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: The whole Apple ecosystem is marvelous but the iPhone/iTunes slow backup destroys the whole experience. I have a non-jailbroken iPhone 3G on 3.1.2, iTunes 9.0.2, and iMac Intel on Snow Leopard. ALL my pictures and music, iCal and Address book, and my Applications ARE already backed up to hard disk. If I cancel the backup process what are the downsides? I believe games settings, email settings, etc are lost but what else? Thanks.
A: The backups created by iTunes include everything that is stored on your iPhone that is not already synced to your device from iTunes itself. Media content, including music, photos and videos are not normally backed up as these come from iTunes in the first place. Likewise, your applications are not backed up but their data is, which may or may not be important depending upon what sort of applications your are using. Other content that may be relevant in the backup are your device settings and any photos or videos that you have taken with the iPhone’s own camera.
A more complete list of which data is backed up can be found in Apple’s knowledgebase article, iPhone and iPod touch: About backups.
Under most circumstances, iPhone backups should not take more than a couple of minutes, so if you’re finding that your backup times are excessive, you may want to look at which applications you’re using and how much data they’re likely storing, if you’re taking a lot of photos between backups, and/or if you’re not syncing your iPhone on a regular basis. iTunes only backs up that data which has changed since the last backup, so the length of time required to make a backup will depend largely on the above factors.
Keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with cancelling a backup in progress during a sync when you’re in a hurry. Your previous backup will still be maintained, and this will not prevent iTunes from backing up your iPhone the next time you connect it. This allows you to still retain some backups of your data, albeit perhaps not always up to the very last sync.
- 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?
- Notes from Apple’s Q4 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q4 2016: $46.9B revenue, 45.5M iPhones + 9.2M iPads sold
- Apple reportedly hiring engineers from BlackBerry, developing car operating system in Canada
- Apple releases PowerBeats3 Wireless earphones
- Apple Pay launch in Japan encounters major problems
- Apple releases iOS 10.1, tvOS 10.0.1, watchOS 3.1
- New details about Apple Watch Nike+ exclusives, availability
- Apple’s website hints at possible Apple Pay launch in Germany
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Headphones
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- 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