Most of us store thousands of pictures and videos on our iPhones. There are multiple ways to make backups, but you might not realize that it’s easy to copy these onto an external drive straight from your iPhone — assuming you have the right software and adapter. It’s even easier from an iPad with a USB-C port.
Several companies, including Samsung and Western Digital, have cut prices on SSDs and memory cards for World Backup Day. Save up to $80 on the rugged Samsung T7 Shield, while the SSD that’s WD’s closest rival is also on sale.
A 1TB SanDisk microSD card is surprisingly affordable. And the JetDriveLite specially made for MacBooks card readers is available at a discount, too.
Some of the deals are only available on March 31, so don’t procrastinate.
It’s World Backup Day, a good opportunity to take a close look at the backups your iPhone makes to iCloud. Are you running out of iCloud storage space? Living with a slow internet connection? Worried about privacy? In any of these cases, you might want to exclude some apps from your iCloud backups. Doing so will save iCloud storage space and conserve bandwidth.
The good news is that it’s easy to exclude pretty much anything you like from your iCloud backups in iOS. Here’s how.
If the main disk in your Mac is a spinning hard drive, you should probably upgrade to a solid state drive. Swapping in an SSD is the cheapest way to make your old computer feel like a brand-new Mac. But for backups, and for lesser-used internal storage in a Mac Pro or iMac, a hard drive still gives you the best value. You will pay far less per megabyte of storage.
The problem is that hard drives are noisy as well as slow. If you’re used to enjoying the silence of an SSD-based computer environment, then those whirrs, whines clicks and pops will drive you nuts. Which is why you should unmount your noisy hard drives. That way they’re still available to the apps that need them, but otherwise they’re sleeping.
Last week’s revelation that iCloud backups can be accessed by Apple, and are regularly given to law enforcement agencies, came as a big surprise to many people. Isn’t Apple the company that claims to protect your data? While your iPhone or iPad is locked down, much of your iCloud data, including1 your iMessages, is available to Apple. The only way to prevent Apple, and government agencies, from accessing that data is to switch off iCloud backups, and make local backups instead.
Why would you bother to back up your iMessages? After all, they’re all stored in iCloud these days, right? Well, yes your messages are all stored in iCloud, but they’re not backed up up there. They’re synced, which means that if you delete a message thread, it’s gone forever. The answer is to make a local backup, which requires a Mac. Which is ridiculous in 2019, but there you go.
Here’s how to back up your iMessages in case the worst happens.
Wait, what? Why would you want to back up your iCloud Photo Library? Apple takes care of that, right? After all, the clue is in the name — the library is stored in iCloud.
Not so fast. That’s true, but what if something screws up at Apple’s end? What if you lose access to your iCloud account? What if, what if, what if? In most cases, you’ll be fine, but being a good computer nerd, you probably understand the value of redundant backups. So today we’ll see how to make sure all your images are safely stored. Just in case.
What happens if you’re working on a document and you realize you screwed it up? Maybe you deleted a few paragraphs without realizing. Or you’ve just been writing a bunch of nonsense for the past half-hour and wish you could go back to where you were before? On the Mac, you can easily do just that. It’s called versions, and it’s automatic.
Using versions, you can easily browse and restore previous versions of any document. Some apps have this built in, so you can do it right there inside the app itself. But the Finder also supports versions, so you can revert to a previous state of almost anything.
iCloud backups are just about the best thing ever. Not only is all your data safe if your iPhone is lost, or dies, but you can also use it to setup a new iPhone with minimal fuss. But iCloud is in the cloud, and local backups also have their uses. For instance, maybe you don’t like the idea of all your data on someone else’s computer? Or perhaps you just want double-protection in case you can’t access iCloud some time.
Or maybe you just have slow internet, or you’re on a long trip away and there’s no Wi-Fi, only data-capped cellular?
For the Mac there’s Time Machine, which automatically makes incremental backups. For iOS, you can use iMazing, a multi-purpose Mac app which can backup your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, and do it automatically, and wirelessly, so it should be as seamless as Time Machine or iCloud Backups. Let’s see it in action.
Apple’s AirPort routers introduced one game-changing new feature to the world: easy backups. Time Machine is Apple’s automatic backup utility, and it made backups easy enough for non-nerds to use regularly.
The easiest way to use it was to buy a Time Capsule, a wireless AirPort router with a hard drive built in. Before Time Capsule, nobody backed up. After Time Capsule, anyone could keep hourly, daily and weekly backups without even thinking about it. But now that Apple has stopped making Time Capsule, and AirPort routers in general, how do you keep using Time Machine?