Never lose another number: how to automatically back up your iPhone

As annoying and expensive as losing your smartphone might be, it’s your photos, videos, text messages, Whatsapp conversations and Flappy Bird high scores that are irreplaceable, perhaps even priceless.

Happily for forgetful and unfortunate smartphone users everywhere, Apple, Google and Microsoft smartphones all now feature cloud backup to make securing your stuff as simple as possible. The O2 Gurus will be talking you through how to set your phone to automatically back your data up: today we begin with the iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s cloud storage service is called iCloud; think of it as your very own USB drive on the internet, storing your photos, music and more, all of which you have immediate access to whenever you’re online. iOS lets you use your iCloud storage as an online backup destination for your smartphone or tablet.

What Does It Back Up?

Photos and videos from your camera roll, your device settings and app data, your email account information, SMS, iMessages and more. Apple provides and exhaustive list here.

How To Enable Backup

Open Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and ensure iCloud Backup is switched on.

This ensures that backups of your device will take place in the background when your phone is charging, locked and logged on to a Wi-Fi network. From this same screen you can also force a new backup (Back Up Now) and check when your last backup was taken.


How To Restore From Backup

When you first set up a new device, or after having reset your existing device, iOS gives you the option to Restore from a Backup – simply sign in to your iCloud account, select from the list of available backups and iOS will begin restoring your data.

Good To Know

  • Keep in mind that only the first 5 GB of storage is free per iCloud account. So, if you’ve an iPad and an iPhone plus lots of cat photos you might find yourself running low on iCloud storage. Of course there’s an opportunity to buy more in the Buy More Storage option in the Storage & Backup screen.
  • See how different apps and devices use your iCloud storage space in Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage.
  • You can also back up your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to your PC or Mac using iTunes and a good old-fashioned sync cable. Apple provides some online help on backing up in this way.

Now that you’ve got the iOS know-how stay tuned for our features on how to automatically backup Android and Windows Phone, coming soon!

Need any help getting set up? Let us know in the comments below or by replying to us on Twitter @O2 with #o2guru, and we’ll help get you sorted.

You can also read more from the O2 Gurus, find us on O2 Guru TV or visit an O2 Guru in store.