How to Backup iPhone 6 to Your Computer or the Cloud

Keep your iPhone 6/6S data backed up and safe

What to Know

  • Back up to iCloud: Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup and move the toggle to the on position.
  • Back up to computer: Connect iPhone, open iTunes, tap phone icon; in Backups, click Automatically Back Up > This computer.

This article shows you how to back up your iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, or 6S Plus to iCloud and to a computer.

How to Backup iPhone 6 to iCloud

After you set this up, your iPhone will automatically back up to iCloud whenever your phone is locked, plugged into a power source, and connected to Wi-Fi.

To set up iCloud backup on iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi (you can backup using your iPhone's 4G/LTE connection, but it’ll use up your monthly data very quickly). 

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap your name at the top of the Settings screen.

  4. Tap iCloud.

  5. Scroll to the bottom and tap iCloud Backup.

  6. Move the iCloud Backup slider to on/green.

  7. In the pop-up window, tap OK.

  8. You can choose to have your phone automatically back up later or tap Back Up Now to start a back up.

Even if you haven’t used iCloud Backup in the past, your photos may be backed up to iCloud already. You can also use this feature to just backup photos to iCloud, while backing up other data to your computer. Learn more by reading How to Turn on Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing.

How to Backup iPhone 6 to iTunes

If you already manage the data on your iPhone by syncing with iTunes, this is a good option. You must connect your iPhone to the computer running iTunes and start the process yourself. 

To backup iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, or 6S Plus to iTunes, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer. This can be done via USB or Wi-Fi (if you’ve already set up Wi-Fi syncing, that is). You may prefer USB if you have a lot of data to sync, since it’s faster.

  2. Open iTunes if it’s not already open.

  3. Click the iPhone icon beneath the playback controls in the top left corner of iTunes.

  4. On the iPhone management screen, find the Backups section.

  5. To ensure that your iPhone is always backed up to this computer, click This computer in the Automatically Back Up section.

  6. Click Apply in the bottom-right corner to save that setting.

  7. To start a backup now, click Back Up Now.

Back up your iPhone only to a computer that you own and have regular access to. There’s no point in having a backup if it’s on a computer you can’t reach when you need it.

For extra security, or if you have an Apple Watch, you can encrypt your iPhone backup on your computer. This means that anyone (including you) who tries to access that backup — either to view its contents or to restore it onto an iPhone — will need to enter a passcode. For more information, check out About encrypted backups in iTunes.

How to Backup iPhone 6 to Your Computer

While iTunes is probably the easiest option to backup iPhone 6 to a computer, it’s not the only choice. There are a number of third-party programs that both offer backup and features that iTunes doesn’t have. These can include the ability to browse hidden files on the iPhone, recover photos, voicemails, and text messages that seem to be deleted, and more.

These programs are generally paid and may not be as comprehensive or reliable as iTunes. We don’t recommend using these programs as your only backup tool. However, the features they offer that iTunes doesn’t can be just what you need in some circumstances.

Why You Should Back Up to Both iCloud and Computer

We recommend that you use both methods. The best practice you can follow when backing up your data is to have two copies of it: one close at hand if you need it right away and one offsite from you that you can get if something happens to the nearby copy. For instance, having a backup in your house isn’t very useful if you need the backup when you’re on vacation or if you house burns down with the backup inside.

It’s a little more work, and you may never need two backups, but if you ever do, you’ll back glad you spent the extra time to backup twice.

Every iCloud account comes with 5 GB of storage. Most people need more than that to back up all of the data on their phones, so you may need to upgrade your account. Adding 50GB of storage to iCloud costs $0.99 month and is really worth your consideration.

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