Best Way to Backup iPhone or iPad on iOS 12

iPhone Backup Overview

Having a backup strategy means that your precious data is protected no matter what happens to your device. Fortunately, backing up your iPhone or iPad on iOS 12 isn’t that difficult. In this guide we will go through the best way of backing up your data.


Step One: Backup to iCloud

backup iphone or ipad to icloud

Turning on and setting up iCloud Backup:

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap Settings > Apple ID Banner (Your Name) > iCloud
  3. Select which items you would like included in your backup, like Notes, Messages, etc. We recommend not including Photos and Contacts. We will get to this later.
  4. Turn on iCloud Backup (if it isn’t already turned on) and tap Back Up Now.
  5. Check your backup status by tapping Settings > Apple ID Banner (Your Name) > iCloud > Manage Storage, and then select your device. You should see your latest backup listed.

Other app data – like Whatsapp chats/media, for example – can be backed up to your iCloud as well. You’ll want to make sure you have enough storage space on your account. The free 5GB won’t usually be enough for most people, but luckily the paid plans are quite affordable – starting at 50GB of storage for only 99 cents per month.

  • If you are backing up in order to transfer to Android, check out WazzapMigrator.

iCloud is great for backing up your iOS device or Mac, but it falls short in certain areas – namely for contacts and photos. Using your Google (Gmail) account to store your contacts and photos will make it easier to find and manage them from any device you use. Also, Google Photos offers free unlimited storage for all your photos and videos.

Step Two: Backup iCloud Contacts to Google

Exporting Contacts from iCloud

Step 1: Sign in to your iCloud account at, and select “Contacts”.

Step 2: On your Contacts page, click on any of the contacts and then hold Ctrl+A to select all. Then click on the “Settings” gear icon on the bottom left corner and click on “Export vCard” to export all of your contacts to a file.

Importing iCloud Contacts to Google

Now that you have an exported vCard file of your iCloud contacts, you can transfer them to Google.

Step 1: Sign in to your Gmail account, click the Apps icon on the top-right corner, and select “Contacts”

Step 2: On the left side bar, click “More”, and select “Import” from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Now click on “Select File”, and select the previously exported vCard file of your iCloud contacts. Then click on “Import” to import the file.

Step 4: You should now see the imported contacts in Gmail. Click on “Find & Merge Duplicates” to get rid of any duplicate contacts. You have successfully imported your iCloud contacts to Gmail.

How to View Google Contacts on iOS Device

  1. Open your iPhone or iPad’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Accounts & Passwords > Add Account > Google.
  3. Enter your email and password.
  4. Tap Next.
  5. Switch “Contacts” on.
  6. At the top, tap Save.
  7. Go back to the root page of the Settings app and tap Contacts.
  8. Tap Default Account and select “Gmail”.

To start syncing, open your iPhone or iPad’s Contacts app. Tap “Groups” on the top-left corner and make sure only “All Gmail” is checked.

Step Three: Backup Photos to Google Photos

Storing your photos in iCloud will quickly fill up your allowed storage space and will end up costing you money in the long run. Google Photos will allow you to upload and store all your memories for free. The setup is simple and fast.

Step 1: Download the Google Photos app from the App Store.

Step 2: Open the app and sign in using your Gmail account.

Step 3: Google Photos will now scan your albums for all photos and videos. The upload will start automatically and you will see the progress on the top-right corner.

Step 4: Keep the app open until the upload completes. Your photos will not upload while the app is closed, so remember to open it occasionally.

Step 5: If your device’s storage is running low, you can use Google Photos’ built-in clean up tool to erase the photos and videos from your Camera Roll. This will not remove them from Google Photos.