How to Backup iPhone to Computer without iTunes

Need to back up your iPhone 11/X/Xr/8/7/6 to a Windows or Mac computer? Read this guide to learn how to backup iPhone to computer without iTunes.
How to Backup iPhone to Computer without iTunes

This guide contains everything you need to know about making an iPhone backup to a computer without using iTunes. You’d find step-by-step instructions on how to backup an iPhone on macOS Catalina (using Finder), how to get it done wirelessly via iCloud, or using third-party programs. We’ve also included some tips and troubleshooting solutions to help you get things done without glitches. Let’s get to it.

Why Is iPhone Backup Important?

We’d imagine that it took months or years to accumulate all the data stored on your iPhone. We’re talking about travel pictures, work-related documents, music library, contacts, messages, and whatnot. These are memories and information you don’t want to lose, right?

Backing up your iPhone data is almost like having insurance; your data becomes easily recoverable should you damage your device or lose it to theft. Having your iPhone data backed up on a PC also makes it super easy to transfer your personal information to a new device. So, what exactly are the best ways to backup your iPhone without iTunes?

Best Way to Backup iPhone to Computer without iTunes

There are several ways to backup an iPhone’s data to a computer. For Macbook users (with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older), iTunes lets you do that without hassle. There are also third-party iPhone Manager available to both Windows and Mac users to backup iPhone to PC without iTunes. Tenorshare iCareFone is a great example. Not only does Tenorshare iCareFone backup iPhone to your computer’s storage, the program also hands users the freedom to individually restore personal and app data, even to other devices.

iCareFone boasts of support for over 20 files types (music, videos, contacts, SMS, etc.) and it gives you the freedom to choose specific files you want to backup to your computer. TenorShare iCareFone also offers free backup of WhatsApp data and lets you transfer your WhatsApp data between iPhone and Android devices. Useful to add that the app automatically removes duplicate files during data transfer. If you’ve been looking for a direct and easy way to backup and transfer files between your iOS devices without Apple ID restrictions, TenorShare iCareFone is the answer.

The process is fast, seamless, and requires no Wi-Fi connection. And the best part — it is available for free. Follow the steps listed below to make an iPhone backup without iTunes using iCareFone. Read our Tenorshare iCareFone Review here.

Before you proceed, make sure you have installed the program on your computer. Tenorshare iCareFone is available for devices running Windows (10/8.1/8/7/Vista) and macOS (v 10.10 or newer).

>> Get Tenorshare iCareFone <<

Step 1: Connect your iPhone (or iPad) to your computer using a USB cable. When prompted, tap Trust and enter your iPhone’s passcode. Afterward, launch Tenorshare iCareFone.

Step 2: If it’s your first time using the app, you’ll be prompted to grant Tenorshare iCareFone permission to access your iPhone’s files. Tap OK to proceed.

Backup iPhone to Computer with Tenorshare iCareFone

Tenorshare iCareFone automatically detects your iPhone. Now it’s time to get your iPhone backed up.

Step 3: Navigate to the ‘Backup & Restore’ section.

Tenorshare iCareFone Backup Restore

Step 4: Next, tap the ‘Device Backup & Restore’ card.

Tenorshare iCareFone Device Backup Restore

Step 5: Select the files and data you want to backup and tap the Backup button.

Tenorshare iCareFone select files and tap Backup

Tenorshare iCareFone is quite advanced and flexible in that it lets you backup media files (photos, video, etc.), app data, and even private data (contacts, messages, voicemail, reminders, etc.)

Keep your device plugged in and wait till you get a Backup Completed message. And that’s it. Your iPhone has successfully been backed up to your computer.

Backing up data with Tenorshare iCareFone

You can tap the ‘View Backup data’ button to immediately restore the backup or follow the steps below.

Tenorshare iCareFone view backup data

Connect your iPhone to the PC using a USB cable and launch Tenorshare iCareFone. Navigate to the ‘Backup & Restore’ tab, select the backup data and click the View button at the bottom-right corner.

Tenorshare iCareFone view

Select the data you want to restore (you can select all) and tap ‘Restore to Device.’

Tenorshare iCareFone Restore to Device

Make sure your iPhone is connected to your PC till you get confirmation that the backup has been restored successfully. Easy peasy, right?

