How To Back Up iPhone Without iCloud


Apple generally respects user privacy over anything, even when the user is a big threat to society. There have been multiple instances where government entities like the FBI requested Apple to open a backdoor on their devices so that they can continue their investigations without hitting roadblocks. But, Apple refused to do such a thing considering it would hamper its well-deserved reputation in the market.

A few months ago, Apple canceled its plans to add end-to-end encryption on its iCloud backups after the FBI approached the tech giant. Apple’s reasoning to this is to apparently maintain user convenience, which is difficult to digest for most of the privacy-focused users.

If you use an iPhone and are worried about your privacy, then you probably should look for alternative options to back up your iPhone. One of the easiest ways to secure your backups is to store them offline on your Mac or Windows PC, which is possible with the iTunes app. Our guide will show you how to back up your iPhone without iCloud.

Back up iPhone using the iTunes app

You can use the iTunes app on your Mac or Windows PC to do a local backup of your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. First, connect your iPhone to your Windows or Mac PC over the USB-A to Lightning cable.
  2. Now, launch the iTunes app on your computer. If you are using Mac, then make sure that you at least are on macOS 10.14 Mojave.
  3. On the navigation bar of the iTunes window, click the small iPhone logo.
  4. In case you don’t see it, you will have to grant permission to allow the connection. Select the Account tab in the menu bar, then highlight Authorizations in the drop-down menu.
  5. After that, click Authorize this Computer and follow the on-screen prompts.
  6. Now click Summary under the Settings section in the sidebar, then scroll down to the Backups category.
  7. Check the circle next to “This Computer” option. You can also check Encrypt local backup in case you want to make your backups more secure. You will be asked to enter a password, which you shouldn’t forget by any means.
  8. The iPhone backup should automatically start syncing to your Mac or Windows PC. If you want to do it manually, then click the “Back Up Now” option.

Once your iPhone data has been backed up, you can safely disconnect it from your Mac or Windows PC. The next time you want to restore your backup, connect your iPhone to your computer, then simply go to the same page and click “Restore Backup…” under the Backups category.

If you want iTunes to create a backup automatically every time you connect your iPhone to the computer, then check the box next to “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” in the Options section of the Backups category.

In case your Mac is running macOS 10.15 Catalina, then you will have to use Finder to create a local iPhone backup. Once you get past the authorization process, it’s much easier to back up your iPhone data on your Mac. Just toggle on “Back up all of the data on your iPhone to your Mac” in the Finder app. Similar to iTunes, check “Encrypt local backup” to lock your backups under a secure password.

Delete your existing iCloud backups

If you don’t want to keep your previous iPhone backups in iCloud, then follow the steps below.

  1. First, go to Settings from the iOS Home Screen.
  2. Now tap your Apple ID profile and select iCloud in the following menu.
  3. Now go to Manage Storage > Backups. You should see all of your automated and manual iCloud backups.
  4. Tap the iPhone backup you want to remove from iCloud, then tap the Delete Backup link.
  5. Finally, tap the Turn off & Delete option.

Turning off iCloud backup on your iPhone will cause iMessage not to sync messages properly across your other Apple devices. You can rectify the issue by enabling iCloud for Messages from the same menu in Settings.

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