Whoa, Backup a Minute

Backup! Backup some more! And some more!

We’re talking backup today.

When was the last time you backed up, saved, and protected? We all know how important it is to back up our work computer but do we do the same for our mobile devices?

Have you saved those all important holiday photos? Your phone address book? The documents from emails you deleted months ago? The passwords for accounts you forgot how to access? All your favourite tunes?
For that matter, do you have your passwords and bank details locked down? Do you have internet anti-virus software installed and being used?

With cyber crime on the increase, these are all important questions to be asking yourself, and checking off. We’re only going to look at backup today, and we’ll cover some of the other ground another day.

It’s amazing just how many snaps we take each year, particularly when on holiday. I found this treasure floating around my emails.

Stuff can so easily happen to phones, most only need to go for a little swim before they are rendered permanently defunct. And while some data can be retrieved, there are never any guarantees that all of it can be. Which is what makes backing up so important.

Every device will do this a slightly different way but the principle remains the same.

So, how do you go about backing up?

There are two options for Apple users, which will work on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

One option is to use iCloud and the other is to use iTunes. Apple has an interesting article on the difference between the two, and how you manage each specifically.
If you haven’t used either before, it will ask for your Apple ID and password, or follow the instructions to get one.


Works directly from the device over WiFi to copy all the important stuff onto a cloud, not the fluffy white sort that will dump out rain on you when you least expect it, but an online storage that can be accessed by you from anywhere and from any Apple device.

Click on settings, then click on your own name and then on iCloud.

You can set it up to backup now, or can have it backup every day. It needs to be plugged in to a power source, have WiFi and have the screen locked for the daily backup.

You get 5GB of backup space for free, if you need more than that it starts from $0.99 for 50GB per month.

Once iCloud is set up, you’ll be able to use it across your devices, including on your Mac, Apple watch and Apple TV.


Stores all your backup onto your computer, so you’ll need to be plugged in before you can do much, and you’ll need to ensure your device has plenty of spare storage.

You will need the latest version of iTunes installed and updated. You’ll then need iTunes open on your device. You should get a message asking if you trust this computer, and you can follow the steps on screen. Select your specific device when it appears in iTunes.

If you want it to backup your saved passwords, health data, WiFi settings or website history then you will need to encrypt your data. This will prompt you to create a password. If you lose this password, you won’t be able to set a new password or recover the encrypted data, it will be lost forever, so make sure you save the password safely!

Android Users

This used to be quite a difficult process, and is perhaps one of the reasons so many people in business went for Apples. But it’s actually easy now.

Again there’s several options here, and it might depend on what you want to backup.


This is probably your easiest option, as it’s all in one place and allows you to backup everything in one go.

When you set up your phone, you will likely have logged into your primary Google account at some point. This is the one it will automatically select, but you can change it.

You get 15GB of free storage. Subscriptions cost from £1.59 per month or £15.99 per year, for 100GB of space.

Click settings, then look for something that says backup and restore (under Cloud and accounts or system on most phones). This will show you which Google account it’s being backed up to, and will offer you the option to choose what you’d like to backup.

If you log into this Google account elsewhere, you’ll be able to access this same backup information from your other devices, including your PC.

And the rest

Services like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive, are external cloud services and offer you the option to backup your files and then be able to access them anywhere. Most have a limited size for free, and a subscription for anything bigger. You’ll need to be logged in, and you may need a specific app.

Google Play Music will allow you to store and access up to 50000 songs, but with the ease of streaming, plus data and WiFi availability, this might not be something you would need. And there probably aren’t that many people out there with anything like that number of stored songs anyway!

You can also use Google Photos for images and video.

These are all fairly straight forward to use.

Of course, you can always backup to your PC, but if we’re honest, this is where life starts to get complicated, so if you want easy then stick to the above options. You’ll need a cable, you may need a specific app, and I would definitely recommend you find a good tutorial specific to your device to help you with the process. Obviously if it’s only files and photos you want to backup then you can just drag and drop from your phone to your PC – preferably without the comedy sketches that just flashed across my mind where the phone is quite literally moved across the screen of the PC itself, and the exasperated look at it not working. If you need help with this, I’d go for the Google option!!