Backing Up Your iPhone: A Good Idea

February 23, 2013

Written by wukovits

Being the owner of an Apple device comes with the reality that updates can be a stressful activity.  I’ve spoken to many a person that had issues updating their device with the latest iOS release and having disastrous consequences.  I, too, have experienced less than stellar results in certain instances from updating my devices.  Luckily, I was able to salvage or reconstruct all these devices using the backups I keep religiously.  Backing up frequently saves my sanity when something goes awry.

I use my iPad on a daily basis, and thanks to battery life, it doesn’t get connected to my computer so often.  I use a 10W wall plug to charge it and as such, it isn’t connected to my computer.  When I get notifications from Settings that I have an update available, I wait to update.  I hear too many horror stories of people losing their data after a botched update over the air.  When I updated to iOS 6.0, I had a few hiccups when an installation didn’t take well on my iPad.  Following this rule saved me: always backup first.  I plugged it in to my computer, and backed up in iTunes.  Make sure you transfer your purchases first.  This will have everything on your computer ready to recover if something goes wrong, and it does.

iTunes Backup SettingsMy wife has an iPad mini, so I don’t see it every day.  She uses it and charges it from a wall socket on her own.  I’ve always instructed her not to update anything without asking first, so I wait until my devices are done first.  When I decided to update her iPad mini to the latest update, iOS 6.1.2, it put it into Recovery Mode, where you have to plugin to iTunes to restore the device.  Thankfully, I did a complete backup of the device before updating, and I was able to restore from this backup.  A time intensive process, but it beats starting from scratch, or scratches from an irate spouse.  😉

My iPhone 5 plays an important part of my day and I connect it to my computer every day.  Each time I plug my iPhone into my computer, it automatically backs it up.  After the update to iOS 6.0.1, my phone wasn’t running well and I decided to restore from one of my backups.  Luckily, the process went smoothly and I was able to get my device back to life, albeit with other lacking symptoms. The latest updates to iOS 6 have really been doing poorly for my battery life, and I’ve been seeking any relief there is.  Happily, iOS 6.1.2 helped me with my battery life considerably, and that update went more smoothly.  You can be sure I backed up first.

I tether all my devices to backup to my computer.  Call me old-fashioned, but I always feel like a cable is more reliable.  You can also backup over Wi-Fi to your computer, an option you can configure in iTunes after connecting your iOS device to the computer the first time.  Another option is to backup to iCloud, which occurs in you have Internet over a Wi-Fi connection.  It’ll backup all your stuff purchased from Apple, but if you’ve added your own content through iTunes, that won’t make it.  iCloud storage gives you 5GB free, but costs thereafter, so plan accordingly.  Whichever way, just plug in, backup, and check it out.  You can set it up and feel safer.

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