I don't understand how to back up iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by xpipe, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. xpipe macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2008
    It's embarrassing, but after 1.5 years with an iPhone, I'm still not sure what exactly constitutes an iPhone "backup." I've been doing a combination of syncing, "Transfer Purchases" (for apps) and using image capture for transferring pics (I don't think I want to "sync" pics...I don't really want to move pics from my computer onto the phone?).

    There has to be some simple one click process to do this, i.e., make a complete backup that can restore the entire phone if necessary. Am I being dense? What is an iPhone backup and how do I make one?

    Thanks :-/
  2. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Syncing backs up the phone.
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    You've never actually read what was happening in iTunes when you sync your phone? The first thing it does is backup (step 1 of 5).
  4. xpipe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2008
    So the the act of syncing any category of information backs up the whole phone? I was hoping something like that would be the case. It also explains why it takes so long if you only have "sync bookmarks" selected, for example. Do I actually have to sync anything, or does simply connecting the phone back it up?

    So what is the purpose of something like Transfer Purchases?

  5. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I believe you do have to sync everything for it to be backed up on your computer.

    You can also right click on the phone and choose back up.
  6. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    When you back up your phone, it backs up the application settings (saved files, etc) but not the apps themselves (or any media on your phone that originally came from iTunes: photos taken with the iPhone are backed up).

    When you restore from iTunes it re-installs all the apps from your iTunes library and then resyncs the media and re-applies the backed up settings

    If you don't do a "transfer purchases" the media / apps won't exist in your iTunes library and couldn't then be restored if you restored a backup
  7. iAd4m macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2010
    On a somewhat related note, is there a way to maintain the app folders one has created ?

    My itunes had a hiccup yesterday, somehow all apps and settings disappeared and I had to transfer purchases from the iphone.
    So after that when I synced the two, all folders on the iphone were lost and I had to redo them.

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