How to Backup iPhone or iPad to Mac in MacOS Catalina with Finder

How to Backup iPhone or iPad to Mac in MacOS Catalina with Finder

How to backup iPhone or iPad to macOS Catalina with Finder

Wondering how to backup your iPhone or iPad in macOS Catalina? Since iTunes is gone, even the most experienced of iPhone and iPad users can be thrown for a loop when they come to back up their devices after updating a Mac to macOS Catalina. With the loss of iTunes, everything has changed, and now managing your iPhone and iPad is done via Finder. Don’t worry it still works fine, but it is different. We’re going to tell you how to use the Finder in macOS Catalina (or later) to backup an iOS or iPadOS device.

As you may already know, when Apple released macOS Catalina and put iTunes out to pasture, they created the Music, Podcasts, and TV apps. Those apps handle playing back media that would previously have lived inside iTunes, but when it comes to managing iOS and iPadOS devices it’s down to Finder. Now, iPhones and iPads work just like any other external device that is plugged into a Mac, meaning they appear in the sidebar of a Finder window. Backing up an iPhone or iPad works exactly how you might expect it to given that. Let’s run through backing up a device to MacOS this way.


How to Back Up iPhone or iPad in macOS Catalina with Finder

You’ll need a USB cable to complete an iOS or iPadOS backup to MacOS, beyond that it’s just a matter of performing the following operation:

  • First, plug your iPhone or iPad device into your computer using a USB cable and open a Finder window by clicking its icon in the Dock
  • With a Finder window open, click your iPhone or iPad’s name in the sidebar.

macOS Finder Window showing iPhone or iPad connected and ready to backup

  • If it’s the first time you’ve used your device with this Mac, click the “Trust” button to allow it to connect. You’ll need to enter your passcode to authenticate on the iPhone or iPad itself.
  • The next screen you will see should be immediately familiar because it’s very similar to iTunes. Click the “General” tab and then check the option “Back up all of the data on your [‌iPhone‌/‌iPad‌] to this Mac.”Select backup options for iPhone or iPad in MacOS Finder
  • If you want to create an encrypted backup, select “Encrypt local backup.” This ensures the backup also includes sensitive data like keychain information and more. You’ll be asked to provide a password to allow you to decrypt the backup when the time comes, too.
  • Click “Back Up Now” and wait for the process to complete.

That’s all there is to it.

Backups can take a while to complete if they iPhone or iPad has significant storage capacity and has a lot of stuff on it, so just let that process complete.


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