When does iTunes make a back up of my iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Cattywampus_, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2006
    I want iTunes to make a backup of my iPhone when I tell it to. How can I do this?

    I don't have any backups at the moment - so if my phone died now I have nothing to go back to.

    Help? Thanks :D
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    It makes a backup of your iPhone each and every time you dock your iPhone. So, you do have a backup copy. If you click "restore" on iTunes when the iPhone is docked, you can tell iTunes if you want to restore using a backup that already exists.
  3. macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    It makes a backup every time you press the sync button while the phone is connected to iTunes or if it auto syncs.
  4. macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2007
    Newcastle, Aus
    would you mind explaining how to do that.
    i dont think a way exists.. (even tho i've searched)..
  5. macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2005
    Assuming you're on a Mac, you could probably make an applescript and then find a program to run it at time intervals or when you do a certain action. I know you'd have to do tell application "iTunes" but I don't know what you'd have to tell it. Play around, or someone can figure out how to tell iTunes to sync.

    Good luck!
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    more to this than meets the eye

    This whole mobileme and itunes interface is way more complex than it needs to be, with some undesired results occurring.

    iTunes is the only app that does a complete back up of everything on your phone, but unfortunately it does this by Syncing which can result in duplicates in your phone afterwards of contacts for example SO:

    Unplug your phone from your computer
    Open iTunes
    Go to iTunes preferences
    Click Devices
    Delete all old iPhone backups (be sure your phone has on it what you want to back up first!!)
    Quit iTunes
    plug phone into computer
    relaunch iTunes
    click iPhone icon
    click Info Tab
    click all the things you want backed up
    click Apply
    Sync starts
    after this you will have duplcate contacts and calendars
    Eject phone icon from iTunes
    unplug phone

    These next steps assume you want only ONE copy of Contacts, and ONE calendar, so check whether you have duplicates before following the steps to get rid of them. YOu should also make sure you have Synced with MobileMe (another can of worms) and that copies of your calendars on MobileMe, iCal, and your iPhone are all synced, and any entry made on one automatically updates the other THEN on your iPhone:

    go to Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars
    Delete every account except for MobileMe (.me or .mac account)
    Click on the one remaining account
    Turn off Contacts - choose Delete from iPhone option
    this gets rid of the duplicate contacts
    Turn Contacts back on - choose Merge with MobileMe option
    Turn off Calendars - choose Delete from iPhone
    turn Calendars back on - choose Merge with MobileMe option

    Personally I think the above rigmarole is totally and ridiculously cumbersome and fraught with risk of accidental deletion/duplication, which I have personally experienced. IMHO, there should be a new application written called "iPhone" that runs on PC or Mac and that takes care of EVERY part of the phone including Syncing, Backups etc. E.g. back up - you should be able to choose from a menu anything you want to back up in either direction with replace or merge options. The concept of 'Sync' to back up data is ludicrous, because it results in all the unnecessary above steps. Moreover spreading these similar but essentially different functions across iTunes (for a phone??) and System Preferences (!!) seems designed to confuse from the start. The distinction between Syncing in iTunes and Syncing in MobileMe for example is that one is a batch process, the other is dynamic - yet both are called Sync.

    In my view, this is absolutely the worst part of the iPhone interface, which otherwise promised to be a convenient easy to use device. The above info was gleaned from many hours (yes - hours over several nights and days) talking to different customer service agents from Apple at 10p per minute, sometimes after being told I would be in a queue for 10 minutes, sometimes getting conflicting information, or agents who really did not know the iPHone at all. There is also a different web based tech support system (free) but that services only MobileMe, not the iPHone - see what I mean?
  7. macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009

    Thanks dwmusic for your hard work, I have now successfully backed up my iPhone.

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