The introduction of two new iPhones and a totally new operating system for the iPhone is always a great time to do some housekeeping with your old iPhone (and iPad). You may not be upgrading to a new iPhone anytime soon, but you will be needing to upgrade your iPhone’s operating system which is called iOS to the new version iOS 7.
Before you begin any iPhone housekeeping, backup your device through iCloud, iTunes or both. That way, if you accidentally delete something important, you can restore your phone to its “pre-cleaned” state.
iCloud backups are the easiest because they happen wirelessly. iCloud backups are stored “in the cloud” on Apple’s iCloud servers. With an iTunes backup, you will need to connect your iPhone to your computer. iTunes backups are saved to a file on your computer.There are reasons for choosing one over the other, and for backing up both ways.
iCloud is wonderful for having your iPhone back up automatically, every day, whenever your device is connected to Wi-Fi, power and is on the Locked screen. If you’re like me, and not in the habit of connecting your iPhone directly to your computer each evening, you can rest assured that your data is getting backed up if you set up automatic iCloud backup. Because iCloud’s free storage plan is 5 GB, it is not a good option for backing up photos and videos if you store more than 1- 2 GB of them in your iPhone. (You can pay for more storage.)
How to set up automatic iCloud backups
On your iPhone/iPad:
- Touch Settings > iCloud.
- Scroll down and touch Storage & Backup.
- Touch Manage Storage.
- If you have multiple devices listed under Backups, touch the one you are currently using.
- Under Backup Options, you will see the amount of your iCloud free storage that will be used beside Next Backup Size.
- Touch Show Apps to see how much data each app is storing.
- You can select to not backup data on an app by app basis, which I only recommend for advanced users who are backing up certain apps separately.
- Camera Roll usually takes up the most memory, so you may want to save some of those photos to your computer and delete them from your iPhone/iPad now. Or, if you’ve set up your Photo Stream to automatically save on your computer or PC (and you backup your computer), you can turn off Camera Roll backup.
- Go back by touching Manage Storage > Storage & Backup in the top left.
- From the Storage & Backup screen, touch iCloud Backup ON.
- Touch Backup Now.
iTunes is another way to backup your iPhone and if you regularly connect your phone to the computer, it’s a good method. You can also set up your iPhone to wirelessly backup through iTunes, but it’s a bit more cumbersome for most people. Your iPhone can be set to to only one method for automatic backups: either iCloud or iTunes. I recommend using iCloud for your daily automatic backups and a weekly manual backup through iTunes because it saves the backup on your computer.
How to set up weekly iTunes backups
On your computer:
- Open iTunes.
- In the top menu bar:
- On a MAC: click on iTunes and then Check for Updates…
- On a PC: click on Help and then Check for Updates…
- Update iTunes, if your version is not up to date.
- In the top menu bar:
- On a MAC: click on iTunes again and then Preferences…
- On a PC: click on edit and then Preferences…
- Click on Devices
- Check the box for Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically
- Click OK.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer with the iPhone’s USB cable.
- Click on your iPhone in the left sidebar, under Devices. (If you don’t have a sidebar click on View > Show Sidebar in the top menu.)
- With the Summary tab selected, look at the Backups box.
- Under Automatically Back Up, select iCloud if it’s not already selected.
- **Optional: Select Encrypt iPhone Backup if you want all your account passwords included in the backup. I recommend doing this if you have lots of apps with logins, but you do have to create a password for your backup file. Pick one you will remember!
- Under Manually Back Up and Restore, click Back Up Now.
- When the backup is finished, click on the eject symbol beside your iPhone in the left sidebar and disconnect your iPhone from the computer.
If you know how to use Siri, Reminders and Alerts, tell Siri something like this:
“Siri, remind me to backup my iPhone in iTunes every Sunday at 8pm.”
That will help you remember your weekly iTunes backup!
Watch for the rest of my iPhone housekeeping tips soon!