Back up to iTunes and iCloud
Top tips for more effectively managing your iPhone and iPad
At the start of this feature, we recommended backing up your Mac prior to getting into any serious cleaning and tidying up – just in case you delete something you shouldn’t.
With iOS devices, things aren’t quite that simple. Your iCloud backup – assuming you’re making one – is an ongoing thing; make changes to your device and they will be uploaded during your next backup cycle. You can, however, manually backup to iTunes, and then in the Devices section of iTunes
click and archive a backup, or show it in Finder and manually copy it to an external hard drive.
Be aware, though, that backups do not include everything you might expect, and not all backups are the same. No iOS device backups will contain apps. You’re therefore reliant on one still being available on the App Store should you wish to reinstall it – for example, if you’ve previously offloaded it to free up space. When making backups to iTunes, you should also choose to encrypt the backup. Doing so means that account passwords, Health data and HomeKit data will be included, rather than ignored.
Investigate iMazing (£34.99, imazing. com) if you want to store backups of app files, rather than just their data. This is a good idea if you have particular favourites and would be mortified if you couldn’t restore them, or have been alerted by a developer that a specific app is going away. Naturally, such apps may not be compatible with future devices anyway, but you don’t want to be in the situation of deleting an app or game, immediately wishing you hadn’t, and then discovering you can no longer reinstall it from the App Store.
Backing up is easy, but don’t assume all backups are equal, or that they contain everything.