabled in preferences?
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    In the iTunes preferences? I don't see any setting for backup. There's just the iCloud backup settings on the iPhone.
  4. macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Yes there are. I'm not near any computer with iTunes on it at the moment but I remember it was one of the tabs on the right side.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    Here are the snapshots. There's nothing here:
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    How do you back up your iPhone to iTunes?

    Here's the article to explain how to back up your device via iTunes or iCloud:

    This is what iTunes backs up:

    Contacts* and Contact Favorites (regularly sync contacts to a computer or cloud service such as iCloud to back them up).
    App Store Application data including in-app purchases (except the Application itself, its tmp and Caches folder).
    Application settings, preferences, and data, including documents.
    Autofill for webpages.
    CalDAV and subscribed calendar accounts.
    Calendar accounts.
    Calendar events.
    Call history.
    Camera Roll (Photos, screenshots, images saved, and videos taken. Videos greater than 2 GB are backed up with iOS 4.0 and later.)
    Note: For devices without a camera, Camera Roll is called Saved Photos.
    Game Center account.
    Home screen arrangement.
    In-app purchases.
    Keychain (this includes email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords you enter into websites and some other applications. If you encrypt the backup with iOS 4 and later, you can transfer the keychain information to the new device. With an unencrypted backup, you can restore the keychain only to the same iOS device. If you are restoring to a new device with an unencrypted backup, you will need to enter these passwords again.)
    List of External Sync Sources (MobileMe, Exchange ActiveSync).
    Location service preferences for apps and websites you have allowed to use your location.
    Mail accounts (mail messages are not backed up).
    Installed Profiles. When restoring a backup to a different device, installed configuration profiles are not restored (such as accounts, restrictions, or anything which can be specified through an installed profile.) Any accounts or settings that are not associated with an installed profile will still be restored.
    Map bookmarks, recent searches, and the current location displayed in Maps.
    Microsoft Exchange account configurations.
    Network settings (saved Wi-Fi hotspots, VPN settings, network preferences).
    Nike + iPod saved workouts and settings.
    Offline web application cache/database.
    Paired Bluetooth devices (which can only be used if restored to the same phone that did the backup).
    Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, offline data, and currently open pages.
    Saved suggestion corrections (these are saved automatically as you reject suggested corrections).
    Messages (iMessage and carrier SMS or MMS pictures and videos).
    Trusted hosts that have certificates that cannot be verified.
    Voice memos.
    Voicemail token. (This is not the voicemail password, but is used for validation when connecting. This is only restored to a phone with the same phone number on the SIM card).
    Web clips.
    YouTube bookmarks and history.
    * Your contacts are part of the backup to preserve recent calls and favorites lists. Back up your contacts to a supported personal information manager (PIM), iCloud, or another cloud-based service to avoid any potential contact data loss.

    This is what iCloud backs up :

    You get unlimited free storage for:

    Purchased music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books
    Notes: Backup of purchased music is not available in all countries. Backups of purchased movies and TV shows are U.S. only. Previous purchases may not be restored if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.

    Some previously purchased movies may not be available in iTunes in the Cloud. These movies will indicate that they are not available in iTunes in the Cloud on their product details page in the iTunes Store. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they have been refunded or are no longer available in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.

    You get 5 GB of free iCloud storage for:

    Photos and videos in the Camera Roll
    Device settings (for example: Phone Favorites, Wallpaper, and Mail, Contacts, Calendar accounts)
    App data
    Home screen and app organization
    Messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS)
    Visual Voicemails
  7. macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2012
    iCloud does not cause problems at all use it with both my iPad and iPhone. Is your phone plugged into the computer via USB?
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    Yes. It does not cause problems, but people online just say to disable it if the buttons are greyed out for computer backup. I don't know, it didn't help at all.

    iCloud backup works for me, but I want a LOCAL backup. There have been times where I've needed to access a particular file, and anyway, I like having my backups not be on the cloud. Also, iCloud backups sometimes fail to restore for weird reasons. Last time, it took 5 tries to restore via iCloud.
  9. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    1) Connect your iPhone to your computer with iTunes open.

    2) On the left sidebar your phone will show up (if you have the sidebar disabled, go to the top menu bar: View—>Show Sidebar).

    3) Right click on your device and select 'Backup to iTunes;' please note this will also transfer any purchases from your iPhone to your computer so make sure you have sufficient free space.

    4) You'll see the progress bar either in the top window (where it shows your next song, etc.) or in a separate dialog box.

    5) Click the disconnect symbol next to the device name on the sidebar to disconnect your iPhone when the process is completed.

    6) Repeat this process when needed. The following backups will be incremental.
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    Am I using some weird version of iTunes? This is all I get in iTunes 11.0.1:
    No option to back up.
  11. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    On your phone, do you have Restrictions set (it's an option in General—>Restrictions)?
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    Yes, but disabling them did not change anything. I also used to not have them, and I still couldn't back up. I have them enabled to prevent Game Center from doing stuff and to make sure nobody can turn off Find My iPhone.
  13. macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    After you pick "this computer", what happens when you hit sync?
  14. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    Could as simple as what eastercat said.

    Otherwise, do you have email accounts or configuration profiles that have set restrictions on this?
  15. macrumors 68020

    Apr 12, 2011
    When you plug your phone into computer, does it even show it in itunes?
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    It syncs but does not back up.


    Yeah, and everything but backup works fine.


    I've disabled all restrictions, no luck.


    Tried trashing my iTunes pref file like it said, didn't work. I've found others with the same problem online. There's just no backup option! It seems to be only on certain computers. What I'll do is trash iTunes and reinstall.

    EDIT: IT WORKED!!! Thanks for your replies, though.

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