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  1. #1
    Question Back up iPhone through iMac to External drive
    I have a dying iMac (back light issues) and would like to back up my iPhone to an external drive before he is completely gone. I currently back up to iTunes but don't know what will ensure that my iPhone data is backed up.

    Also, for some reason when I try to do the iCloud back up directly from the phone, it says it has all 5 Gigs space available, but will not offer the back up option like I see in tutorials on line. On top of that, from iTunes, if I select iCloud manually from there, it just doesn't work and goes to the computer instead. It says it is backing up, but then it says "Your iphone has never been backed up to iCLoud." But shows it backed up to the computer instead. Thanks for any guidance.

  2. #2
    Back up iPhone through iMac to External drive
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    59,498
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
    Rep Power
    55
    All you really need to do is ensure your iMac is backed up to an externall hard drive - which by the way, you should be doing. The best way in my opinion is to use a cloning application that will make a snapshot of your hard drive and one that you could boot from. We recommend using either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. You already have Time Machine, however, Time Machine is more difficult to restore from and can be glitchy in nature.

    As for the iPhone backups, continue making them thru iTunes to your iMac hard drive as long as you're backing up the iMac as I stated above. As for the iCloud backups, it should work directly from your iPhone. If you're using the latest version of iOS (10.3.1) it's "Settings -> Your Name -> iCloud -> Backup -> Backup Now". Give that a try and let us know but be sure to backup your iMac before it goes completely dead.

  3. #3
    Thanks! Are the free versions ok for this? Also, will I be able to access individual files from this kind of a back-up? If I restore iTunes after I get a new computer, I am not sure where those iphone files would be. I don't want to migrate or use Time Machine when I replace this computer since it was someone else's before and I would want to start fresh.

    As for am my phone, it does not even offer the 'Backup' option from the "iCloud" selected after settings. I am using 9.3.4 because I was told since it is an iPhone 5 it can't handle the latest upgrade. Maybe that is an issue but I am afraid to mess with it because IT is also getting old and I don't want to risk loosing those contacts before I upgrade in case it doesn't make it to the phone store.

    (I am really looking forward to new stuff!)

  4. #4
    Back up iPhone through iMac to External drive
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    59,498
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
    Rep Power
    55
    Yes, Carbon Copy Cloner has a free fully functional 30 day trial that you can download from their site. Also, SuperDuper offers a free version that does not have all the bells and whistles that the paid version has. And to answer your question about restoring individual files, both applications offer this. Since the clone is a copy of your hard drive it's very easy to extract and restore files.

    Your iPhone 5 running 9.3.4 should be able to backup to iCloud. I have an iPad 3 with 9.3.5 (maximum for this device) and it's "Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud Backup -> Back Up Now" Make sure the iCloud Backup option is showing the color green. (turned on)

    Also - important; make sure you are signed into iCloud with your Apple ID and correct password otherwise you will not be able to use the iCloud backup.

  5. #5
    Back up iPhone through iMac to External drive
    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Posts
    6,220
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac 5K Retina 27", August 2019, 3.6GHz Intel Core i9, Memory 32GB, 2TB SSD, macOS Mojave 10.14.6
    Rep Power
    21
    @Julia

    I don't want to migrate or use Time Machine when I replace this computer since it was someone else's before and I would want to start fresh.
    I don't in any way wish to pry, but are you indicating that you were gifted this Mac and then used it as your own? I make mention of this only because what's on Time Machine (TM) will be linked to their Apple ID which, as you say, makes migration "complicated", shall we say.

    If you are "starting afresh", you may have to make do with iCloud backups because anything currently backed up, including iTunes, is likely not available to you.

    Ian
    Ian

  6. #6
    I misspoke. The computer before the iMac was gifted to me and I use Migration assistant to the iMac, before there ever was Time Machine. Thanks for letting me know.

    Chscd: It looks like I need an empty hard drive for that so I am trying to copy my Time Machine back up to a different hard drive to clear the most empty one. We will see. I am assuming it is still working even though my screen is dark again----

    The iphone is a mystery. I checked that I am definitely signed into into my Apple Account but when I get to the iCloud - name- there is no selection option for back up like I see in demo tutorials. I see that it says there are 5GB storage available also.

  7. #7
    Back up iPhone through iMac to External drive
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    59,498
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
    Rep Power
    55
    The iphone is a mystery. I checked that I am definitely signed into into my Apple Account but when I get to the iCloud - name- there is no selection option for back up like I see in demo tutorials. I see that it says there are 5GB storage available also.
    It sounds like there is some kind of error going on with your iPhone 5 because you definitely should have the iCloud backup option available. Ordinarily, I would suggest a reset of the phone but since you're already having problems with your iMac and iTunes, that is not a good option. Just continue using the iTunes backup as I suggested previously but be sure to make backups of your iMac.

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