If you’ve never backed up your iPhone to your Mac before. You’re probably curious about what happens on your Mac. When you kick off your new iPhone’s backup on your Mac.
And if you’ve backup your iPhone to your Mac you’re likely curious about what went on and where’s your backup.
What happens when you backup iPhone to Mac?
Read on and find out.
What Do You Backup Your iPhone To Your Mac With?
Since MacOS Catalina Apple did away with iTunes. The iTunes app was becoming bloated with the many things you had control of under the software.
In the latest versions of MacOS. Apple has split up the many areas that iTunes used to control. Now there’s a separate app for the different functions. A Music app for controlling your music. A Podcasts app for your Podcasts. You’ll find the Books app for your books.
There’s no iTune backup. Instead, you backup iPhone using the Finder app on your Mac.
All the options and more for backing up your iPhone and other devices. You’ll now find under the Finder app. But the option is hidden until you plug your iPhone into your Mac. And you’d backup any other iOS device like your iPad or iPod Touch using your Finder app.
If you’re still running an earlier release of MacOS. Like MacOS Mojave or earlier. Then your direct Mac backup of your iPhone will be an iTunes backup. Through the iTunes app.
And you’d backup each iOS device you have with an iTunes backup.
What Happens With A iPhone Finder Backup To Your Mac?
1. You first plug your iPhone into your Mac’s USB port, using a USB cable.
Your Mac detects you’ve plugged your iPhone in. And then what happens is your iPhone’s name appears under locations. In the sidebar of all the Finder windows of your Mac.
2. You click on the name of your iPhone in the sidebar.
After that you’ll need to open your iPhone with your password or touch or face id.
Next what happens is. If it’s the first time you’ve connected your iPhone to your Mac. Then you’ll see a message asking you to trust the iPhone.
You click on the Trust button on your Mac. And soon after a message will come up on your iPhone. It’ll ask you to confirm you trust the Mac your iPhone is connected to.
3. Your Mac communicates with your iPhone through your USB cable.
And gets its high level iPhone data. Like the type of iPhone, how many GB’s of storage it has, free space available and how charged it is.
The General option is where you kick off your iPhone backup.
Then what happens is your Mac finds out the version of iOS your iPhone is running. And shows you the iOS version under the Software heading.
4. You scroll further down to the Backups heading.
And there you’ll find the option: ‘Backup all the data on your iPhone to this Mac.’
That’s how you select the option to backup your iPhone.
Underneath that you’ll see the option to ‘Encrypt local backup’.
By picking that option. As part of the iPhone backup to your Mac you’re telling your Mac to backup your sensitive information.
What does Apple call sensitive information?
Your iPhone stored passwords. Any health data collected by apps on your phone.
Your Mac won’t backup sensitive information without that option selected.
Then you’ll get an encrypted iOS backup.
What happens next when you pick that option is. Your Mac will ask you to put in a password to protect your encrypted backup.
5. Next you Backup iPhone.
Scroll Further Down And Click ‘Back Up Now’.
When you click that button the first time to backup iPhone.
Your Mac creates a Backup folder under your home folder > Library > Application Support > MobileSync folder.
And in that folder is your iPhone backup file.
You Mac backs up your iPhone content to that backup file.
And as part of that iPhone content your Mac backs up messages in iMessage.
6. Backup for your Apple iPhone completes.
What happens next is your Mac records the date and time of your iPhone backup. And shows you that date in the Finder window.
And you’ll see a colored bar along the bottom of the window. The different colors represent the different types of data you have on your iPhone. And the percentage space each type of data takes up.
7. Then you can Eject your iPhone.
And you’re done. You’ve backed up your iPhone to your Mac.
And you’d use this method to iPad backup too.
What Happens Each Time You Backup Your iPhone
And any iOS device you want to backup to your Mac.
Your Mac creates a file for each Apple device. And records the date and time of the last backup.
There is only one backup file held on your Mac. The last backup.
Your Mac updates the iOS device backup file with the latest backup.
So it’s best once you have backed up your iPhone. And any mobile device you backup to your Mac.
What Happens When You Backup And Sync Your iPhone To Mac.
In your Finder window after you’ve connected your iOS device. And that includes your iPhone. You’ve several heading options along side the General heading.
You’ll find the Music, Film, TV Programmes, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Books, Photos, Files and Info.
You can click on each heading. And choose what you want to sync (synchronize) between your iPhone and Mac.
Look this picture here.
By clicking into the Info heading. A red arrow in the picture shows you where.
And picking Sync Contacts, and Sync Calendars.
You can copy your iPhone contact and calendars changes made on your iPhone. From your iPhone up to your MacBook.
Your Mac copies the content of your iPhone to your Mac according to your sync settings.
You click Apply once you’ve made your changes. And your iPhone is backed up and then sync’ed.
And if following your iPhone sync. You then sync your iPad. You can choose what to sync between your iPad and Mac and do the same.
And keep your changes consistent across each Apple device you have.
What Happens To Your Photos When You Backup Your iPhone To Mac?
You can create settings for your Photos in the Finder window when you plug in your iPhone into your Mac.
Click on the Photos heading. A red arrow in the picture shows where.
And in that screen, you can choose to sync photos onto your iPhone. Or iPad from your Mac. You can choose particular folders to copy from. Or photos from All folders on this screen. You click Apply to set your changes when you’re done.
Moving an iPhone photo or photos from your iPhone camera roll up to your Mac. You do by plugging in your iPhone. But you use the Photos App on your Mac. Not a Finder window. You import your photos quickly and easily to your Mac using the Photos app. And back them up to your Mac.
What Happens In An iPhone Mac Backup VS iCloud Backup
When you compare what happens in an iPhone to Mac backup to an iCloud backup.
In An iCloud Backup
You need to sign in on your iPhone with your Apple id before you can backup.
Your backup happens over WIFI and Internet. You need reliable access to backup your iPhone. And your iPhone connected to external power. Your backup file is held in Apple’s iCloud storage.
When You Backup iPhone To Mac
Your backup happens over USB cable. Your Mac needs enough space to hold your iPhone and/or iOS backup. And your backup is local on your Mac’s internal SSD or hard drive.
It’s interesting because once you kick off the backup its totally automated. You don’t have to do any else.
It’s a good thing to know what happens. Because it’ll help you understand your iPhone a little better.
We hope you enjoyed the article. And learned a little about what happens on your Mac when you kick off a new iPhone backup.
It’s pretty cool right?
Feel free to check out our other blog posts here on our website.
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.