How to Backup iPhone in macOS Catalina (Using Finder)

Follow the steps listed below carefully to backup your iPhone to your Mac using Finder, the default macOS file manager.

Step 1: Connect the iPhone you want to backup to the Mac using a USB cable.

If this is your first time connecting the iPhone to your Mac, you’ll be prompted to grant Mac access to your iPhone’s content (settings & data). Tap Trust on your iPhone and enter your phone’s passcode.

How to Backup iPhone in macOS Catalina

Step 2: Launch Finder on your Mac and tap your iPhone’s name in the Locations section.

iPhone name on finder

Quick Tip: If you don’t see your iPhone in the Finder window, make sure the iPhone is unlocked. Likewise, ensure the Locations section is expanded or unhidden. In this case, hover the cursor on the Locations option and tap Show to reveal the newly-connected iPhone.

Show iPhone’s name on Finder

Step 3: Wait for Finder to sync your iPhone and load the device management screen. In the Backups section, select ‘Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac.’

Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac

Step 4: Finally, tap the ‘Backup Now’ button.

Backup Now on finder

This will grey out the backup buttons and initiate the backup process. You should see a circular progress bar next to your iPhone’s name.

circular progress bar next to your iPhone’s name on finder

When the backup is completed, the buttons are restored and the time of completion will be displayed.

Last backup to this Mac on Finder

You can also backup your iPhone to PC without iTunes or a USB cable. All you need to do is configure your Mac to recognise your iPhone when both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. But first, you’d need a USB cable.

Step A: Connect your iPhone to Mac via USB.

Step B: Launch Finder on your Mac and tap your iPhone’s name in the Locations section.

Step C: Finally, check the ‘Show this iPhone when on Wi-Fi’ option and click Apply to save the changes.

Show this iPhone when on Wi-Fi on Finder

And that’s it. Henceforward, your iPhone will be accessible on the Mac, even without a USB cable. Remember, both devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Now you can follow the Steps 3 – 4 in the section above to backup iPhone without iTunes or a USB cable.

How to Backup iPhone Using iCloud

iCloud —Apple’s native cloud storage service— is another quick and convenient way to backup iPhone without iTunes. Interestingly, every Apple user gets 5GB of free iCloud storage. But that (read: 5GB) most likely won’t be sufficient to accommodate and backup your iPhone’s data.

This is why we recommend that you upgrade the free storage quota by subscribing to an iCloud storage plan. Otherwise, you’d be presented an error that reads “This iPhone cannot be backed up because there is not enough iCloud storage available” when you try to backup your iPhone to iCloud.

This iPhone cannot be backed up because there is not enough iCloud storage available

Here’s a breakdown of how much an iCloud plan would cost you as well as their allotted storage capacity.

  • 50GB — $0.99 / month
  • 200GB — $2.99 / month
  • 2TB — $9.99 / month

Other devices connected to your Apple ID can also access your iCloud storage. This means you can backup your other devices, too — iPad, iPod touch, Mac, etc. Now, let’s show you how to backup iPhone without iTunes using iCloud.

Note: Your iPhone can only be backed up to iCloud via Wi-Fi, not cellular data.

How to Backup iPhone Using iCloud

Step 1: Launch your iPhone’s Settings menu and tap your Apple ID name.

Step 2: On the Apple ID menu, select iCloud.

That will reveal a list of apps and services configured to use iCloud on your iPhone.

Step 3: Scroll through the list and select iCloud Backup.

Step 4: Now, make sure the iCloud Backup option is toggled on.

Your iPhone is now set up to be backed up to iCloud. Useful to note that the backup process happens automatically, but only when your iPhone is:

  1. Locked.
  2. Connected to a power source.
  3. Connected to a Wi-Fi network.


And there you have it; three easy methods to backup iPhone to PC without iTunes. Backing up your device using Finder usually takes about 10 minutes (or more), depending on how much data you have on your iPhone. iCloud backup, on the other hand, could take hours or days. This is subject to the speed of your internet connection and other factors. Tenorshare iCareFone is a lot faster with a really intuitive interface. It also lets you choose the data types that you want to back up or restore.

Got any questions regarding how to backup iPhone to computer without iTunes? Please, drop them in the comments below. We’d be more than happy to help.

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