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

mac app store iphone ipad apps

How to Uninstall iPhone and iPad Apps on an M1 Mac

Tuesday May 18, 2021 3:43 pm PDT by
If you own a Mac powered by Apple silicon, you can download and install iOS and iPadOS apps from the Mac App Store in macOS Big Sur. But how do you uninstall them? Keep reading to learn how. Apple's M1 Macs, which are the first to be powered by an Apple-designed Arm-based chip, are able to run iOS and iPadOS apps because of the common architecture between the different operating systems....
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,...
windows icloud hero pc iphone

How to Back Up Your iPhone or iPad to a Windows PC

Tuesday April 6, 2021 3:43 pm PDT by
Not everyone who owns an iPhone or iPad has a Mac, which is why Apple made its mobile devices compatible with Windows PCs, too. Using USB, you can you can connect an iPhone or iPad to a Windows PC to set up the device, charge its battery, share its internet connection, transfer files, and sync content. This article shows you how to back up your iOS device on a Windows PC. Make Sure You...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air m1

How to Erase an M1 Mac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 11:25 am PST by
This article explains how to erase (or format) the built-in startup disk of a Mac with Apple silicon. Note that erasing your Mac permanently deletes all files on it, so follow the backup advice carefully. If you plan to give away, sell, or trade in a Mac, erasing your Mac should be the final step. First, Back Up Your Data Before you do anything, you should back up the files on your Mac. You ...
siri remote 2 clickpad settings feature

Apple TV: How to Customize the Clickpad on the New Siri Remote (2nd Gen)

Monday May 24, 2021 7:18 am PDT by
Apple's second-generation redesigned Siri Remote features a touch-sensitive clickpad that can be used to navigate menus as well as fast-forward and rewind video. When you first start using the Siri Remote, touch surface tracking is on by default, but if you can't get on with the sensitivity or you're just not comfortable using touch controls on a remote, you can always customize it or turn...
photos icon

How to Back Up Your iPhone Photos

Wednesday May 12, 2021 9:26 am PDT by
Backing up the photos you take on your iPhone might not sound like a thrilling prospect, but it's far from a thankless task. On the contrary, it's a crucial step in ensuring that your most precious pictures are never lost. Plus, once you have a system for backing up your photos in place, you can get on with enjoying taking pictures with your smartphone in the confidence that they're safe. You...
macos big sur ios 14 iphone 12 pro macbook air icloud drive desktop documents hero

How to Wirelessly Sync iPhone or iPad to Mac

Thursday April 8, 2021 4:24 pm PDT by
When you connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, you can sync a range of media to your device, including albums, songs, playlists, movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, audiobooks, photos and videos, contacts and calendars. This article shows you how it's done. It used to be the case that you could only sync an iPhone and iPad to a Mac using a physical cable, but these days you can sync your...
m1 mac family

How to Check Your Mac's Warranty and AppleCare+ Status

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:35 pm PDT by
In macOS Big Sur 11.3 and later, it's easy to find up-to-date information about your Mac's warranty or AppleCare plan. You can check whether your device is covered and see what kinds of repair and support are included with your cover. You can also find your agreement number, proof of purchase and expiry date. To get information on your Mac's warranty status and/or AppleCare+ plan, first...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...