Backing up iPhone without a computer
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: If my iTunes library exists only on my iPhone, can I back the library up using a flash drive so in case my iPhone either craters or is lost/stolen, I will have a backup? Also can I sync an iPod that I am thinking about buying up to my iTunes library on my iPhone (similarly to the way one syncs their iPod to their laptop/computer)? That is the main thing I am wanting to know if I can sync an iPod to my iTunes library on my iPhone if that is the only place that the music exists? The library does not currently exist on any other device other than my iPhone. If not, will I have to buy a computer/laptop and copy my library from my iPhone to that PC and then be able to sync an iPod to the PC? I hope I haven’t confused you and will appreciate any information or suggestions you have.
A: The short answer is no, this is not possible. The only way to retrieve content from an iPhone or other other iOS device is over USB using a PC or Mac; there is no facility for connecting a flash drive to backup an iOS device, nor can you sync one iOS device with another.
When it’s released later this fall, iOS 5 and iCloud will provide some capabilities for backing up and syncing media without a PC, although these will be limited to backing up your settings and preferences specifically over-the-air and then using the iTunes Store catalogue to serve as a backup for your purchased music, apps and books, with music only available to users in the U.S. Backing up music that you’ve loaded from places other than the iTunes Store will require a subscription to Apple’s iTunes Match service and again will only be available in the U.S. Note also that this doesn’t include other content such as movies and TV shows.
The bottom line is that your best option is to buy a computer or laptop to backup and sync your device with; even a relatively inexpensive netbook class computer should provide enough horsepower to create and manage a small iTunes library to backup your iPhone and sync content to other devices such as an iPod.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple to sell limited-edition Olympic Apple Watch bands exclusively in Brazil
- Report: iPhone 7 will include Lightning adapter instead of Lightning EarPods
- Edward Snowden designing device to prevent iPhone wiretapping
- Report: Apple Car team running into challenges, launch may slip to 2021
- Corning announces Gorilla Glass 5
- Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+
- Report: Apple acquires cloud music provider Omnifone? [Update: No]
- Apple releases second iOS 10 public beta
- India clears the way for Apple to open retail stores
- Apple Pay launches in Hong Kong
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Incase Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app