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One of the most important changes in macOS 10.15 Catalina was the removal of the longstanding iTunes application in separate music, podcast and TV applications. But what about the backups of iOS devices that you also used in iTunes? In Catalina, Apple moved this function to the Finder. So if you upgraded to Catalina or bought a new Mac that comes with Catalina, you can still back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in Finder.


First a note. If you're not using iTunes to back up, manage, and sync media on your Mac device, we recommend that you don't start now. Although Apple continues to provide these features to those who need or prefer them, the company mainly focuses on cloud-based services such as iCloud Backup, Apple Music and iCloud Photos. In addition, many Apple apps, e.g. For example, books, calendars, contacts, podcasts, and TVs, sync your data with all Apple devices through iCloud. We focus here on backup. For more information on how manually sync materials to your iOS device, go to


First connections

As with iTunes, you need to connect your iOS device to your Mac with a USB cable, either a USB to Lightning cable for most devices or a USB-C cable for the latest iPad Pro models. When you connect your device to your Mac, it should appear in the sidebar of a Finder window. However, it may not appear until you open Finder> Settings> Sidebar & select CDs, DVDs, and iOS devices. (And if it still doesn't appear, restart your Mac.)


When you connect an iOS device to your Mac for the first time, you need to establish a trusted connection between the two devices. To do this, you need to select your iOS device in the sidebar of a Finder window, click an displayed trust button, click Trust again on your own device, and then enter your device access password. This is very sensitive as it prevents someone from stealing your iPhone and connecting to their Mac to read its content.

Secure your device

After going through the necessary safety circles, select the device in a sidebar of the Finder window to display the general screen, the user interface of which is slightly reminiscent of iTunes. You'll find backup controls, as well as a button that lets you update your device's iOS version and (not shown) a number of other general options. Here, too, we focus on backup.

You have two options: save backups in iCloud or keep them on your Mac. Apple has more information than the two, but here are the basics:


ICloud backups:

 If you have enough storage space in iCloud (or are ready to buy more), select "Back up your most important data from iPhone to iCloud". Backing up to iCloud is the best option as it happens automatically once a day when the device is powered, locked and Wi-Fi connected - for us, this usually means during a night charge. If your Mac support has a relatively small SSD, there may be no backup space for a large iOS device. ICloud backups are very safe and reliable, but there are those who don't want to pay for enough iCloud storage space or don't want their data in iCloud.

Local backups:

If you want, select "Back up all iPhone data on this Mac". Make sure you select "Encrypt Local Backup". Otherwise, the backup does not include saved passwords, WiFi settings, browsing history, health data, and call history. And anyone who enters your Mac can access everything else in the iPhone backup! If you select "Encrypt local backup", you will be prompted for a password. Make sure you don't forget this password.

If you choose iCloud backups, the backups are automatic. For local backups, click Back up now to start a backup. Backups can take a long time - a circular progress bar replaces the eject button next to the device name in the sidebar. This is an indication that you should not disconnect the device during the backup.

In fact, you don't have to choose between iCloud and local backups. Nothing prevents you from keeping the default setting in iCloud (this reflects the setting on your device under Settings> Your Name> iCloud> iCloud Backup), but log in occasionally

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