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.

Enable iCloud for old Unsupported Apple ID

iPhone iCloud error by Paul Zagoridis

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:42 pm

iPhone iCloud error by Paul Zagoridis
iPhone iCloud error by Paul Zagoridis

I have had an Apple ID that predated iTunes. It wasn?t in the form of an email address, it was just ?funpaul?.

Now that I have an iPhone 4S and am developing apps for ?iOS I thought I should start using iCloud. But I was getting this error

Unsupported Apple ID:
iCloud requires an Apple ID that is an email address (including @me.com addresses).

Unfortunately the Learn More button is worse than useless

After searching for way too long searching for the solution, I discovered that I had to change my Apple ID into an email address style Apple ID, but I?d been buying stuff from the AppStore and iTunes with just the original ID for years. My kids knew it and have spent hundreds of dollars using it over the years.

How to change the name you use for your Apple ID:

  1. log in to My Apple ID?by selecting Manage your account
  2. Check that your primary email address listed is still current (i.e. it still works)
  3. click the Edit button next to your old-fashioned Apple ID
  4. ?Click the Submit under?Make your Apple ID and primary email address one and the same
  5. Viola you?ve updated your Apple ID.

Warning this is a one way trip, you lose your ability to log in with your old Apple ID on iTunes, App Store and other Apple properties. But that?s the cost of progress, it is unlikely that old non-email format ID?s will remain useful as the Apple ecosystem grows.

Hope it helps, say thanks in the comments below.

Why are you still using an email client?

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:51 pm

Years ago I moved to an email server accessible from my iPhone, laptop, netbook, notepad or desktop computer. Initially this was achieved by using the IMAP protocol which was supported by MS Outlook, Thunderbird, Mail.app and many other email clients on my various machines. I had configured each client to bcc: myself in order to ensure my sent mail was always available (not every client handled sent-mail correctly).

For the last 3 years I’ve used an entirely hosted solution, currently gmail. My email is always available on whatever machine I’m using. I am aware of privacy and security risks (a topic for a future post).

Several family members recently had problems with their Outlook installation. Two of them are small business owners. One of them subsequently had a machine crash and she is stuck without her email history. This is a greater inconvenience to her than not having a computer at all. If she was on the cloud she’d buy a $400 replacement and be back working 2 hours later.

Their reason for storing all their email on their laptops? “That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I know to do.” My aunt bought MS Office just so she could use Outlook because that’s all she knows.

Another reason I get is to access old email even when not connected to the internet. Not a good enough reason to store all your email locally and struggle with the backup risks.

Why are you still using an email client?

iPad for me

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 03:01 pm

I’ll probably be getting a iPad when it’s released in Australia. I replaced my blackberry with my first generation iPhone, plus my 15″ laptop stays home too. I can email and web-surf directly from the iPhone. I take the laptop if I want to update a spreadsheet or write but I’m tethered by battery life and the Compaq gets too hot for my lap.

An iPad fixes web research on the iphone – I can see and read a whole page on its big screen. If I get a bluetooth keyboard I’ll even be able to type normally with some sort of cradle/dock.

While I don’t think I’ll need 3g broadband, it is very tempting. But for emergencies I can always use my iphone to look something up quickly. Finding a Wi-Fi equipped cafe is easy enough to save the $150 or so (plus ongoing access) that 3g will need. Alternatively I can put my phone SIM in the iPad and use my bundled data plan. Now that makes sense.

So long as the iPad is near netbook price points I’ll take one