Top Tech Bargains

How To Back Up Mac, iPhone, And iPad

How To Back Up Mac, iPhone, And iPad

Backing up our devices is so easy that almost nobody does it. Seriously? Nobody? Alright, ask around.

Ask your iPhone toting, iPad using, and Mac aficionados if they have a backup system going on. The results will surprise.

Geeks back up their devices. Despite Apple’s best efforts at creating a no-brainer iCloud backup system and a drop dead simple Time Machine backup for Mac users, my unofficial survey of family, friends, co-workers, faculty and staff members, and neighbors tells me that backups are not the norm.

Cloud Or Local

I’m here to tell you that you need a backup system in place that ensures whatever you have on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac does not disappear. Here’s the scenario for Mac users. You turn on the Mac but the Mac doesn’t turn on. Something happened. Everything on the Mac is lost. How do you feel?

The other scenario is just as time honored for iPhone users. You drop the iPhone and it cracks open, gets run over, someone steps on it, it falls into a puddle of water, or gets close to being flushed. Or, lost. How do you feel?

If you worry about how you’d feel in either scenario then your backup system needs improvement (or, you just need a system). Here are the easiest, simplest, least expensive and trouble-free methods to backup what Apple hath wrought.

iOS & iCloud

This is too easy. Just too easy. Your iPhone and iPad can still be backed up to iTunes on your Mac. Yes, it still works. But don’t bother because there is a better way. Use iCloud. If you’re using the free 5GB tier, skip up to the 99-cent 50GB tier. If your photos and movies are more than 50GB, skip up to the $2.99 200GB tier.

iOS will backup everything on your iPhone or iPad every day. If your device is wrecked or stolen and you get a new one, simply enter your Apple ID, go to lunch, and when you get back everything will be back where it was.

Honest. That’s how it works.

The Mac

The Mac is not the iPhone. Yes, you can back up Photos to iCloud (see above) by setting it up in System Preferences > iCloud, then set up iCloud Drive and Photos, but that’s not enough. iCloud for iPhone will re-install all your apps in the proper locations during a restore, but the Mac will not.

That’s why there are Mac clone apps which can copy everything on your Mac to an external disk drive which can be used as a bootable Mac capable of running on another Mac. For cloud backups of the whole shebang on your Mac– where you can pick and choose which folders, files, and apps to back up to the cloud, try out Arq and Amazon. Once it’s set up, it just works.

For now, Apple does not offer a full iCloud backup for the Mac the way it does for iPhone and iPad. That may change, but for now our Macs require more hand holding. But if you would feel terrible if your iPhone was stolen or your Mac was burned in a fire, you need to have a backup.

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