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How to back up an iOS device to iCloud iOS devices
Following yesterday's hint about fixing an iOS device that wouldn't launch third-party apps, I realized that it would be useful to back up my iPhone via iCloud, in case I have a problem away from home. I looked around, and saw that we don't have anything about this on the site, so I thought I'd write a brief primer.

You can turn on iCloud backups in iTunes: connect your iOS device, then, on the Summary tab, in the Backups section, click on Back Up to iCloud. However, when you sync your device, it won't back up to iCloud. The only away for this to happen is, according to Apple, when a device is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, connected to a power source, and has its screen locked. And, this only happens once a day.

However, you can force a first iCloud backup on the device by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup, then tapping on Back Up Now. (You can also turn on or off iCloud backups here; this has the same effect as the iTunes setting.)

It's worth noting exactly what gets backed up to iCloud. Apple has a technical document explaining this in detail. Note that iCloud backups don't back up content synced via iTunes: music, movies and TV shows not purchased from the iTunes store; podcasts; audiobooks; and photos synced from your Mac. However, any purchased content is backed up (technically, it's just a list of the content), and this content isn't counted against your iCloud storage quota. What will take up the most space in your iCloud backup is photos and videos on your device, so if you're tight on space, think of downloading these to your computer, or uploading them to some other storage service.
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How to back up an iOS device to iCloud
Authored by: sd on Oct 03, '12 10:20:17AM

is it really a hint?

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How to back up an iOS device to iCloud
Authored by: morespace54 on Oct 03, '12 12:19:10PM

My own "safety" strategy is to:

1. Back up the iDevice to my Mac via iTunes.
2. Once in a while, while I'm away from my computer (and preferably on a WiFi network), I go to "Settings" and enable iCloud backup (a message pop-ups saying your device won't be backed up with iTunes from now on). Dismiss and let the backup go through.
3. Once the iCloud backup is completed, turn the option OFF and keep backing up with iTunes once back home.

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How to back up an iOS device to iCloud
Authored by: xplora on Oct 03, '12 02:56:56PM

Unlike morespace54, I go the other way, I use iCloud for backup, and use my Mac for backup when I'm expecting to do something where having a local backup is important (such as an OS update).

This means I don't have to remember to backup, I just plug in to charge and it does the rest, I also do not have to have the Mac turned on and iTunes running (although I usually do anyway).

Edited on Oct 03, '12 02:59:05PM by xplora

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How to back up an iOS device to iCloud
Authored by: rhowell on Oct 05, '12 10:32:33PM

For those that don't ever plug their iOS device into a computer, you don't actually need iTunes to setup iCloud backup, as the hint suggests. Just visit Settings->iCloud->Storage & Backup. From there you can also force a backup as well, plugged in or not.

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