How To Backup iPhone To Laptop

Updated on March 16, 2023
How To Backup iPhone To Laptop

Don’t worry because you are doing the right thing if you are searching for different methods on how to backup your iPhone to a laptop. Sometimes it is even the files that are more important than the iPhone itself. In this article, we will explore different ways on how to easily backup an iPhone to a laptop.

To backup your iPhone to a laptop: You just have to connect your Lightning-to-USB cable to your iPhone and laptop and give permission to your laptop. Next is to copy the files from iPhone through the File Explorer, then paste to your laptop. It is quite easy and straightforward.

But knowing that it is an iPhone, you know that compatibility issues may arise. You might have to do some fine-tuning and workarounds for the process to suit you better. Besides, there are some methods that you might prefer depending on your circumstances. The good news is, we will have a rundown of all the details and workarounds for you.

5 Ways To Backup iPhone To Laptop

You know that our digital and technological sectors are running a marathon and fighting for being the best in their own field. And they spend almost the same time building bridges for each other and building walls against each other. And that is why below, we have listed 5 ways for you to backup your iPhone to your laptop.

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Backup By Dragging and Dropping

Using a cable is the classic way of transferring files even for non-iPhone users. This is the easiest way and you would be able to pull it off in just a moment.

But before starting, make sure to download iTunes to your Windows laptop to be compatible with your iPhone. This serves as the bridge for them to communicate. Basically, iTunes downloads the necessary drivers to your laptop to allow a seamless backup of files.

Now, to back up your iPhone to a laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the lightning-to-USB cable to your iPhone and laptop.
  2. A window will prompt on your iPhone which asks you to “Trust This Computer?” or “Allow This Device To Access Photos And Videos?”. Press Allow or Trust.
  3. Go to your laptop, find the Windows search bar, and type “File Explorer. Then, click it.
  4. Find the folder dropdowns on the left sidebar of the File Explorer. Click “This PC”. Your iPhone will appear as a device here.
  5. Open your iPhone through the “This PC”. If your iPhone did not appear, disconnect and reconnect the Lightning-to-USB.
  6. Copy all the files that you want to, then paste into your desired folder on your laptop.

Full Backup Using Lightning-To-USB Cable

If you want to backup all your files on iPhone at once, there is actually a faster way and is also by using your lightning-to-USB cable. This would save you a few clicks and you will also have an added option to encrypt your files which would require a password for it to be accessed.

To know how to do a full backup using a lightning-to-USB cable, follow the steps below:

  1. Connect the lightning-to-USB cable to your iPhone and laptop.
  2. On the iTunes that you have installed on your laptop, click the iPhone button. It is located on the left part of the iTunes window.
  3. Click Summary.
  4. Click “Back Up Now”.

You may encrypt your backups by selecting “Encrypt local backup”. You will have to type a password and to click Set Password. You can see the backups by clicking Edit, then Preferences, then Devices.


Another method to backup your important files is by using Bluetooth. This method is one of the most popular as it is one of the oldest ways and one of the pioneers in terms of file transfer methods. If you want to back up your files using Bluetooth, follow the steps below:

  1. Find and go to your iPhone Settings.
  2. Find and tap Bluetooth, then toggle the switch on. Make sure to set your iPhone to “discoverable”.
  3. Put your iPhone near your laptop. Then go to your laptop’s settings.
  4. Click Devices, then open Bluetooth & Other Devices, then turn on the Bluetooth
  5. From the list of available devices, select your iPhone.
  6. Go to your iPhone and then select “Allow”. This will allow your laptop to pair with your iPhone.
  7. Once paired, you may now select the files that you want to backup to your laptop. Go to your files and select all that you want to transfer to the laptop.
  8. Tap share, select Bluetooth and then choose your laptop.


Because Bluetooth is quite slow, you may want to step up a little to make the transfer of files faster. ShareIt uses LAN or Local Area Network to transfer your files at a faster range and within a longer range of detection. To use ShareIt to backup your iPhone to a laptop, follow the steps below:

  1. Install ShareIt to your iPhone and laptop.
  2. Connect both your iPhone and laptop to the same network and then open the ShareIt of both devices.
  3. On your iPhone, tap the Send button, choose the files that you want to backup, then tap OK.
  4. If the ShareIt on your laptop is opened and it is connected to the same network as your iPhone, it would be detected by your iPhone. Tap your laptop.
  5. Go to your laptop and accept your iPhone’s connection request.
  6. Wait for the transfer to be finished and check it on your laptop.


If you are using a Macbook, chances are, you may want to use the more popular AirDrop than ShareIt. It is the most widely-used method of transferring files via LAN by Macbook users. But before using it, you have to first enable the AirDrop for both your iPhone and Macbook. To open them, follow the steps below:

To open the AirDrop on your iPhone, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open your iPhone Settings.
  2. Tap “General”, then scroll until you find AirDrop.
  3. Set to the “Everyone” option. This allows all nearby Apple devices that use AirDrop to see your device.

