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How to Protect Your iPhone Data with an External Drive Backup

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Jun 03, 2024 • Filed to: Backup & Restore Data • Proven solutions

Is your iPhone data adequately protected? Given the fragility of your device, it's important to acknowledge that unforeseen events can occur at any time. Rather than relying solely on chance, taking proactive measures to safeguard your data is crucial. After all, it's better to be prepared than to regret it later.

If backing up on the cloud is not enough, you can take extra measures by backing it up to an external hard drive. So, if you haven't given serious thought to the extent of your iPhone data-safeguarding measures, now is the time to act. We are here to provide you with everything you need to know about backing up iPhone data to an external drive.

Part 1: Why You Need to Backup iPhone Data to External Drive

Can you back up iPhone to an external hard drive? Obviously! It’s even recommended to do so, even if you have backed up your data on the cloud.

Why relying solely on cloud backups may not be sufficient? Cloud storage providers typically offer a limited amount of free storage. If you have a large amount of data to back up, you may quickly exceed the available space.

Plus, accessing data from cloud backups requires an active internet connection. It may be subject to download or streaming speeds. It’s also not practical when you are uploading many data all at once since the upload time can take long.

External drives, on the other hand, can be convenient in terms of data storage and accessibility. Transferring data is typically faster since it's a direct and local transfer. If you back up iPhone to external drive, you will also have extra security in case there is a problem with your cloud.

Back up to an external hard drive

Part 2: How to Backup iPhone to External Drive

Let's address the most important question: How can I back up my iPhone data to an external drive? Worry not. We've got you covered. Follow the step-by-step guide provided below to learn how to back up iPhone to an external drive:

  • Step 1: Choose an external drive

A quick tip: Always look for reviews first before purchasing. Select a reliable external drive with sufficient storage capacity and compatibility with your iPhone. It’s better to choose a reputable brand to avoid any damage.

  • Step 2: Connect the external drive

Connect the external drive to your iPhone using the appropriate cable or adapter to your computer. Make sure the connection is secure.

  • Step 3: Authorization prompt

If it's your first time connecting the external drive to your iPhone, you may receive an authorization prompt on your iPhone. Click “Trust” or follow the on-screen instructions and grant the necessary permissions to access the external drive.

  • Step 4: Share to your external drive

Open your iPhone and select the files you want to back up. Then, tap the Share icon and select your external drive name.

Otherwise, you can also open your Mac/computer, then navigate to your iPhone device on Finder. Click the General tab and select “Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac” > Apply to move iPhone backup to external drive.

Then, you can also open your iPhone device on Mac, copy all the data you need to back up, and paste them to your Mac folder. Voila! Your data will be saved safely on your external drive.

Backing up iPhone to an external HD

Part 3: Troubleshooting Common Issues

  1. Problems with external drive recognition

If your iPhone is not recognizing the external drive, check the connections and compatibility with your device. If there’s no problem, try restarting both the iPhone and the drive. Test with another drive to isolate the issue.

  1. Insufficient space on the external drive:

Running out of space on your external drive can hinder the backup process. To address this, delete unnecessary files. You can also optimize backup settings by including essential data only. Consider using a larger capacity drive if needed.

  1. Issues with backup restoration:

If you encounter problems while restoring your iPhone data from an external drive backup, confirm compatibility, verify backup integrity, and reset your iPhone settings if necessary. You should seek professional assistance if the issues persist.

Part 4: Alternative Methods for iPhone Backups

Backing up your iPhone doesn't have to be limited to cloud or external backups alone. There exist alternative methods that offer additional advantages. Let's delve into one such alternative in this section – using Wondershare Dr.Fone software.

Dr.Fone da Wondershare

Dr.Fone - Phone Backup (iOS)

Selectively backup your iPhone contacts in 3 minutes!

  • One-click to backup the whole iOS device to your computer.
  • Allow previewing and selectively export contacts from iPhone to your computer.
  • No data loss on devices during the restoration.
  • Works for all iOS devices. Compatible with the latest iOS version. New icon
Available on: Windows Mac
3981454 people have downloaded it

Wondershare Dr.Fone has garnered immense popularity among users for its satisfying capabilities. With its user-friendly interface and a lot of powerful tools, Dr. Fone can enhance your backup experience significantly.

It provides a robust solution for iPhone users, offering a wide range of features, including data backup. Some of Dr. Fone's backup features include:

  • Comprehensive backup of all iPhone data
  • Preview before restore
  • Easy data recovery
  • Ensure no data loss
  • Option for auto-backup

How to use Dr.Fone iOS backup:

  • Step 1: Start the iPhone backup

Launch Dr.Fone on your computer. In the left panel, select "My Backup" and click on "Back Up Now."

Backing up iPhone with Dr.Fone Back Up feature

  • Step 2: Allow for the backup process

Let the software complete the backup process until all your data is safely stored. Dr.Fone's system automatically detects and backs up various file types from your iOS device.

Wait for the Dr.Fone backup process to be done

Once the backup is complete, a prompt window will display comprehensive backup details. You can access the backups by clicking "View Backups" or locate the backup folder directly by selecting "Open in Folder."

For Automatic Backups with Dr.Fone:

  • Step 1: Enable automatic backups

Launch Dr.Fone and go to My Devices > Backup preferences. A window with various options for backing up your data will appear. Then, make sure to enable the "Auto-Backup" feature.

Setting automatic iPhone backup with Dr.Fone Back Up feature

  • Step 2: Connect devices to the same Wi-Fi network

Ensure your iPhone and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The automatic backup feature will function accordingly based on your chosen Backup Plan and Preferred Time.

You are done! See your backup data by clicking Backup History > View.

Check backup details using Dr.Fone Back Up feature

Part 5: Best Practices for iPhone Backup Management

Previously, you have learned how to backup to an external drive, explore alternative methods, and troubleshoot common backup issues. The next crucial step is to adhere to the best practices that streamline the backup process.

A few essential things you can do during iPhone backup to external drive

  • Use Wi-Fi connection

It’s better to connect to a Wi-Fi network when backing up, as large backups may consume significant cellular data and take longer to complete.

  • Sufficient iCloud storage

Ensure you have enough iCloud storage to accommodate your backup. You can check your storage availability in the Settings app under your Apple ID > iCloud.

  • Regular backups

To ensure you never forget to back up your data, setting up automatic backups is recommended. This way, your data stays up to date without relying on manual backups. Ideally, aim to back up your iPhone at least once a week or whenever you make significant changes to your device or data.

  • Verify backups

Periodically verify that your backups are complete and error-free. You can do this by accessing the iCloud Backup settings and checking the backup details.

  • Secure your backups

If your backup solution offers an encryption feature, protect your backups with a strong, unique password. It helps to make sure your data remains secure and prevents unauthorized access.

Now, it’s a wrap. You will be able to effectively manage your iPhone backups. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your iPhone backups are in perfect order.

safe Downloadsafe & secure


We have explored the process of backing up an iPhone to an external drive and discussed the importance of effectively managing backups. Just follow the recommended steps here, then you can ensure the safety and accessibility of your data.

Besides, you can also utilize alternatives like Wondershare Dr.Fone if you're looking for a reliable and easy solution for iPhone backup management.

Regardless, remember to regularly update your backups. Whenever you encounter any uncertainties regarding iPhone backup, you can refer back to this guide for guidance and clarification.

Daisy Raines

staff Editor

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