There are two types of backup available to iOS users. iCloud backups are encrypted automatically and stored in the cloud, and you can create and use them anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. By contrast, Mac-based backups are created and stored on your Mac, encryption is optional, and you have to connect your device to your computer to restore one. This article shows you how to back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a Mac running macOS Catalina or later.

In macOS 10.4 and earlier, backing up an iOS device to your Mac involved using the iTunes app. However, since the release of macOS 10.5 Catalina in 2019, Apple has offered separate Mac apps for Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV, meaning the functions for managing a connected iPhone, iPad or iPod touch needed a new home.

macoscatalinafinder
It's not immediately obvious, but Apple chose to integrate these device functions into the Finder, meaning that you can choose media sync settings, manage iCloud and local backups, and restore or update your iOS device without even opening another application on your Mac.

Keeping a local backup of your iOS device ensures that, should you ever lose it, you'll be able to restore all your information on a replacement device. You can also encrypt your local backup to keep private information like your passwords and personal health or activity data safe and secure. Keep reading to learn how.

How to Back Up Your iOS Device in macOS

  1. Plug your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into your Mac using the supplied cable.
  2. Open a Finder window by clicking the Finder icon in the Dock.
  3. Click your iOS device's name in the sidebar.
    finder

  4. If this is the first time connecting your device to your Mac, click Trust in the Finder window.
    finder

  5. Tap Trust on your device when prompted, then enter your passcode to confirm.
  6. In the General tab, click the circle next to where it says Back up all of the data on your [iPhone/iPad/iPod touch] to this Mac.

  7. If you don't want to create an encrypted backup, or you've already set up encrypted backups, click Back Up Now at the bottom of the General tab.
    finder

When the backup is finished, you can find the date and time of the last backup in the General tab, just above the Manage Backups button.

How to Encrypt an iOS Device Backup in macOS

  1. Plug your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into your Mac using the supplied cable.
  2. Open a Finder window by clicking the Finder icon in the Dock.
  3. Click your iOS device's name in the sidebar.
    finder

  4. If this is the first time connecting your device to your Mac, click Trust in the Finder window.
    finder

  5. Tap Trust on your device when prompted, then enter your passcode to confirm.
  6. Click the checkbox next to Encrypt local backup in the General tab.
  7. Choose a password to protect your device backup, then verify it and tick the box if you want to remember the password in your keychain.
  8. Click Set Password.
    finder

  9. Enter your passcode on your iOS device to begin the backup.

When the backup is finished, you can find the date and time of the last backup in the General tab, just above the Manage Backups button.

Related Stories

apple studio display blue

How to Use Siri on Apple's Studio Display

Wednesday March 23, 2022 7:20 pm PDT by
Apple's Studio Display comes with three built-in microphones that allows it to recognize "Hey Siri" voice commands and respond to spoken queries, and the connected Mac doesn't even have to officially support Siri for it to work. Keep reading to learn how. While Siri support has been available on most recent Macs for some time, some Macs such as the 2019 Mac Pro and Mac mini (2018 and later)...
mac iphone ipad 2018 trio

How to Back Up iPhone and iPad on Macs Running Mojave or Earlier

Tuesday April 6, 2021 3:44 pm PDT by
There are two types of backup available to iOS users. iCloud backups are encrypted automatically and stored in the cloud, and you can create and use them anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. By contrast, Mac-based backups are created and stored on your Mac, encryption is optional, and you have to connect your device to your computer to restore one. This article shows you how to back up your iPhone,...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

How to Authorize Apple TV Purchases on Apple Watch

Tuesday March 22, 2022 10:42 am PDT by
Following the release of watchOS 8.5 for Apple Watch and tvOS 15.4 for Apple TV, it's now possible to confirm Apple TV purchases from your wrist. This new method of verifying content purchases works for both one-time purchases like movies as well as in-app purchases on Apple TV. The following steps show how it works. Update your Apple TV to tvOS 15.4 (Settings -> System -> Software...
Twitter Feature

How to Create Your Own GIFs in the Twitter iOS App

Wednesday March 23, 2022 7:19 pm PDT by
Twitter has updated its iOS app with a new in-app camera feature that lets users create their own animated GIFs for posting to the social media platform. The following steps show you how it's done. In Twitter, hit the big blue plus button to start composing a tweet. Tap the picture icon in the compose window, just above the virtual keyboard. Tap the camera icon. Make sure GIF is selected ...
Universal Control Colored Feature

How to Use Universal Control Across Macs and iPads

Monday February 7, 2022 1:04 pm PST by
As of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, Apple has introduced support for Universal Control, the long-awaited feature that's designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with a single mouse and keyboard. Thanks to Universal Control, you can use the same cursor and keyboard on any nearby Mac or ‌iPad‌ that's signed into your iCloud account. So, for example, if you have a...
iphone 13 vs iphone 12

Best Way to Transfer Data From Your Old iPhone to a New iPhone 13

Friday September 24, 2021 1:19 am PDT by
If you've got a new iPhone 13 to replace your current iPhone, there are a few ways you can migrate your data across to the new device. You can restore your apps, data, and settings from your most recent iCloud backup, restore from a backup on your computer, or you can use device-to-device migration to transfer your data directly from your previous iPhone to your new one. There are currently known ...
passwords system preferences

macOS 12.3: How to Add Notes to iCloud Keychain Entries

Tuesday February 8, 2022 3:07 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey 12.3, currently in beta, Apple has added the ability for users to add notes to account entries in iCloud Keychain. This article explains how it's done. Slowly but surely with each iteration of macOS, Apple has been improving ‌iCloud‌ Keychain to put it on equal footing with rival third-party password managers such as 1Password. And in macOS 12.3, it continues that...
airdrop finder

AirDrop Not Working? Here's How to Fix It

Wednesday December 22, 2021 3:06 pm PST by
AirDrop is a handy feature on Apple devices since it lets users discover nearby Macs and iOS devices and securely transfer files between them over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The only problem is that it doesn't always work. If that sounds like your current experience with AirDrop, this article offers some troubleshooting steps that may help. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...