Most people think it’s very important to back up their computers. Yet, they never do it! We forget about backing up our computers and even our mobile devices as well. In fact, the majority of users simply do not take into consideration just how important some of their files, documents and apps are until it’s too late.

Now that iOS users are storing more data onto their devices, neglecting to back up leaves you at high risk for losing everything, even your iTunes.

iTunes is an important piece of software for iOS device users. It’s especially important to back up since iCloud does not support a backup for everything.

 iTunes Backup

iTunes makes a backup every time you sync, which is great for iPhone users to ensure they have a default safety net. The following are items that are automatically backed up:

  • App settings, preferences, documents and data
  • App Store Application data
  • Subscribed calendar accounts
  • Calendar accounts and events
  • Autofill for webpages
  • Call history
  • Contacts
  • Messages
  • Video
  • Photos
  • And more….

Before you sync your iPhone, I would suggest downloading the latest iTunes version http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ or have at least iTunes 10.5 or later.

Syncing through Wi-Fi

  1. Open iTunes
  2. To set up Wi-Fi syncing, connect your iOS device to your computer via the included USB cable. Select your device under Devices on the left-hand side.
  3. Click the Summary tab, and select “Sync with this [device] over Wi-Fi”.
  4. Whenever the iOS device and computer are visible on the same network, the iOS device will appear in iTunes and you can sync it. The iOS device will sync automatically when all of the following criteria are true:
  • The iOS device is plugged in to a power source
  • The iTunes application is open on the computer
  • The computer and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network
  1. To configure the sync options, select the content tabs, while the iOS device still appears in the left-hand column of iTunes.
  2. Click Sync or Apply to sync the iOS device.

iTunes backups are stored in different locations depending on your system:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
    Note: To quickly access the Application Data folder, click Start, and choose Run. Type %appdata% and click OK.
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
    Note: To quickly access the AppData folder, click Start. In the search bar, type %appdata% and press theReturn key.

Syncing Manually

  1. Connect your device to your computer and open iTunes via the included USB cable.
  2. Select your device in the Devices section on the left side of the iTunes window.
  3. In the main iTunes browser window, click the Summary tab.
  4. Select the option to “Manually manage music and videos” or “Manually manage music.” This will deselect the automatic sync settings for the TV Shows, Music, and tabs. 
  5. Click Apply.
  6. To manually add music, audiobooks, movies, podcasts, or TV shows, choose one of these categories under Library on the top-left of the iTunes window.
  7. Select and drag items you want (to choose multiple items, Control-click items using Windows or Command-click items using a Mac), then drag them onto your device icon under Devices.
  8. To add a playlist to your device, select it from the left side of the iTunes window and drag it onto your device in the same way.
  9. Since an iOS device doesn’t need to be ejected before disconnecting it, when you are ready to disconnect your device, you may do so without ejecting it.
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