Backup iPhone To MacBook Title Image

So you’ve decided to give it a go.

Or you’ve at least decided find out how to get it done.

Can you backup your iPhone to your MacBook?

Yes, you can. It’s quick, takes less than 5 minutes.

And the same way works for your iPad, or iPod Touch.

Got a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Or iMac running Mac OS Catalina or Big Sur?

Then this is how you do it now that a backup to iTunes is not an option.

And you can use this way to backup to sync your calendar. And contacts across your MacBook, iPhone and iPad.

How To Backup iPhone With Your Mac

1. Open a Finder window.

2. Plug in Your iPhone Into Your MacBook by USB.

3. Pick your iPhone in the sidebar

4. Be sure the General tab is picked in your Finder window.

5. Click ‘Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.’

6. Click on Sync.

You can encrypt your local backup by picking to “Encrypt local backup.”

Why You’d Want To Backup Your iPhone To Your MacBook Computer?

Several really good reasons.

1. If you’ve ever lost your iPhone before. Then you know having it stolen. Or simple leaving it who knows where is achingly annoying.

But it’s the losing of calendar appointments. Reminders and contact details. Afterall who remembers telephone numbers off by heart these days?

No one.

Never mind remembering where you need to be next Tuesday at 4.

2. With cloud storage being broken into. Yes, we’ve all had those phishing emails trying to get your cloud access details out of you.

If you’re not using the cloud then. Then that phishing email can go take a hike.

3. It pays to have an alternative to using iCloud.  Yes, iCloud is great. But another local backup is a fantastic idea. Just in case.

Cloud storage can fail. It’s happened. And of course, there’s that pesky little charge that mounts up. When you’ve used up your free iCloud storage.

Is This The Way To Backup My Iphone To My Computer Without ITunes?


Apple has changed the way you backup your iPhone locally to your MacBook. And since Catalina  – Mac OS 10.15 local backups are done using a Finder window.

You can’t backup locally using iTunes any more.

And here’s how to do it.

How To Backup Your iPhone To Your MacBook

1. Open Up A Finder Window.

You’ll find the Finder On Your Mac’s Dock. Double click to open up a new window.

Finder In Dock
Finder In Dock

2. Plug Your iPhone Into Your Mac.

Depending on the age of your Mac. And for that matter your iPhone. You’re going to need the right cables to do it.

The MacBook Pros from 2015 have had USB C ports on them. As have MacBook Air’s since 2018. And iMac’s since 2017.

Before these, Mac’s had USB type A ports.

So if you’ve had an iPhone or your iPad for a while. No doubt you’ll have a lightning to USB type A cable. And use it to charge up your iPhone and plug into your Mac.

For your newer Mac with USB C ports than you’ll need:

A lightening to USB C cable.

An adaptor to change your lightening type A cable end to USB C.

Or a USB C hub with type A ports on it. Satechi do a good one if you’re thinking of getting one. You can use the linked words to take a look at a review on it.

Got yourself a cable? Then plug right on in.

iPhone Plugged Into Satechi Then Into MacBook
iPhone Plugged Into Satechi Then Into MacBook

3. Look Down Your Finder Window’s Sidebar.

And you’ll see your iPhone listed under Locations. You’ll notice a handy little iPhone like icon.

Click on your iPhone.

The first time you plug in your iPhone to back it up your Mac asks a question.

Connect IPhone To Macbook
Plug In IPhone To Macbook Click Trust

Your Mac will ask if you trust your iPhone.

Click on the ‘Trust’ button.

You’ll also need to open up your iPhone. Use your iPhone touch id to open it up. Or tap in your passcode.

4. Click The Radio Button To Backup To Your Mac

This next window is where the action happens. If you’ve used iTunes to backup your iPhone before on Mac OS Mojave. Or earlier Mac operating system versions, you’ll find a lot that’s familiar.

Backup iPhone To Mac Finder Window
Backup iPhone To Mac Finder Window

At the top you’ll see your iPhone and a round up of how many GB’s it has. And how much is available along with how charged it is. There’s an arrow on the picture above that shows you where.

