(Maybe) fail safe iPhone back up

My phone’s camera is busted and Apple are all “oh maybe it’s a hardware issue or maybe it’s a software issue” and I’m all “yeah, no duh”. In order to check if it’s a software issue (best case), I have to RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS. This is the worst first world problem one can encounter - I have to SUCCESSFULLY BACK UP everything on my phone. This feels very risky because #phoneislife.

Here’s the thing - it’s actually not that easy to know the best way to back up your phone (cloud or to your computer etc.), and how to ENSURE you don’t screw up and then you lose 20,000 valuable memes in your camera roll. I’m going to write this down as I am doing this back up, so you can watch the magic unfold. If I do this correctly, congratulations, you have a step-by-step guide to backing up your phone. If I fuck up royally, goodbye forever because I am going to lock myself in a room and listen to Rihanna’s sadder tracks and lament the fact that no one will give me sympathy for this mild inconvenience to my life. If this is bleeding obvious to everyone else then don’t bloody read this, but I’m sure there has to be at least one other person in the vast expanse of the world who is similarly confused.

Ok, let’s go.

July 3, 2016

5:45pm - immediate question is, so do I back up to the mythical “iCloud” or do I back up to my laptop? Oh good, 600 articles on this topic, ALL highlighted purple because I have definitely tried, and definitely failed, to understand this before. So these articles are saying the differences are negligible, except for this one article that’s telling me that iCloud back up doesn’t back up all your apps properly and won’t restore things like music and videos that weren’t purchased through iTunes. Um, what. Ugh now it’s telling me to just use BOTH.

5:52pm - spam all friends on Whatsapp who will maybe know something, await response.

5:53pm - realize my laptop died and now I can’t back up to that anyway. Fucking great.

July 23, 2016

12:09pm - great job self, it has taken three weeks of procrastinating to get back to this. Friends proved useless in helping on this point. Which feels more a reflection of Apple’s inability to explain how their stuff works, as opposed to my friends sucking. Because my friends are SMART yo. I’m on the phone with my new best friend Jenny at Apple. This was actually related to something else, but I’m slipping in a few questions about the phone back up because I’m sneaky.

1:10pm - Here’s what I learned after an hour on the phone, straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth (horse = Jenny):

  1. iCloud is actually FINE and will back up BASICALLY everything. The only things it won’t back up are ringtones, music you illegally downloaded elsewhere, and some kind of weird voicemail-to-text functionality no one has ever heard of. So basically, nothing relevant to anyone born after 1840. Oh and sometimes “Mail” is not backed up if you have an account with certain providers. The one she mentioned was Dodo. DODO.
  2. Jenny claims that if I am “very concerned” about losing stuff I could also back up to iTunes. I tell Jenny my laptop is broken because I never upgraded the software (#hypocrite) and now it’s too full and one day it just slowly died. Jenny says iCloud should be sufficient.

1:18pm - decide to back up Whatsapp separately as well because it’s the only thing I care about. Jenny assures me that all apps and their data are backed up to iCloud already, but she’s got less to lose.

1:30pm - Whatsapp back up is complete. Go to check iCloud… how do I KNOW if iCloud has backed up all my stuff!? Ok apparently you need to connect to a power source and wifi first, then go Settings, iCloud, Backup, Back Up Now. Now we wait…

1:47pm - back up is complete, sheer terror ensues. Commence reading more articles about fail safe back ups.

2:00pm - definitely need a “lunch break” - obvious procrastination. Decide to finish episode of Pretty Little Liars #savehannah. What a raging Saturday this is.

2:29pm - PLL is over and I start to think that *I* might be “A”. Too nervous again so back up Whatsapp and to iCloud again. Immediately regret decision, this is taking forever.

2:46pm - seek validation from friend that I am “doing the right thing”. I’m thinking about this more than if I had to turn off someone’s life support… “just pull the plug”.

All the permission I need ^

All the permission I need ^


2:55pm - OMG I DID IT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IT GAVE ME SO MANY WARNINGS AND I SAID YES EVERY TIME AND NOW EVERYTHING IS GONE. Side note, I went to Settings - General - Reset - Erase All Content and Settings and then clicked OK a hundred times.

3:02pm - phone is apparently restoring from iCloud, this looks like it’s going to take forever. For now my major concern is being without my phone for more than like two minutes. How will I know what’s happening in the Twittersphere?

3:36pm - there is *allegedly* 23 minutes of iCloud backup remaining (because I know you care very deeply about this).

4:05pm - UPDATE IS COMPLETE. Things are slowly starting to update. Thankfully Snapchat appears to be in good order, as evidenced by my most recent saved “Memory”:

5:54pm - call Apple because it’s been 2 hours and there are still like 15 apps that haven’t downloaded yet. Can I just say, Apple’s customer service is actually great. BUT I WILL TELL YOU WHAT’S NOT GREAT? THE FACT THAT THEY JUST TOLD ME THAT IT TAKES LIKE AN HOUR PER GIG TO RESTORE FROM ICLOUD AND I HAVE 20GB TO RESTORE. I feel like this information would have been important at ANY POINT BEFORE NOW.

11:50pm - RESTORE IS COMPLETE. And I have lost NOTHING (that I can find). Great success. *High fiving a thousand angels*.

12:05am - realize that camera is still broken. GREAT. Whatever at least we got to go on this fun journey together team.


Ok so here was my initial question to Apple (with regards to my mother’s phone)

“The phone only has a limited amount of storage, so I want to move the photos to my laptop so I can delete them off my phone. BUT, if I am connected to iCloud across devices, then if I delete them off my phone they will delete EVERYWHERE”.

There is a wide range of recommended solutions on the internet, but I think the best one is this (as discussed with BFF Jenny):

  1. While everything is still connected to iCloud, make sure ALL YOUR PHOTOS are on the computer.

  2. Make sure phone is not connected to computer via any cords and shit, then turn off iCloud on your phone.

  3. Now everything is on your laptop AND in the mysterious “cloud”, but your phone is full of space for you to keep snapping.

  4. In future, use cord to connect phone to computer, and back up pictures from phone that way.

So now that I write that, it’s super obvious, but like… whatever, I battle. Don’t taunt me too much, I’ve been a brave little soldier today.

Jenny & me = BFF

Jenny & me = BFF

Is it ever OK to lie? Spoiler, no (apparently)

Just fucking Google it (JFGI)