3 Ways to Backup iPhone or iPad before Upgrading to iOS 13

We all get excited whenever Apple releases a new iOS update mostly because the new update often comes with a lot of cool new features and functions. But if you’ve been using iOS for a while, you should know that sometimes a new update can also come with a lot of bugs that may cause issues with your iOS device.

Usually, there is a risk of data loss when upgrading your iPhone or iPad’s system software. With the newly released iOS 13 and iPadOS, it is always a good idea to get a full backup of your device to avoid losing any previous photos, contacts or messages. And this article will walk you through the detailed steps on how to backup iPhone/iPad before upgrading to iOS 13.

Which Way to Back Up Your iPhone/iPad Before Upgrade?

Basically, there are three methods to do this: through iTunes, iCloud or third-party iOS data backup tool. Each can meet your needs to backup all contents on your iPhone or iPad.

  • If you don’t trust the cloud service or you have a limited iCloud storage space, you can try the old-fashioned way - iTunes to backup iPhone/iPad to computer.
  • If you don’t want to connect your device to a computer and you have a stable Wi-Fi network, you can try another official way - iCloud to backup your iPhone or iPad wirelessly.
  • If you are looking for a faster, easier and more reliable solution, we strongly recommend you try a professional third-party application - FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore.

Way 1: Backup iPhone with iTunes/Finder

If you have a large amount of photos and data on your iPhone or iPad, iTunes (or Finder) is a great option to make a full backup. The process is very simple, just follow these steps below:

  • Step 1: Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer via USB cable and launch iTunes. If you use a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder.
  • Step 2: Select your device icon and in the Summary or General tab, click on the “Back Up Now” button.
  • Step 3: If needed, you can check “Encrypt iPhone backup” and add a password to protect your backup.

backup iphone with finder

This Apple tool has its own shortcomings. Some of them include the following:

  • The process to back up your device using iTunes can be quite lengthy and complicated especially for the beginner user.
  • Backing up your device using iTunes can be slow; the process has been known to take the better part of the day especially if you have large files.
  • Using iTunes to back up your iPhone is prone to different iTunes errors, some of which can be difficult to fix.
  • The process is also restricted which means you may be unable to backup certain types of data like health data or activity data.
  • You will also notice that you cannot choose the types of data to backup and restore with iTunes. This is because you will not be able to preview the backup files.

Way 2: Backup iPhone with iCloud

Apple offers 5GB of free iCloud storage for every iPhone/iPad user. If you don’t have enough space in your iCloud account, you can free up or upgrade your iCloud storage. Here’s how to backup data to iCloud before upgrading to iOS 13:

  • Step 1: Make sure your iPhone or iPad is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Step 2: Navigate to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup and tap “Back Up Now”.
  • Step 3: Or your iOS device will be backed up automatically if it is connected to power, screen locked and on Wi-Fi.

backup iphone with icloud

Just like iTunes, iCloud also has some shortcomings, including the following:

  • You will only get 5GB free storage which may not be sufficient to store the backup for the device. If you want additional storage, you will have to pay a monthly fee from $0.99 to $9.99 depending on the package you need.
  • You may not be able to back up all data on the device in iCloud. You can only backup camera roll, documents, accounts and settings.
  • The backup process will only work if you have adequate storage and a strong Wi-Fi connection.
  • You will also not be able to restore the files selectively since you are unable to see the backup file.

Way 3: Backup iPhone without iTunes or iCloud

If you would like a far more effective and easier way to back up all the data on your iPhone or iPad before an update, you can try a professional data backup tool - FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore. This tool gives you total control over the backup process, allowing you to select the files you want to backup and even where you’d like to store the backup.

Key Features of FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore

  • You can back up your iPhone or iPad to the computer in a single click
  • Supports to backup photos, videos, music, contacts, SMS messages, WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Kik, notes, and more data.
  • Allows you to preview the files in the backup and thereby selectively restore a backup to the device whenever you need.
  • Allows you to restore data from your iTunes or iCloud backups selectively.
  • Very easy to use, the whole backup process takes just a few minutes.
  • Works well on all iOS devices and all iOS versions, including iOS 13 and iPhone 11/11 Pro.


Follow these simple steps to backup iPhone/iPad with iTunes or iCloud:

Step 1: Download and install the program on to your computer and then launch it. From the options in the main window, click on “Backup & Restore” to begin.

drfone home

Step 2: Connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer using USB cable and wait for the program to detect the device automatically, then select “Device Data Backup & Restore”.

backup restore

Step 3: In the next window, select the types of data you would like to backup and then click “Backup”. Keep the device connected to the computer until the process is complete.

select file types to backup

Step 4: The whole process takes just a few minutes. Once the backup is completed, you can click “View Backup History” to view and check the contents in the backup file.

view backup history


In this article we have shown you how to backup your iPhone or iPad before upgrading to iOS 13 using iTunes, iCloud and FoneGeek Backup & Restore (iOS). Choose the one which best meets your own situation and then continue installing iOS 13 on your device. If somethings goes wrong, you’ll be able to restore your iPhone/iPad data from the backup.


By Joan J. Mims

Posted on Oct 10, 2019, 06:37:44

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.