How to Back Up Your Smartphone


Your cellphone is a carefully crafted work of art. Your calendar is color-coded. Your music collection is a meticulously curated mix of your wonderful taste in tunes. You’ve spent days rearranging the icons on your home screen until they’re just right.

So imagine how heartbreaking it’s going to be when you drop that sucker in a toilet — and you will undoubtedly drop that sucker in a toilet someday. It happens to the best of us. Sure, you can get a new phone, but will that replacement ever reach the level of perfection that is your current masterpiece?

Your phone contains more personal data than you may realize. Everything from your alarms to your text messages are evidence of your use habits, let alone private information. By backing up your phone, you not only ensure that your data is protected in the event of theft or damage, but also that you can make a smooth transition when upgrading devices.

Whether you use iOS or Android, you already have the available tools to back up your most

Apple users have two options when it comes to backing up their devices: iCloud and iTunes

iCloud is Apple’s cloud-based storage system. Backing up with iCloud is largely automated and can be done wirelessly over a Wi-Fi connection (though, you can’t use 3G to back up with iCloud) in about five minutes. You only have 5GB of space for free, so power users have to be willing to pony up for more storage.

For users who want more space without having to pay for it, you can use iTunes to back up your iPhone straight to your computer’s hard drive. Now, pro-tip: If you’re backing up your iPhone to a computer that you keep at home (or wherever your iPhone is most often), your data is just as susceptible to fire or theft. You’ll want to make sure that you’re running frequent backups for your computer to ensure that your computer data is safe.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and select your computer from the options list. You can then tap “Sync Now” or just plug your phone in and let the screen lock. It’ll sync automatically.

For Android users, Google can go a long way to back up your data. And whatever Google misses, other programs can catch. Google automatically backs up a significant portion of user data to the cloud with the user’s permission. To allow this, go to Settings > Backup & Reset, and then tap “Backup My Data” and “Automatic Restore.” From this screen you can also select the Google account to which you’d like to sync your data.

You can also manually transfer music, pictures and videos from your Android phone straight to your PC via cable. Windows will mount your phone as an external hard drive, while Mac users will have to download Android FileTransfer first. Remember, if you’re storing your files on your computer, you’ll want to use other backup software as well.

Do you use another program or application to back that thang up? Let us know in the comments section below.

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