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iOS: How to back up your content

Learn how to back up the content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iCloud or iTunes.

iCloud and iTunes can back up most data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Backed-up information includes purchased music, TV shows, apps, and books*; photos and video 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), ringtones, and more. Media files synced from your computer aren’t backed up, but can be restored by syncing with iTunes.

* Backup of purchased music is not available in all countries. Backup of purchased TV shows occurs only in the United States. Previous purchases may not be restored if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store.



How to back up

iCloud automatically backs up the most important data on your device using iOS 5 or later. After you have enabled Backup on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in Settings > iCloud > Backup & Storage, it will run on a daily basis as long as your device is:

  • Connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi
  • Connected to a power source
  • Screen locked

You can also back up manually whenever your device is connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi by choosing Back Up Now from Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.

iCloud backup settings

To learn more about what is backed up, see the iCloud: Backup and Restore Overview article.



How to restore from a backup

To restore information from a backup, use one of the following methods after connecting your iOS device to the computer with which you normally sync:

  • Click the File menu and select Devices > Restore from Back up.


  • Open the iOS device’s Summary tab. There are two ways to access this:
    • Click the device button in the upper right corner. (If viewing the iTunes Store, click the Library button in the upper right corner. The device button will then be visible.)
    • From any view in iTunes, click the View menu and select Show Sidebar. Select your iOS device in iTunes under Devices.
  • Click the Restore Backup button.

Find information on optimizing your iOS backup experience.

iOS device backups preserve your settings, the Camera Roll (or Saved Pictures), and other important data. Learn more about what is stored in a backup.

iTunes and iOS do not support installing backups of newer versions of iOS onto devices using earlier versions of iOS.

iTunes will not back up automatically if you are using iCloud.

Have a new iOS device and need to move your previous backup onto it? Follow the steps in How to transfer your backup from one iOS device to a new device.

Find information on using iTunes to restore.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.