The General tab is the place:

You’ll see the current software version your iPhone is running. It’s listed right there by the software heading.

If there’s a new iOS version available for your iPhone you’ll see the details of that here as well.

Under Backup: You’ve two radio buttons.

Radio Button To Backup iPhone To Macbook
Radio Button To Backup iPhone To Macbook

The first button is where you click to backup your data from iPhone to iCloud.

But when you’re backing up your iPhone to your MacBook you click the second radio button.

An arrow in the picture shows where.

Click on that.

And if you want to backup your health and activity data to your Mac than you’ll have to encrypt your local backup.

Your MacBook won’t backup your sensitive info unless you do.

The second arrow shows you where to choose that option.

You’ll need to put in a password.

5. Click Sync To Backup Your iPhone To Your MacBook

And then to kick off the backup of your iPhone to your MacBook you click on the ‘Sync’ button.

To Start iPhone Backup To Mac Click Sync
To Start iPhone Backup To Mac Click Sync

And your Mac will start the backup and synchronization of your iPhone to your Mac.

You’ll see the progress of your iPhone backup along the bottom of your finder window.  As your Mac goes through the steps of backing up.

iPhone Backup To MacBook Sync
iPhone Backup To MacBook Sync

And that’s it.

Congratulations, you’re successful.

You’ve made a backup of your iPhone to your MacBook. And should you lose your iPhone and need to restore your backup to a new iPhone. Or delete key information accidentally from your iPhone. You can use this backup to restore your iPhone.

When Your IPhone To Mac Backup is Finished

Your finder window will show you the backup is complete. When your MacBook has gone through the steps of your backup you’ll see the colored bar. With the different categories of info you have on your iPhone return.

iPhone Backup To MacBook Complete
iPhone Backup To MacBook Complete

And you’ll see the date and time of the last backup of your iPhone to your Mac confirmed in the finder window.

The arrows on the picture shows you where.

The only thing left to do is to eject your iPhone.

Click on the Eject arrow.  The circle in the picture shows where.

Eject iPhone After Backup To Your Mac
Eject iPhone After Backup To Your Mac

Backup and Sync Your iPhone Calendar And Contacts To Your MacBook

As well as Backing up everything on your iPhone you can backup and sync your calendar and contacts.

How do you do this?

Sync Contacts And Calendar To MacBook
Sync Contacts And Calendar To MacBook

On the same finder window. While your iPhone is plugged in you’ll see more headings along side the General heading.

It’s worth taking a look into each option.

Because you can decide what is copied between your Mac and your iPhone by changing the options.

The last heading is the Info heading. Click on that.

Then check the boxes to sync your contacts. And to sync your calendars.

You can go into more detail in this window after you have chosen those options if you’ve your contacts in groups. Or you’ve many calendars.

iPhone To MacBook Backup Strategy

Just as it’s a good idea to do a regular backup of your MacBook.

A local backup of your MacBook to an external drive is a great idea.

Also take regular backups of your iPhone. Once a week is fantastic.

Pick a day and a time you’ll remember. Or put a reminder into your iPhone.

Then follow a strategy.

You’ll find it best to back up your MacBook first to an external drive.

Then plug in your iPhone and back that up to your MacBook.

Then take a final backup of everything to that external drive. And that way that last  backup will include your iPhone backup on your MacBook.

It means if anything goes wrong on your Mac at any of the steps. You have a backup you can step back to.

And definitely back up your iPhone before doing an iOS upgrade. Because you never know when the next iOS upgrade could break your phone. Or an app on your iPhone you depend on.

Then as you have a backup you can step back to the previous version.

Is It A Good Idea To Backup My IPhone Before I Get A New One?

For sure.

Because you can use that backup and restore it onto your new iPhone. Then all your apps, your calendars, and contacts are there for you. Just as you like them set up. On your new iPhone.

Related Articles

Backup Your iPad To Your MacBook (Master How)

How To Choose An External Hard Drive For Backup On A Mac

What’s The Best External Hard Drive For Mac. Find A Great One Fast

How To Backup MacBook Pro To External Hard Drive

Other Resources

Apple’s Backup To Mac Help Guide