Your iPhone is a fascinating device and you can do a lot on it.
Not only can you take and store photos and videos.
But you’ve tons of useful applications you may rely on.
In this article you’ll find out what’s saved.
Whether you’re using Finder, iTunes or iCloud for your backup.
When You Backup Your iPhone What Does It Save?
A manual backup to Finder on Mac saves your iPhone’s settings and almost all your data. You have settings you can tailor to save Music, Movies, TV Shows. As well as Podcasts, Audiobooks, Books, Files. And your iPhone’s contact and calendar, messages and the logs of your calls. As well as your application’s local data.
Encrypt your backup to save your passwords and health data.
You save your Photos in the Photos, Image Capture or Preview App on your Mac. Or to iCloud storage if you backup to iCloud.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Everything?
Yes, very nearly everything. To start let’s look at an iPhone connected by USB cable to your computer for a Finder backup. Or an iPhone iTunes backup. (You would iTunes backup on a Mac running MacOS Mojave or earlier MacOS.)
Your iOS backup to your computer with Finder. Or iTunes includes everything that’s not already stored and backed up in iCloud.
That’s because there’s no need to backup iCloud data again to your Mac. This saves space and time in your backup.
Your Finder and iTunes backup includes the settings on your iPhone. And the data stored on your iPhone by your apps.
Your applications are not saved. Because they’re downloaded from the App store when you restore your phone. There’s no need to save them.
Your iMessage, text message and multimedia messages and your call logs are saved.
As are your calendar, contacts, notes and voice memos.
You’ll need an encrypted backup to save passwords in your keychain. And health activity information stored on your iPhone.
ITunes will save photos not on your iCloud drive.
But from MacOS Catalina and later MacOS’s. You’ll need to use the Photos App. Or Preview or Image Capture to save your iPhone photos or videos not in iCloud.
Information stored in other cloud storage services. Like Exchange or Gmail and not saved. You can sync with those cloud services when your iPhone is restored.
Other iOS data that can be resync’d like your Apple music, Books in the App store. Directly downloaded PDF’s to iBooks aren’t saved either.
Along with Music you’ve directly imported from your Mac to your phone. Because you can resync those.
Compared To What Is Saved In An iCloud Backup
An iCloud backup doesn’t include any iOS device info already saved in its cloud services.
It doesn’t save your Photos saved in iCloud. Or your calendars and contact information. Your notes, any voice memos you have. Your SMS text messages or MMS multimedia messages aren’t saved if already in iCloud.
And it doesn’t save health data that’s already in your iCloud storage space.
This makes a lot of sense because it saves you space in your iCloud backup. And time in taking an iCloud backup. Why backup to iCloud information that’s already in iCloud?
Because of security concerns your Touch id or Face id data is not saved. And your Apple pay information is not saved. No matter how you backup your iPhone.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Photos
No, not when you backup iPhone data using a Finder window onto your Mac.
Since MacOS Catalina the way you backup your iPhone to your Mac is with a Finder window.
And the photos on your iPhone’s camera roll are not saved in a Finder backup.
You can connect your iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable. And import your photos separately into the Photos app on your Mac. Or using the Image Capture application on your Mac. You can also import your Photos using the Preview app on your Mac.
The benefit of this is that it keeps your backup small. Because for many people their photos and videos take up the majority of space on their iPhone.
And you can choose to import your Photo’s direct to an external drive. And save space on your Mac.
Yes, your photos are saved. When you backup your iPhone in iTunes to your computer in MacOS Mojave or earlier MacOS’.
This backup assumes your photos are not already stored in your iCloud backup. Because photos in your iCloud backup aren’t backed up again to your Mac.
To save space.
When you backup your iPhone to iCloud storage. Your photos and videos are backed up.
As long as they are not already stored in iCloud Photos.
If you are already using iCloud Photos then your photos are saved there.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Messages?
Your iMessage messages are saved when you backup your iPhone to your Mac in a Finder window.
They are also saved in an iTunes backup to your Mac.
A computer backup with Finder is how your make a local backup since MacOS Catalina. Also, with MacOS Big Sur and MacOS Monterey.
Your text messages. And multimedia messages are also saved in your manual backup to Finder. And in your iTunes backup.
In an iCloud iPhone backup. Your iMessage messages, text messages and multimedia messages are already stored in iCloud. And are not backed up again. They are already in your iCloud storage and get downloaded from there if you need to restore your iPhone.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Voicemails?
No. Voicemails are not saved when you backup your iPhone. Voicemails sit in your phone service provider’s voicemail system.
Your local mobile device backup to your Mac or an iCloud backup doesn’t have access to that system.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Passwords?
It depends. When you backup to your Mac whether you save your passwords in the backup or not. It depends on if you’ve chosen an encrypted backup.
Click the setting to encrypt your iPhone’s computer backup. And your passwords get saved in your iPhone backup.
Yes, your passwords get saved when you back up your iPhone data to iCloud. Because iCloud backups get encrypted by default. And that means your passwords are saved automatically in your mobile device backup.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save App Data?
Yes, your application data is saved in your iPhone backup when you backup using Finder to your Mac.
For older MacOS releases. MacOS Mojave and earlier where you backup to iTunes, your App data is also saved in your backup.
And this backup includes your Apple Watch backups. (Your Apple watch does an automatic backup to your iPhone when they are near each other.)
Your iCloud backup also includes your App data.
So, no matter which backup method you use you backup your application data.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Your Contacts?
Yes, if you store your contacts on your iPhone. A backup to your Mac using Finder. Or iTunes will back up your contacts as long as they are not already stored in iCloud.
In Finder when you connect your iPhone to your computer you’ve a setting under the info tab. In there you can click and check mark 2 boxes to sync your contacts and calendars onto your iPhone.
Then when you sync your iPhone. Contacts and calendar information get synchronized between your computer and your iPhone. A backup is of your iPhone happens as part of the sync.
If your contacts are already saved in iCloud then your backup won’t include them. And that’s because they’re already saved on your iCloud drive. And there’s no need to save them again. This feature saves space in your backup.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Your Notes
Yes, your notes get saved when you backup your iPhone files using a Finder window onto your Mac. Because it’s local data on your iOS device.
Yes, your notes are saved when you backup your iPhone to your computer in iTunes. As your iPhone files – your Notes are local data.
But if your Notes are already saved in an iCloud backup they are not duplicated in your local backup to your Mac.
Your notes also get saved when you backup your iPhone to iCloud storage space. As long as they aren’t already in iCloud.
When You Backup Your iPhone Does It Save Your Apps?
No, your iPhone backup doesn’t include your actual applications. Your backup includes your app data but not the applications.
Your iPhone backup does make a note of apps which are on your phone and when you restore your iPhone. Either to your old iPhone or to a new iPhone. The restore fetches your applications from the App Store and restores them to your phone.
And this saves space in your iOS device backup.
When You Backup iPhone To iTunes Does It Save Messages
Yes, your iPhone iTune backup to your Mac saves your iMessage messages. And your text (SMS) messages and your multimedia messages as part of your backup. As long as your data isn’t already stored in iCloud.
If you’ve already have your messages backed up to iCloud storage. Then they are not saved. Because they are already in iCloud.
And when you come to restore those messages from your iCloud. They will download to your iPhone along with everything stored in iCloud. When you sign in to iCloud with your Apple id.
The last thing you want to happen to your iPhone is to have it stolen or lost.
And so it’s useful to know what is exactly backed up. And how to make sure everything gets backed up. In case things go wrong.
We hope you enjoyed this article and discovered what’s saved, where and how.
While you’re hear take a look at our other iPhone focused articles on the site.
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.