How to Encrypt Your iTunes iPhone Backup

How to Encrypt Your iTunes iPhone Backup
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of backing up your devices on a regular basis. Having a recent backup can prevent the loss of photos, passwords, contacts, settings, and other important data in the event your device is ever stolen or destroyed. To keep that backup data secure, it's important to encrypt the backup. In fact, some things, such as your passwords, Health data, and Wi-Fi settings can’t be backed up unless the backup is encrypted.

While iCloud backups are always encrypted, iTunes backups are not, so if you prefer to back up your device on your computer, you’ll need to turn on the encryption option in iTunes.

To encrypt your iTunes backup:

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  • plug your iPhone (or other device) into your computer and open iTunes.
  • Tap on the device icon, click the Summary tab on the left, and look in the Backups section in the main window.  
  • If it isn't already checked, check the box labeled Encrypt [device] backup.

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  • You'll then be prompted to create a password specifically for that backup.

Be sure to remember it or store it in a safe place, as you won’t be able restore your device with an encrypted backup or turn off backup encryption if you forget it. However, you will still be able to make and use iCloud backups.

You can see your backups in iTunes: on the top menu bar, click iTunes; select Preferences. Choose Devices. Encrypted backups will have a lock icon next to them.


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Tommy Ly's picture

Tommy Ly spent a few years covering iOS news and writing iDevice accessory reviews for before joining iPhone Life and loves checking out cases and other mobile gear.