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How to use Dropbox and iCloud for iPhone and iPad backups

 

Google Drive is a great option for those who need a lot of free storage, but if you aren’t a heavy power user, Dropbox and iCloud are great places to keep your iPhone or iPad backup data. With Dropbox you only get 2GB of free storage for signing up, but setup is very similar to Google Drive since the two services work much the same.

Head on over to the Dropbox website, sign-up for an account, and download the correct version for your operating system. It’ll take you through the setup wizard, and once you’re done, just like you did above, you can copy your backups and paste them in the Dropbox folder, putting it in the cloud.

Dropbox certainly isn’t for the power user, but it’s a great place to keep a third backup if something were to ever happen to your other two options.

And of course, even though iCloud isn’t the best for keeping your device backed up, it’s always good to have turned on, as it makes setting up a new device or restoring apps after a reset a seamless process. I just wouldn’t put all of my faith in it to alone to house pertinent files. It’s good to make sure you have various copies across services.

To make sure you’re set up with iCloud, unlock your device, head into Settings > iCloud, and ensure all of the apps, documents and data you want in the cloud are actively being backed up. For some apps, such as Notes and Mail, you’ll need to create a free @icloud.com email address.

Hardware

  • If you’re really paranoid about losing data, even after you’ve put iPhone backups in the cloud, you can always go the traditional route and put backups on hardware, such as external hard drives and USB thumb drives.
  • It works virtually the same way as putting your data on the cloud. Only, instead of pasting the backup in your Google Drive or Dropbox folder, you’ll need to find your external hardware device in your file explorer and paste it in there.
  • Once fitted in its new enclosure, connect the drive to a power source (if applicable) and your Mac or PC, then wait while it’s detected. If it’s a straightforward swap, and the disk isn’t damaged, it should appear in Finder with all your data intact. Congratulations, job done!
  • However, you may see a message telling you the disk is not readable, inviting you to ignore, eject or initialise it. This means the disk is physically okay, but is formatted in a way your Mac or PC can’t read. Initialising the disk will wipe it, so if there’s data on the drive, you’ll want to recover that first – click ‘Ignore’ if this is the case.

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