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Under the summary section you see in iTunes when you have your iPhone selected, you'll see the back up area. Where you can choose to back up your device to your computer through iTunes or to your iCloud account if you have one. Should you ever have to replace your phone or if something crashes on it and it needs to be completely restored, you can copy its contents and settings from your most recent back up, back onto it. As I've mentioned previously iCloud is Apple's free online storage and syncing service. If you haven't yet created an iCloud account, you can set one up on your iOS device by going to Settings>iCloud, and here if you're not already signed in you'll be given the option to create an account.
On a Mac you'd go to System Preferences>iCloud, and you can choose to set up your iCloud account here with your Apple ID. If you don't have an Apple ID, you can set up one here as well. And on a PC, you'll need to first download the iCloud control panel from iCloud.com/icloudcontrolpanel. That'll bring you to this page, where you can download the control panel and set up your iCloud account from here. For more detailed information on setting up an account, visit apple.com/icloud/setup. So, creating an account gives you access to the iCloud services and five gigabytes of free storage space.
Now, when it comes to backing up your device, whether you're backing up on iCloud or on your computer. You're backing up its settings, its app data, app organization, messages, the photos and videos in the camera roll, and so on. It also backs up information about the music and videos you purchased from the iTunes store, so if you ever need to restore them you'll be able to download them from the store. Music and videos you've synced from your computer aren't backed up though. So if you ever need to restore your phone, you'll have to grab those files by syncing with iTunes again. And we looked at how to do that earlier in this chapter. The advantage of syncing with iCloud is that you're not tying your device to your computer.
For example, if you're on a trip and have trouble with your phone, you can restore it directly over the internet from your phone without needing to connect it to your computer and iTunes. We'll see how to restore your phone in the troubleshooting chapter at the end of this course. Also if you choose to backup to iCloud, your device will automatically back itself up on a daily basis as long as that's plugged into a power source and connected to the internet over WiFi and your screen is locked. If you choose to backup to iTunes by selecting This computer, your device will backup any time you connect it to your computer and sync it. You can also right-click your device and choose Back Up from here to perform a manual backup.
There's also an option here to encrypt iPhone backup. If you're worried about sensitive information from your phone being stored on your computer with your sync, you can check this option and iTunes will protect the backup with encryption. Now you're not limited to always having to backup to iCloud or always backing up to your computer. In fact, you might want to occasionally alternate between these two options by choosing say, back up to iCloud first, and allowing your phone to back up, so you have a copy of the backup on the Cloud. And then later choosing back up to This computer, and that way you'll have a copy on your computer as well. The important thing is that you do back up your device periodically, so you'll be able to restore your settings and content, should you ever run into problems.
Again, I'll show you how to restore your device in the last chapter. You can check your iCloud backup settings on your device by going to Settings>iCloud, and then scroll down and tap Storage and Backup. Here you can see how much storage space you have left in your account and how much space is free. You can also turn on iCloud Backup here if you haven't done so already, so you don't have to go into iTunes to turn on iCloud Backup, you can do it right from here under the backup section. If you're concerned about taking up too much space on your iCloud account, you can tap Manage Storage. And under Backup Options, you'll find a list of the apps that are taking up the most space. And you can choose to turn individual apps off if you don't need to back up their data.
Remember, you can always switch back to syncing to your computer if you want to make sure you have a full backup. Then you can return to this screen and either tap, Back Up Now, to back up to your iCloud account right away or just leave this on and your device will back itself up the next time you have it connected to a power source.
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