In this lesson for iTunes on the Mac, we are going to switch gears and focus on how we use iTunes to manage our iOS devices, specifically how we can use iTunes to update, backup, and restore our iPhone or iPad.
Accessing Management Options for your iOS Device
When you plug in your iPhone or iPad and iTunes is open, you’ll see an icon towards the upper left corner of the iTunes interface. This icon represents what you have plugged in. When you click on it, you’ll be taken to where you can manage your iOS device through iTunes. This includes restoring, updating, backing up, and syncing your iOS device.
To access the controls for updating, backing up, and restoring your iPhone or iPad through iTunes, you need to be looking at the Summary section in the sidebar on the left. This only shows when you have your iOS device plugged in and you clicked on the icon for the iOS device in iTunes.
Updating your iOS Device through iTunes
If there is an update for your iOS device, you can click on Update. iTunes will download the update and install it on your iPhone or iPad. This will be greyed out if there is not an update.
Backing Up your iOS Device through iTunes
To back up your iPhone or iPad through iTunes, you just click on Backup Now. From there iTunes will create a backup and store it on your computer in the iTunes folder. You also set it up to back up your iOS automatically to iCloud, which is what I recommend. Then your iPhone or iPad is backed every night when you plug it in. If you don’t use iCloud and would rather use your computer, you can do that too. Just remember to plug it in periodically to that it is backed up on a regular basis. You can also encrypt your backup in iTunes if you’d like.
Viewing Space Used on iOS Device
At the very bottom, you’re going to see how much free space you have on your iOS device in a graph. You can also see what is using that space by hovering your cursor over the graph.
If you have a lot of backups on your computer, you may want to delete some of the older ones. Or maybe you have a new iPhone, so you want to delete the older backups. To do this, you go to the iTunes Preferences. This is under File in the menu bar. A window will open when you select Preference. Now select Devices. You’ll see all the different backups that iTunes has. From here you can select the ones you no longer want and delete them.
See this Lesson in Action
If you want to see this lesson in action, take a look at the video above.