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Home / Tips and Tricks / Encrypt local backups from an iPhone or iPad on Windows

Encrypt local backups from an iPhone or iPad on Windows



Apple logo on blue background

Most people back up their iPhones or iPads to iCloud, but it’s not completely private: Apple always has the key, so it can help if you forget your password. If you want a really secure device backup and you have a Windows machine, then you need iTunes. (Mac users can back up from Finder.) Here̵

7;s how.

Create encrypted local backups in iTunes

If you haven’t already, install iTunes for Windows first. You can download it for free from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10. Launch iTunes when it is installed.

Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Windows 10 PC using the appropriate USB to Lightning cable. When asked if you want to allow the computer to access your device, click ‘Continue’.

In iTunes, click

When your device asks for it, enter your passcode on your iPhone or iPad screen to trust the computer. After your PC recognizes your device, you will see a small device icon (which looks like an iPhone or iPad) in the toolbar. Click It.

In iTunes, click the iPhone or iPad device icon in the toolbar.

You’ll see an iTunes screen with general details about your device (if you don’t see it, click on ‘Summary’ in the sidebar.) In the Backups section, find the heading ‘Auto Backup’ and put a check next to it Encrypt local backup. “

Check in iTunes

After you check the box, iTunes will ask you for a password. This password will unlock the encrypted backup in the future, so enter a strong password and make sure you don’t forget it (or put it in a password manager).

Warning: If you forget this password, you cannot restore your backup or otherwise access its contents.

RELATED: Why you should use a password manager and how to get started

Enter a password in iTunes and click

Then find the “Manually Backup and Restore” section and click the “Back Up Now” button.

In iTunes, click

Assuming you have enough free space on your Windows PC, the backup will begin. If you have a lot of data on your iPhone or iPad, the backup may take a while, so be patient. When the process is completed, you can safely disconnect your iPhone or iPad from your PC.

Restore an encrypted iPhone or iPad backup

To restore an encrypted iPhone or iPad backup on your Windows 10 PC, launch iTunes and connect your device. Click the device icon in the iTunes toolbar that looks like an iPhone or iPad.

In iTunes, click the iPhone or iPad device icon in the toolbar.

On the summary page of your device, look for the “Manually Backup and Restore” section. Click on the “Restore Backup” button.

In iTunes, click

In a pop-up window, iTunes will ask you to select which backup you want to restore. Choose the one you want to restore from the drop-down menu, then click ‘Restore’.

In iTunes, select a backup from the menu and click

Since your backup is encrypted, iTunes will then prompt you to enter your backup password. This is the password you previously set (see the section above) when you first created the encrypted backup. Enter the password and click ‘OK’.

Enter a password in iTunes and click

After that, iTunes will restore the backup to your device. It may take a while, so be patient. When it is done, you can safely disconnect your iPhone or iPad from your PC.

RELATED: Back up your iPhone with iTunes (and when you should)




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