Most people back up their iPhones or iPads in iCloud, but it’s not entirely private: Apple always keeps the key so it can help if you forget your password. If you want a really secure device backup and you have a Windows computer, you need iTunes. (Mac users can back up using the Finder.) Here’s how.
How to make encrypted local backups in iTunes
First, install iTunes for Windows if you don’t already have it. You can Download it for free from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10. Start iTunes if it is installed.
Connect your iPhone or connect the 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 Next.
When your device asks for it, enter your passcode into your device iPhone or iPad screen to trust the computer. After your PC detects your device, you’ll see a small device icon (that looks like a iPhone or iPad) in the toolbar. Click it.
You will 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 “Back up automatically” and check the box next to “Encrypt local backup.”
After checking the box, iTunes will ask for a password. This password will unlock the encrypted backup in the future. So enter a safe one and make sure you don’t forget it (or put it in a password manager).
Warning: If you forget this password, you will not be able to restore your backup or otherwise access its contents.
RELATED: Why You Should Use a Password Manager and How to Get Started
After that, find the “Manual Backup and Restore” section and click the “Back up Now” button.
Assuming you have enough free space on your Windows PC, the backup will begin. When you have a lot of data on yours iPhone or iPad, the backup may take a while, so be patient. When the process is complete, it is safe to disconnect iPhone or iPad from your PC.
How to restore an encrypted version iPhone or iPad backup
How to restore an encrypted iPhone or iPad backup on your Windows 10 PC, start iTunes and connect your device. On the iTunes toolbar, click the device icon that looks like a iPhone or iPad.
On the device overview page, find the Manual Backup and Restore section. Click the Restore Backup button.
In a pop-up window, iTunes will ask you to choose the backup that you want to restore. Select the one you want to restore from the drop-down menu, then click “Restore”.
Since your backup is encrypted, iTunes will next ask you to enter your backup password. This is the password you previously set (see section above) when you created the encrypted backup. Enter the password and click “OK”.
After that, iTunes will restore the backup to your device. It can take a while so be patient. When it’s done, it’s safe to unplug it iPhone or iPad from your PC.
RELATED: How to Back Up Your iPhone With iTunes (and when you should)
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