It’s that time of year again. No not Christmas, I’m talking about the impending release of Apple’s new iPhone. Whether you upgrade to the new model every year or fate has led you to switch to the iPhone 7 because of an expired contract are because your current Phone has an issue, you will likely need to backup the information on your phone in order to restore it to your shiny new iPhone 7.

For purposes of this article, we are only going to deal with the technical process a Backing up your iPhone, not the pros and cons of staying with your current model versus upgrading to the iPhone 7.

Your first option and arguably the easier of the two choices is to simply back up your phone to iCloud and then restore it to the iPhone 7. Follow the steps below to use iCloud.

Option 1 – iCloud Backup

1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.

2. Tap Settings, then scroll down and tap iCloud.

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone

3. Scroll down, tap Backup, and make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone

4. Tap Back Up Now. Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.

5. Make sure that the backup finished: Tap Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, then select your device. The backup should appear in the details with the time and backup size.

If you have a large capacity iPhone and you have never backed up before, it may take several days before a complete backup reaches iCloud. Also, remember that backups will only occur if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network unless you specifically grant permission to use cellular networks. This is to protect you from yourself and not run up a huge overage bill with your mobile provider.

Future iCloud Backups

A better way to handle the situation in the future is to turn on automatic and regular and automatic backups to iCloud. This enables you to restore your current settings and information too many IOS device at any time. This is handy for when the next upgrade time comes, but also useful should your phone be lost, damaged or stolen.

To set up automatic backups, follow the steps below:

  • Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  • Connect your device to a power source.
  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Make sure that your device’s screen is locked.
  • Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup.

Restore from iCloud Backup

1. Turn on your device. You should see a Hello screen. If you already set up your device, you need to erase all of its content before you can use these steps to restore from your backup.

2. Follow the onscreen setup steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from iCloud Backup.

3. Sign into iCloud with your Apple ID.

4. Choose a backup. Look at the date and size of each and pick the most relevant. After you choose, the transfer starts. If a message says that a newer version of iOS is required, follow the onscreen steps to update (If you don’t see onscreen steps to help you update, learn what to do).

5. When asked, sign into your Apple ID account to restore your apps and purchases (If you’ve purchased iTunes or App Store content using multiple Apple IDs, you’ll be asked to sign into each). If you can’t remember your password, you can tap Skip this Step and sign in later.

6. Stay connected and wait for a progress bar to appear and complete. Depending on the size of the backup and the network speed, the progress bar might need a few minutes to an hour to complete. If you disconnect from Wi-Fi too soon, the progress will pause until you reconnect.

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone

7. Now you can finish setup and enjoy your device. Content like your apps, photos, music, and other information will continue to restore in the background for the next several hours or days, depending on the amount of information there is. Try to connect often to Wi-Fi and power to let the process complete.

Option 2 – iTunes Backup and Restore

If your iPhone is too old to use iCloud backup or you’re one of those people that don’t like the cloud or trust it, you can still backup your iPhone and restore it to the iPhone 7. Follow the steps below to use the iTunes method.

1. Open iTunes and connect your device to your computer.

2. If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps. If you forgot your passcode, get help.

3. Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod when it appears in iTunes. If your device doesn’t appear in iTunes, learn what to do.

4. If you want to save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch, you need to encrypt your backup: Select the box called Encrypt [device] backup and create a memorable password.

Note: Write down your password and store it somewhere safe, because there’s no way to recover your iTunes backups without this password.

If you don’t need to save your Health and Activity data, you can make a backup that isn’t encrypted. Just click Back Up Now.

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone

5. After the process ends, you can see if your backup finished successfully in iTunes Preferences > Devices. You should see the name of your device with the date and time that iTunes created the backup. If you encrypted your backup, you should also see  beside the name of your device.

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone

Restore from iTunes

1. Open iTunes on the Mac or PC that you used to back up your device.

2. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable. If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps. If you forgot your passcode, get help.

3. Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch when it appears in iTunes. If your device doesn’t appear in iTunes, learn what to do.

4. Select Restore Backup in iTunes. If a message says that your iOS device’s software is too old, learn what to do.

5. Look at the date and size of each backup and pick the most relevant.

6. Click Restore and wait for the restore time to finish. If asked, enter the password for your encrypted backup.

7. Keep your device connected after it restarts and wait for it to sync with your computer. You can disconnect after the sync finishes.

How To: Backup and Restore iPhone