How do I Backup my iPhone?

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To back up your iPhone, connect your phone to your Mac or PC using the USB Lightning cable provided and open iTunes. Note: If you are on a Mac and running macOS Catalina please scroll down for the specific instructions using Finder on Catalina instead of iTunes.

After backing up your phone, you will then be able to use Decipher Tools software to save your text messages, voicemails, and other iOS data from your iPhone to your computer.

You can make a backup of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch on any computer using iTunes. If you use iTunes' syncing features, the computer does not need to be the computer that you sync with.

Step 1: Bring Up the "Summary" Page for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in iTunes

When your iOS device is plugged into your computer, you should see a device icon in the upper-left section of the iTunes window. Clicking on that device icon will bring you to the summary page for that iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) or bring up a menu of multiple devices for you to select from.

Select your iPhone in iTunes.

If you don't see that iPhone button in iTunes:

  • Try the iTunes File menu > Devices. If you still do not see any devices in that File > Devices menu, it is likely that iTunes is having trouble recognizing your iPhone or iPad.

  • If iTunes is not recognizing your iPhone, here are Apple's suggestions on what do to if your device is not recognized.

  • In older iTunes prior to iTunes 12: In the upper-right corner of the iTunes window, you should see a button for one or more iOS devices. Press that button to bring up the summary page for your iPhone/iPad. If you do not see the button for your phone in the upper-right corner of iTunes, check to see if you have a list on the left-hand side of your iTunes window. If so, your phone should appear under "Devices" in that list. Click on the device name in order to bring up the information window for your iPhone/iPad.

Step 2: Press the Back Up Now Button

In the "Backups" section of the summary page, press the "Backup Up Now" button. This will backup to your computer regardless of your iCloud settings on the left. Our Decipher Tools software can read from both non-encrypted and encrypted backups (assuming you know the password!) so you can leave the encryption checkbox set however you like.

Making a backup in iTunes

Note: Since iTunes 11 was released, many people see a screen that gives the option "Restore from Backup" or "Setup as New" when plugging in their iPhone for the first time. You want to choose the option "Setup as New." Even though this sounds like it might wipe the phone, it does not — it just sets up the phone as a "new" device in the list of devices that iTunes tracks. This should only happen the first time for each iOS device you plug in to the computer.

macOS Catalina - How to back up your iPhone or iPad without iTunes using Finder

For Mac users running macOS Catalina, iTunes is no longer needed and you can backup your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch device via Finder.

  1. Plug in your iPhone or iPad to your Mac computer.
  2. Switch to Finder. It's usually the first item in your macOS dock. The icon for macOS Finder. If you don't see the Finder icon in your dock, search for Finder in the Spotlight search in the upper right corner of your screen

    The icon for macOS Finder. If you don't see the Finder icon in your dock, search for Finder in the Spotlight search in the upper right corner of your screen

  3. In the left column of the Finder window, select your iPhone or iPad under Locations. If you don't see the left column of the Finder window, select the View menu > Show Sidebar.
  4. If prompted to "trust" the Mac on your device, tap Trust on your iPhone and enter the passcode as prompted. This is an iOS security mechanism to allow this Mac to connect to your iPhone.
  5. Click the button to "Back Up Now" under the main Finder window and "General" tab.

Here's a helpful screenshot for reference:

How to backup an iPhone without iTunes on macOS Catalina



  • Haleigh Albrecht

    Haleigh Albrecht July 7, 2019

    YAYYYYY this helped me retrieve my restrictions passcode after 6 years of not knowing it!!

  • Kleoh Rose Romero June 6, 2019

    I can't back up my itunes to my computer because it does not have enough storage, what should I do? I w can't use the app at all.

  • Nancy Kendrick March 3, 2019

    How can I recover a previous backup from iCloud, not the most recent one? It shows a backup from Sept 2018 when I plug my phone into iTunes, but I can't access it from Decipher in order to pull the texts.

    • Decipher Tools Software

      Decipher Tools Software March 3, 2019

      Hi Nancy. Decipher TextMessage reads from your local iTunes backup and not iCloud. You would need to backup your iPhone via iTunes and then Decipher TextMessage will recognize your device. If you still have troubles, the best thing to do is contact via our support page and we'll be happy to help. ;-)

  • Melissa Vaughn January 1, 2019

    I backup my iPhone to another drive. I don't have room on my C drive. How do I change where Decipher looks for the backup?

  • Alyse Maryanne

    Alyse Maryanne July 7, 2018

    can I connect more than one phone to the decipher tool? I need to print convos from a few phones thanks

    • Decipher Tools Software

      Decipher Tools Software July 7, 2018

      Hi Alyse, the software reads from your iPhone backups. You backup your devices and then you can save and print your text messages. We do all our support replies via email. Drop us an email and then we will reply back with details. ;-)

  • Melissa April 4, 2018

    I followed these instructions, and need to update what was previously backed up for court. I am in decipher but it is not updating the new messages since the last back up? Please help!

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW April 4, 2018

      Hi Melissa,

      If you haven't already - send us an email on our support page. Making a new backup in iTunes and then running Decipher TextMessage again should be all that is needed to update with the newest messages. So if that is not working, definitely reach out to us and we'll help ASAP!

  • Beth January 1, 2018

    I've backed up my iphone 6s. Decipher TextMessage is not recognizing my most recent text messages. How do I get the most recent texts to download in order to print them for court?