4 Simple Ways to Backup Your Phone Right Now

We hate to see it — a CREDO member accidentally shatters their phone on the pavement or drops it in water, and no matter how hard we try, it won’t turn on again.

Luckily, a protection plan may cover this kind of accidental damage, what about all that data on the device — years of photos, hundreds of contacts and your message history? If you haven’t backed up your phone, all this data could be gone forever.

But here’s the good news: Backing up your phone is really simple, and we can guide you through it in a few easy steps. As we head into the new year, here are four simple ways to backup your iOS or Android devices to safeguard your data in 2021 and beyond.

Backing up your iOS device to iCloud

If you have an iPhone, iPad or other iOS device, Apple recommends using their iCloud service to backup your phone. You probably already have an iCloud account, but if you’re not sure, visit this help article from Apple.

All iCloud accounts come with 5GB free data storage, although if you have a lot of photos, saved music or other data that exceed this limit, you may need to purchase more storage.

  1. On your iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup
  2. To backup automatically when your phone is turned on, plugged in and on WiFi, turn on iCloud Backup
  3. To backup manually, tap on Back Up Now.

Backing up your iOS device Google Drive

If you don’t want to use iCloud to backup your iOS device, you can use another cloud-based service like Google Drive. This option has some limitations, and it isn’t as seamless as backing up to iCloud, as your data is copied into different Google apps across your device, not your built-in Apple apps for contacts, photos and calendar. But if you use Google products regularly, this may be a good option.

Here are the instructions to backup an iPhone to Google Drive:

  1. On your iPhone, install and open the Google Drive app.
  2. In the top left, tap Menu.
  3. At the top, tap Settings > Backup.
  4. Tap Start backup.

Backing up your iOS device to a computer

You may not want to use a cloud service at all to backup your iOS device. That’s okay! We have you covered. Luckily, you can still backup your data directly to a computer. Here are the official instructions to do this from the Apple website:

Backup iPhone using your Mac

  1. Connect iPhone and your computer using USB.
  2. In the Finder sidebar on your Mac, select your iPhone.
    Note: To use the Finder to back up iPhone, macOS 10.15 or later is required. With earlier versions of macOS, use iTunes to back up iPhone.
  3. At the top of the Finder window, click General.
  4. Select “Backup all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.”
  5. To encrypt your backup data and protect it with a password, select “Encrypt local backup.”
  6. Click Backup Now.

Note: You can also connect iPhone to your computer wirelessly if you set up Wi-Fi syncing.

Backup iPhone using your Windows PC

  1. Connect iPhone and your computer using USB.
  2. In the iTunes app on your PC, click the iPhone button near the top left of the iTunes window.
  3. Click Summary.
  4. Click Backup Now (below Backups).
  5. To encrypt your backups, select “Encrypt local backup,” type a password, then click Set Password.

To see the backups stored on your computer, choose Edit > Preferences, then click Devices. Encrypted backups have a lock icon in the list of backups.

Note: You can also connect iPhone to your computer wirelessly if you set up Wi-Fi syncing.

Backing up your Android device

Because of the nature of the Android universe, there’s not a one-stop solution to backing up your Android phone or tablet data all in one place, but it’s still very straightforward. Google makes it pretty easy to backup your important photos, documents and other data (up to 15GB of free storage), while the built in Android Backup Service can restore your apps and settings. These each require separate steps, but it’s worth it to protect your data.

Backup your photos and videos to Google Photos

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Google Photos app to your Android device.
  2. Open the Google Photos app and sign-in to your account if prompted.
  3. Tap your photo or initial in the top right.
  4. Select Photos settings > Back up & sync.
  5. Tap “Back up & sync” on or off.

Backup other data to Google Drive

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Google Drive app to your Android device. 
  2. Open the Google Drive app and tap on the “+” button
  3. Tap Upload
  4. Then, select the files to backup

Backup your apps and settings

  1. Open your device’s Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap “system” or “accounts and backup”
  3. Tap on ‘Backup and restore”
  4. Toggle on “Back up my data” and add your account