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

Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...