Despite the apparent simplicity, the problem is very relevant for many owners of iPhone and iPad. Often, when acquiring a new device, the user restores it from the backup, even when this is not necessary. You can transfer data from the old iPhone to the new one without creating backups.
So, in order to understand whether you need to back up or whether you can limit yourself to synchronization via iCloud, you need to deal with these two concepts, because, “Backup in iCloud” and “Sync with iCloud” – two completely different processes.
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Backup on computer or iCloud
You can back up your iPhone in two ways – on your computer using the iTunes application (Finder for macOS Catalina or later) or wirelessly in iCloud. Let’s consider both ways.
In iTunes (Finder for macOS Catalina and later)
This procedure is performed through the iTunes application (or the Finder program for macOS Catalina users and newer software versions) on the computer and, accordingly, requires wired devices (instruction).
At the same time, iTunes creates an image of the copied iPhone or iPad, saving almost all user data into it – Contacts, Call History, SMS, Photos, Calendars, Notes, applications from the App Store (along with data, for example, Skype or WhatsApp correspondence), music etc.
Having protected the backup copy with a password, you can also transfer the “Keychain” containing Wi-Fi connection passwords, data for authorization on web resources, etc.
An important nuance is that full copying is relevant only for restoring devices of the same type. That is, when you try to restore the iPhone from a backup of your iPad or iPod Touch (and vice versa), only applications from the App Store will be saved.
Similarly, you can back up data through the iCloud cloud. It can be done automatically (to do this, activate the corresponding option in the menu Settings → Apple ID (Your first and last name) → iCloud) either in manual mode (button “Back up” in the same menu).
Keep in mind that restoring a backup from iCloud is only possible after the first launch of the device, its flashing or a complete reset of the iPhone to factory settings. Moreover, the creation of iCloud backups in automatic mode does not guarantee the preservation of all information in the event that the free limit of disk space in the cloud storage is 5 GB.
Check out Apple’s cloud storage pricing here.
Despite the fairly broad backup capabilities, users are generally advised to set up a freshly purchased iPhone or iPad as “New device ».
In this case, you can also recover most of the information through the iCloud cloud service By synchronizing the data stored in the cloud storage of your account.
It is worth considering that the information that is necessary for synchronization must be downloaded earlier to the cloud. In other words, if the iCloud section on the iOS device has not been used before, then naturally there will be no information in the cloud.
For example, the presence of contacts, reminders, calendars, etc. in iCloud can be checked on icloud.com (you need to go only from the computer).
Available for synchronization: Contacts, Notes, photos and videos, Calendars, Reminders, bookmarks for the browser, e-mail.
The main advantage of the method is its simplicity, you do not even need to connect the iDevice to the computer. Just go to the menu Settings → Apple ID (Your first and last name) → iCloud and specify your Apple ID account information for synchronization, after which all the marked content will appear on the iOS device automatically.
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What is the difference between syncing with iCloud and creating backups (on a computer and iCloud)
However, it is important to understand the difference between back up and synchronization. In case of creation backup the user transfers a lot of additional data to the new device, this can be correspondence in messengers, progress in gaming applications, history of visits to web sites in a browser, etc.
Synchronization it only affects information that was directly saved by Apple’s regular services — notes, reminders, contacts, etc. However, only the data that was added immediately after activating the Apple ID account in iCloud is available for synchronization. In addition, almost all of this data is available in the iCloud web version even in the absence of a mobile device.
In other words, do not use backups in case, for example, you only need to transfer Contacts, Notes and Reminders from the old iPhone to the new one.