Encrypt iPhone backup

I’ve updated my Apple iPhone to a 6S and adjusted the custom iPhone backup location on my external HDD. This time I’ve enabled the Encrypt iPhone backup feature in iTunes.

Apple does not backup important data to transfer to a new phone if you don’t encrypt your backups. Things like:

  • Account passwords
  • WiFi passwords
  • Health app data
  • HomeKit data

iCloud backs up this data fine, but with only 5GB of iCloud storage, I wanted to backup then restore my 64GB device locally.

The encryption is strong by 2016 standards. You cannot restore a backup without the password. Aside: Obviously the FBI (and NSA) can now hack your iPhone but that’s not the use case here.

If your external HDD is ever lost or stolen, you’ll be glad that your iPhone backup on it is encrypted. Just do it.

Oh! And pick a decent password to encrypt it. Not something your already used on FaceBook, LinkedIn and every other website on the planet. You are using unique passwords and a password locker by now, right? This is 2016 after all.

Change iPhone Backup Location

Last updated on May 3rd, 2016 at 09:38 am

I have a 64GB iPhone 5S but my MacBook Air only has a 128GB SSD which is not enough to regularly hold a backup of my phone. iCloud offers 5GB free online space so I have to pick and chose what gets synchronised via iCloud.

I decided to move my iTunes iPhone backup location to a 2GB external drive called Seagate1. This is a really easy process for Mac and Windows users.

There is no way to change that within iTunes. I am sure there must be tools you can get online to configure it but I used the Terminal to create a symbolic link to make iTunes to use the external drive.

By default iTunes stores iPhone backups in ~/Library/Applications Support/MobileSync/Backup on Macs and \AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup on Windows. If you already have a backup you wish to keep, move the Backup folder to the new backup location on your external drive. Otherwise rename the existing Backup folder to BackupOld.

The symlink links the folder from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup to a backup directory on my external drive – in my case /Volumes/Seagate1/iOSBackups/Backup.

Mac OS X
Open Terminal either by searching for Terminal in spotlight or use Finder to navigate tothe Utilities folder inside your Applications folder.

Terminal will normally open in your home folder with a $ prompt.

Type the following command create the symlink, change Seagate1 to your external drive name.

ln -s /Volumes/Seagate1/iOSBackups/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

That’s it! Connect your iPhone and back it up.

Windows

Open the Command Prompt window by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Command Prompt.

Type the following command to create the symlink ,change SEAGATE1 to your external drive letter.

mklink /J "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "[Your External HDD]:\iOSBackups\Backup"

That’s it! Connect your iPhone and back it up.

Backup your blog

Last updated on July 3rd, 2015 at 08:26 pm

Frequently Asked Questions over at WordPress.com has a brilliant piece on backups for bloggers.

Several years ago I had to reconstruct?WealthEsteem.org after catastrophic hardware failure. Luckily Google had begun indexing it so I didn?t lose any posts. But rebuilding the comments proved too hard.

Switched On: photo by Clinton cardozo Doha, Qatar http://creativelock.blogspot.com/ sxc.hu 488716
Switched On: photo by Clinton cardozo Doha, Qatar http://creativelock.blogspot.com/ sxc.hu 488716

Matt and his team offer the brilliant advice of subscribing to the RSS feeds of your own site as a way of maintaining backups. Subscribe both the posts and the comments feed via either a web- or desktop-based aggregator. I already subscribe to my blogs to keep an eye on how it looks to my syndicated readers, now I have another reason.

Thanks for this brilliant but overlooked tip.