How to Back Up Your iOS Device

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If you are the proud owner of an iPhone, an iPod Touch, or an iPad, it is important that you know your options for backing up your device and all the media that you have painstakingly installed on it. If you are running iOS5, Apple gives you two choices on how to do this--iCloud and iTunes. Here’s a rundown on how to do each one.

Back Up With iCloud

With iCloud, your media, your settings, your preferences, and just about everything else related to your Apple are synced to your iCloud account. Apple gives you 5GB of free space to store your photos, videos, device settings, app data, home screen preferences, messages, and ringtones. You also have unlimited space for music, TV shows, apps, movies, and books.

To back up to iCloud, turn on your iOS device and select Settings, iCloud, Storage and Backup. At this point, you can slide a switch to enable backup to your iCloud account. After you turn on this setting, your iOS device will no longer back up to iTunes--but it will automatically back itself up every day when it is on a Wi-Fi network, connected to a power source, and in the locked screen mode. If you want to initiate a backup manually, select Settings, iCloud, Storage and Backup, and then tap Back Up Now.

Backing up to iCloud.

Back Up Through iTunes

The other backup option you have involves backing up to iTunes. This arrangement creates a physical backup file on your computer; and as with iCloud, you can use it to restore all of your favorite media and settings. If you prefer to keep your settings close to hand, and you want the option of being able to back up or restore without using a Wi-Fi connection, this is the method for you.

To back up to your computer, first connect it to your iOS device and sync all of your latest media and data with iTunes. Then, under Devices, right-click on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch; and select Back Up. iTunes will then perform a backup of all your important files.

Backing up your iPod in iTunes.

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