Back Up Your iDevice before Upgrading to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

  • Ethan Smith
  • 30 Sep 2021

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are finally out. But, before you tap “Download and Install” on your iDevice, you better think of protecting your data in case something goes wrong. Luckily, Apple provides multiple methods of backing up your photos, call logs, phone books, and app data.

iCloud Backup

That’s the easiest way; at least, so Apple implies when offering you cloud storage. To activate it, you need to:
1.     Go to Settings and tap your profile (at the top of the menu);
2.     Choose “iCloud” section;
3.     Look through the list of what your device uploads to iCloud;
4.     Deselect the apps you don’t want to consume your cloud storage.

The last step is important if your iCloud space is insufficient or close to that. The free space you have is just 5 GB, though with, say, an individual Apple One subscription you get 50 GB, along with Apple TV+, Arcade, and Music. Otherwise, you can choose what to save… and where to save.

Local Backup

To make a local copy of your iPhone or iPad, you will need a Windows PC (with iTunes installed, no way to avoid this) or a Mac. Just make sure you have enough space on your computer – a little bit more than you keep busy on your iPhone/iPad. Then do the following.


1.     Connect your iPhone/iPad to a PC with a cable;
2.     Run iTunes;
3.     In the sidebar, choose Summary, and then Backups;
4.     Click “Back Up Now”;
5.     If you wish, tick the “Encrypt” box;
6.     Wait until the process is over.

Lightning is a rather slow standard by 2021, so prepare to wait for many minutes and maybe hours. 

On Mac

If you have a fresh OS X 10.15 or newer, the process is even simpler:

1.     Connect your mobile device to your Mac with a cable;
2.     Open Finder;
3.     In Locations, choose your device;
4.     Open “General” tab;
5.     Click “Encrypt Local Backup”;
6.     Click “Back Up Now”

If your Mac OS version is older than 10.15, you will need to use iTunes. Well, it’s a chance to understand what Windows users feel.

Extra Tools

To minimize your local or iCloud storage, you can back up your photos and videos with a third-party service. The ones we recommend are Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. You can use their free gigabytes to store your collections of photos and videos, unloading your iCloud and local drive. Still, these are not unlimited either, so if you choose this way of decentralizing your backups, you will have to master a special sort of management.
If you know any other ways of creating backups, or have had any issues and solved them, we’d like you to drop a comment down here. We’d also be grateful if you share this article with your friends on social media before they hurry to update. Thanks in advance, and enjoy your iOS 15!

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