To open the AirDrop on your Macbook, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. On the menu bar, click “Go”, then select “AirDrop”.
  3. A dropdown will appear, then click “Everyone”.

Then to know how to backup your iPhone to Macbook using AirDrop, follow the detailed guide below:

  1. Wait until both of the devices have detected each other.
  2. Go to your iPhone and choose the file that you want to backup to your MacBook.
  3. Tap the three-dot menu, then hit the “Share” button.
  4. Select AirDrop, then select your MacBook.
  5. A message will prompt on your MacBook to accept the transfer. Accept it and wait for the transfer to be done.

Depending on the Settings of your MacBook, it might ask you to set the location where you want to transfer the file from AirDrop. If it did not ask you, by default, you will see it on Downloads.

Wired-Transfer Vs. Wireless Transfer

By now, you might be thinking of what method of transfer is easier and better for you. Shall you go with connecting your iPhone to your laptop physically, or shall you do it wirelessly?

Both of these have their own advantages and fully understanding them might help you decide on what is better in different circumstances.


Wired Backup

Best For Bulk Files

If your iPhone has tons of files that will be needed for you to backup on your laptop, chances are, it would take too long to finish it. And it will greatly help to use a dedicated cable for transferring files rather than using wireless transfer.

Using a lightning-to-USB cable or any other cable to transfer files is faster because the data are isolated into a physical medium. The majority of the power that is being used for the transmission of files is flowing through a dedicated and directional medium which is a wire, which in return, makes the transmission faster.

On top of that, using a wire rather than air as a medium corrupts lesser bits of data because the wire is much more isolated from external noise that could cause corruption. This, in turn, makes the decryption of data faster


Confining the file transfer into a physical medium makes it safer than a wireless transfer because no one could connect and possibly access the files aside from those devices that are physically connected. So no unnoticed connection is possible.

On a wireless connection, the sender and the receiver will be connecting to the same network. And anyone aside from them that is also connected to the same network could peek through the files that are being transferred.

Simpler Set up

This is because all devices are initially designed for physical connections and transfers. So it is usually easier to pull this off. Besides, using a wireless connection commonly needs another app to transfer files, and this will cost you a few more clicks.

Wireless Backup


You won’t always be transferring files to your own laptop. Sometimes, your colleague needs a specific important file that only you have a copy of. Instead of physically connecting your iPhone to the laptop, it may be better to do a wireless transfer as physically connecting gives the laptop complete permission to view and access all of your files.

Doing a wireless transfer sets boundaries in which only the files that are sent will be the only files that could be viewed and edited by the receiving end.

Easier Troubleshooting

Doing the backup wirelessly needs one lesser tool to use. You won’t need the lightning-to-USB cable which may be one of the causes of an unsuccessful backup. Some wires could have loose connections which could stop the file transmission process in the middle of transferring files.

More Room For Multitasking

Choosing to do a wireless backup gives you the flexibility to do more tasks while your iPhone is at the moment of transferring files because it does not need to be near the laptop. You could be in the same room, a few meters away from the laptop, doing your own stuff, and the transmission is still perfectly fine.

Types of Storage For Backup

There are different types of storage that you can use to store all the files that you need to keep safe. And different types of storage have different advantages and disadvantages. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses would help you to be more efficient in handling your storage spaces and important tasks.

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Listed below are different types of storage devices that you can use to store your files as a backup:

Laptop Or Desktop’s Internal Storage

Be it a laptop or a desktop computer, both of these have large internal storage spaces that you can use to save a copy of the files from your phone. It is far larger and you just have to accept that. Laptops and desktops are physically larger than your iPhone so they have so much room for potential hardware upgrades, and that includes the internal storage.

Using External Storage Devices

External storage devices are storage devices that are not embedded inside of your laptop. They can be easily connected and disconnected externally without the need of unscrewing the case of your laptop, which is the case if you would disconnect internal storage.

Technically, the internal and external storage devices are the same. The difference is that your internal storage also stores the application and software files that you are using inside your computer. External storage devices usually only store files and not applications because you are not actively using these external storage devices, keeping out the need to store your applications in there.

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage is a type of file storage system wherein you are storing your files on remote storage that could be hundreds or thousands of miles away from you. And instead of using a cable, your files could be accessed through the internet.

It is becoming one of the centers of technological development as it has a very huge potential because you won’t have to buy physical storage devices, and ideally, you can store almost countless amounts of files.

You could imagine more its advantage as having an ideally infinite amount of storage devices, that takes no physical size and weight, and can be brought everywhere you go. How many hard drives or external storage could you carry on your backpack while traveling everywhere? 1? 10? 50? 100? 1000? Using cloud storage would give you the ability to carry a much greater number of it, with more ease.

You can try some of the most famous cloud storage like Google Drive and iCloud.

Article by:
Kenny Trinh
While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur. His writing has been featured in national publications such as Forbes, RD, Yahoo Finance, HackerNoon among others.

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