How To Backup iPhone To Mac Without iTunes Title Image

Have you just upgraded your older Mac to a new one? And on your previous Mac, MacBook or MacBook Pro you did your iPhone backup to your Mac?

You’ve checked your new Mac and iTunes is gone. And the Music app has nowhere you can back your iPhone up to. What now?

Don’t despair. Your local to your iPhone backup is now under the Finder app. And you’ve a few more options and a more reliable way to keep your iPhone data backed up.

So it’s right there for you if you need to restore it to your iPhone. Or to a new iPhone.

How Do I Backup My iPhone To My Mac Without iTunes?

1. Connect iPhone to Your Mac with a USB cable.

2. Open Finder Window. Click on your iPhone in Locations.

3. Open your iPhone with Passcode, Touch id or Face id.

4. Scroll Down. Under Backups. Check mark ‘Backup all the data on your iPhone to this Mac’. Check mark ‘Encrypt local backup’ if backing up sensitive personal data.

5. Click ‘Back Up Now’ button.

Since MacOS Catalina How To Backup iPhone To Mac Without iTunes

And this is how you backup any iOS device, like your iPad and iPod Touch on MacOS Big Sur as well.

Let’s look in a bit more detail how you get your iPhone backup done.

1. Get Yourself A USB Cable And Plug in Your iPhone.

For your generation of iPhone, you’ll either need an USB C to lightning cable. Or if you’re backing up your iPad then you may need an USB C to USB C.

And if the USB cable you have to hand is a Lightning to USB type A cable. Then you’ll need a USB type A to USB C adaptor for the latest MacBook’s with USB C ports on them.

2. Open a Finder Window.

You’ll find your finder app in your Mac’s dock.

Finder In Dock
Finder In Dock

Double click to open a window.  Then look down the sidebar of the Finder window to Locations.

You’ll see your iPhone’s name listed under locations.

Click on it.

Connect IPhone To Macbook

If this is the first time you’re backing your iPhone up to your new Mac computer. Then your Mac will ask you to click to confirm you trust this iPhone.

Click the Trust button.

And open your iPhone with your Passcode, Touch id, or Face id. Your iPhone will also ask if you trust this computer. Click the button to trust your Mac.

Your Finder window will open up on your iPhone.

When you’ve used iTunes backup before this screen will largely look familiar to you.

Backup iPhone To Mac Finder Window

3. Click the General Tab.

Under the General Tab is where you backup your iPhone. You’ll see the software heading. There you’ll see confirmed the iOS release your iPhone is currently running. Any available iOS updates will show here.

Scroll down further to the Backups heading.

4. Check Mark The ‘Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac’ Option.

A red arrow in picture above shows you where.

If you’ve health data or other sensitive iPhone data on your phone. And you want that data backed up to your Mac. Then you’ll need an encrypted backup.

Check mark the ‘Encrypt Local backup’ box. Or your personal iPhone data won’t get backed up to your Mac.

Scroll a little further down.

To Start IPhone To Mac Backup Click Backup Button
To Start IPhone To Mac Backup Click Back Up Now Button

5. Click Back Up Now.

After you’ve clicked the Back Up Now button. Your Mac starts the backup of your iPhone.

There’s a running progress bar at the bottom of the screen. It shows you the stages of your iPhone to Mac backup.

Iphone Backup To Macbook Backing Up

6. When Your iPhone To Mac Backup Completes.

The bar returns to a colored bar when your Mac is done and your backup is complete.  

iPhone Backup To MacBook Complete
iPhone Backup To MacBook Complete

And just a shade above the progress bar you’ll see the date and time of the backup to your Mac.

Whenever your iPhone is physically connected to your Mac by USB. That part of the finder window always shows you the date and time of the last backup to your Mac

If you want to check.

7. Eject Your IPhone.

The last thing to do when your backup finishes is click on the Eject symbol. It’s right by the name of your iPhone in the sidebar.

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

There’s a circle in the picture above that shows you where it is.

Then you can unplug your USB cable and you’re all done. You’ve backed up your iPhone to your Mac without iTunes.

And it was quick and easy.

Why Use MacOS Finder Backup – What Happened To iTunes?

The last MacOS version to use iTunes for iOS device backups was MacOS Mojave.

Apple reorganized and refreshed how you do direct to Mac device backups. And since Catalina the iTunes app no longer exists.

So there are no backups to your Mac with iTunes.

And the new Apple Music app doesn’t have the option for an iPhone backup.

Now local backups and sync of your iOS devices. Including your iPhone to your Mac you’ll find consolidated under a Finder window on your Mac.

Is A Finder Backup Better Than The iTunes Mac Backup?

Yes. It’s better!

You’ve more options and control over what iPhone data you choose to back up and sync now. Compared to the Mac backup under iTunes.

Alongside the General Tab you use for backup. You’ve options for your music. iPhone files, media files like your Movies and TV Programmes. Plus, your Audio Books, Books and podcasts.

What About My iPhone Photos?

Click on that tab and backup up to your Mac your photos from your iPhone Photos App.

What About Your iPhone contacts?

The info tab lets you set the settings to backup iPhone contacts. And when you’re backing up your iPad. You can choose which contacts to back up on there too.

Check through the options to fine tune what you backup and sync to your Mac.

Backup iPhone To Mac Compared To An iCloud Backup

Backup your iPhone to your Mac computer and you don’t need access to WIFI. Or the Internet.

And if you live somewhere with patchy internet access. You risk a corrupt backup. Or no backup because of dropped network connections.

Restore iPhone? – Not if you’ve a bad backup.

And after you’ve used up your free iCloud storage.

Well, you’re then into paying for more iCloud drive storage. And you may not be happy with those ongoing costs.

Plus, when you backup your Mac to an external hard drive. You’ve also backed up the backup folder with your iPhone backup file in it on your Mac.

Backup your Mac each time you do an iPhone backup. And you can step through your backup history and restore any iPhone backup you’ve taken.

Backing up to your Mac is a pretty good backup solution. And it doesn’t stop you taking an iCloud backup if you want.

In Closing

Apple has always made it easy for you as an iPhone user to back up your phone to your Mac.

You found out in this article that you can still back up your mobile device to your Mac without too much trouble.

And now you’ve a better understanding of how to back up your Apple device without iTunes.

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