How to Back Up Your iPhone or iPad on Windows


Backing up your iPhone is a reliable way to secure your data if your device gets misplaced, stolen, or otherwise damaged. Thankfully, you can easily back up your iPhone on your Windows PC. This article will explain how to easily back up your iOS devices to your Windows computer using iTunes.

Get iTunes on Your PC

To start backing up your iOS device on your Windows computer, get the iTunes app from Apple’s official website, or grab iTunes for Windows from Apple’s Support page if you can’t access the Microsoft Store.

  1. Open iTunes on your PC once it is installed.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password by going to “Account -> Sign In.”
  1. Connect your Apple device to your Windows computer using a USB or USB-C type charging cable.
  2. Click “Continue” in the pop-up window that appears requesting access to your iOS device.
Itunes Access Pop Up 1
  1. Click “Trust” in the “Trust This Computer?” dialog that pops up on your iOS device to connect your device and computer for syncing purposes.
Itunes Trust This Computer 1

You should now see a tiny smartphone icon underneath “Account” on your PC if your iOS device is connected to the computer.

Start the Backup Process

  1. Click on the smartphone icon at the top.
  1. Select the “Summary” option.
  1. On the right, you should spot “Backups,” where all your options to back up your devices are listed.
  1. You can opt to back up automatically and you have two choices here. The first one is the iCloud option, where your smartphone will be automatically backed up over Wi-Fi (provided it’s charging). Alternatively, if you choose the “This computer” option, you can back up your iOS device only when it is connected to your computer.
Itunes Automatic Backup 1
  1. Click “Back Up Now” to back up your files manually. You don’t need Wi-Fi for this, but you must leave your device connected to your PC for as long as it backs up.

Note: manually backing up your devices will not interfere with any automatic backup settings you have set up.

Itunes Manual Backup 1
  1. Choose to encrypt your device’s backup if you’re storing sensitive info such as passwords – check the “Encrypt Local Backup” box before starting the process. A password is required to encrypt your local backup. Store it safely because you cannot recover it if you forget it.
Itunes Encrypt Backup 1
  1. A bar at the top of the iTunes window will show the backup progress. Do not disconnect your iOS device or turn off your computer until the backup is complete.
  1. Safely eject your iOS device from your Windows computer once the backup is complete to ensure that all your files, personal data and information are secured. To confirm that your device has been backed up, check the date and time for the completed backup under “Latest Backup.”
Itunes Latest Backup 1

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I back up my iOS device without iTunes?

Yes, you can back up your iOS device through iCloud by setting up your iCloud to back up your files automatically at a certain interval. The downside to iCloud backups is that you need to have enough iCloud storage space; if you run out of space, your devices stop backing up.

You can also use third-party software to back up your iOS devices. These provide settings that help you manage and control how much data you decide to back up. Most third-party backup software allows users to have partial backups and the option to back up directly to a computer’s hard drive.

How do I purchase additional storage space on iCloud?

To purchase additional storage, go to “Settings” on your phone, tap your name, then click “iCloud.” Here you should see exactly how much storage you’ve used and how much of each data type is contained in your iCloud storage. Click “Manage Storage,” then “Upgrade” to upgrade to iCloud+.

If you’re skeptical about the subscription prices, remember that iCloud+ comes with premium features aside from more storage space. These include “Custom Email Domain,” “Private Replay (Beta),” and “HomeKit Secure Video Recording,” among others. If you don’t want to upgrade, back up your data on your PC.

Can I back up my iPhone and iPad to the same Windows computer?

Yes. You can back up different iOS devices to the same Windows computer because iTunes creates different backups for each device. View all the backups on your computer by going to iTunes, clicking on “Edit,” “Preferences,” and then “Devices.” All encrypted backups have a padlock icon in front of the date of their last backup.

Image credit: Walling via Unsplash All screenshots by Tayo Sogbesan.

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