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Don’t lose your photos and data. Here’s how to easily backup your phone

We all know it’s important to back up our devices. No one wants to lose years of photos, contacts, emails and all our other important data.

Unfortunately, accidents happen — we see it all the time — and years of memories and other data can become irretrievably lost. But who has the time to backup an entire phone?

Luckily, keeping your iPhone or Android device backed up is easier than ever before. So if you have a couple minutes of downtime over the holidays (yes, that’s all it takes!), check out our quick guide on how to easily backup your phone to the cloud.

Backing up your iPhone

There are a number of ways to backup your iPhone to safeguard your data, including over the internet to a cloud service or directly to your computer. The easiest method, by far, is backing up your device to Apple’s iCloud service. 

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 device. 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.

Backup iPhone manually

  1. Connect your phone to a WiFi network.
  2. On your iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup
  3. Tap on Back Up Now.

Backup iPhone automatically

Alternatively, you can set your device to backup your data every day automatically when your phone is plugged into a power source and connected to a WiFi network.

  1. Plug in your phone and connect to WiFi.
  2. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup
  3. Toggle the switch next to “iCloud Backup”
  4. Ensure your screen is locked.

Backing up your Android device

Backing up an Android phone got a lot easier this year, when Google rolled out its “Backup by Google One” cloud service, which makes it more streamlined to backup your important photos, documents and other data. Alternatively, you can backup your data directly to your other Google services, like photos and data, automatically.

Backup your Android with Google One

This summer, Google rolled out its “Backup by Google One” service, which is a unified way to backup your device all in one place, which replaces Android’s older backup tool. It allows you to backup all your data in one place, making it easier to restore your data if you lose or break your device. A quick reminder that all Google accounts include 15GB of free storage, so you may need to buy more storage if you exceed that limit to use this service (see plans here). Here’s how to get started:

  1. Download and install the Google One app.
  2. Open the Google One app > Back up device data > Set up data back up
  3. Choose Back up now, or choose Backup settings which can help you turn on automatic backups.

Alternatively, you can continue backing up your photos and other data within the different apps on your device:

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