Back Up Your iPhone to iCloud

One of the new features of iOS 5 and iTunes 10.5 is the ability to backup your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to Apple’s cloud service, iCloud. Now you’ll be able to know that your contacts, calendar events, and even photos are safe and continually being copied to a remote location for backup.

By using iCloud as a backup destination you’ll be able to quickly restore a backup whenever and where ever you need to. No longer will you have to wait until you can connect your device to iTunes to restore from backup.

Enabling iCloud Backup

When you first install iOS 5 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch the setup process will ask you a number of questions including if you’d like to backup your phone to iTunes or to iCloud. The easiest way to setup iCloud Backup is to select iCloud as the backup source during this process.

If you don’t select iCloud during initial setup and decide later that you’d like your phone backed up remotely you can enable iCloud backup through the following steps:

  • Open the Settings App on your iOS 5 device
  • Select iCloud from the option list
  • iCloud Settings

  • On the iCloud settings page, scroll down to the bottom and select Storage & Backup
  • iCloud Storage and Backup Settings

  • On the next page under Backup, slide the iCloud Backup to On. This will start your iCloud backup service and automatically back up your cameral roll, accounts, documents, and settings when the iPhone is plugged in, locked, and connected to WiFi
  • iCloud Backup On

So far from my experience, my iPhone backup process occurs about once a day.

When Was my iPhone last Backup?

To find out when your iPhone backup last completed successfully follow the steps above but instead of sliding iCloud Backup to “On” simply scroll down further. Below the Back Up Now option you’ll see the last time your iPhone back up occurred.

Last iCloud Backup Time

Manually Backup Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to iCloud

If you need for any reason to backup your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch manually, you can do so by following the following steps:

  • Open the Settings App and Selecting iCloud
  • Scroll down to the Storage and Backup option and select it
  • On the Storage and Backup Option page, scroll to the bottom and press the “Back Up Now” button.
  • Manually Backup iPhone to iCloud

Following these steps will start a backup process and send your iOS data to Apple’s iCloud Servers. This can be important if you’re ever about to make major changes or test new software on your iOS device and you’re not comfortable with how the modifications will impact your device.

Enabling iCloud Backup through iTunes

Another way to enable iCloud backup is by connecting your iOS 5 device to iTunes. Select the device in the left column and click the summary tab. On the summary tab there will be a Backup section and an option to Back Up to iCloud. Make sure this box is checked if you plan on backing up your device to Apple’s servers.

iTunes iCloud Backup Settings

Disable iCloud Backup

To disable iCloud Backup simply follow one of the steps listed above but instead of turning on iCloud Backup slide the option to “Off” or uncheck the iCloud Backup option.

If you do not backup your phone to iCloud you’ll need to backup the device to your local iTunes instant. It maybe a good idea to periodically backup your iPhone 4s settings locally in case you have trouble accessing iCloud.