Backup iOS Device to iCloud and iTunes

iCloud seems really cool to me, but I don’t think it is necessarily working that well just yet. I like the whole idea of being able to backup my entire iPad and iPhone to the cloud and then just restore it over WiFi if I ever needed to, but I frankly don’t trust it.

Firstly, I tried to back up my iPad manually to iCloud by going to Settings and then iCloud, but it said the backup would take 13 hours! Great, I let it sit overnight to backup. Too bad when I woke up, there was an error saying the backup could not complete. So now I don’t know what’s really backed up and what’s not.

So I just backed up to iTunes just in case also. In iTunes, you will see a setting to backup to iTunes or backup to iCloud as shown below:

backup to icloud

You can keep that enabled so that eventually when they fix all these errors, your device will actually be backed up to iCloud, which is nice. And this way you can get the best of both worlds, online backups and local backups. Now to make a local backup of your iOS device, simply plug it into your computer and then open iTunes. Select the device in the left hand menu and right click on it.

backup ipad locally

You’ll see an option called Back Up. Go ahead and click on that and iTunes will backup your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch locally on your computer. It’ll continue to backup to iCloud, but you can periodically make local backups too just in case the cloud crashes.

Also, once you do get that first initial huge backup completed, the follow-up backups are very quick. After my iPad was backed up to iCloud, it only took less than a minute to perform an incremental backup:

Icloud settings

That’s pretty much it. It’s very simple and it’s a safe way to backup your iOS device and not have to worry about whether it’s safer to backup to the cloud or locally. Actually, I would think it would be a nice option if iTunes let you choose both methods to back up! Enjoy!

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