If you lost your iPhone today, do you know without a doubt that you would not lose any important content? What about your photos, contacts, notes, or reminders?

This blog posts contains a quick checklist so that you can be sure you have the right settings on your phone:

iCloud Backup

Before you do anything else, make sure you have your entire phone backed up. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and make sure the iCloud Backup is toggled to the on position. When you turn this on, you may need to adjust your iCloud Storage. Apple has their storage priced very reasonably, so purchase the amount you need. 200GB of space is just $3 a month, less than the cost of a fancy Starbucks drink. Is a complete backup of all of your contacts, photos, iPhone settings, and other info worth $3/month? If you need more space, you can also purchase 1TB ($9.99/mo) or 2TB ($19.99/mo).

iCloud Settings

While you are in the iCloud settings, make sure you toggle all items you’d like to back up and sync across all of your devices. I use Gmail for email, so I don’t have that toggled for iCloud, but I do have Contacts, Reminders, Safari and Notes toggled on.

Photos

Would you like to automatically upload any photo you take from your phone or tablet to your iCloud account? You can easily do this and even optimize your iPhone storage so that the original versions of your photos are saved in “the cloud” and not on your device. This will free up a ton of space on your phone while creating a backup of your photos.

Here are the settings you should use for your Photos:

Go to Settings > iCloud > Photos. First of all, make sure this is on. Click Photos and toggle on iCloud Photo Library, Optimize iPhone Storage, Upload to My Photo Stream, Upload Burst Photos, and iCloud Photo Sharing.

You should also create a backup of all of your photos on one of your computers. To do this on a Mac, go to Photos > Click on Photos in the upper Left-hand Menu > go to iCloud in that menu > toggle the “Download Originals to this Mac” checkbox. You will then have all of your photos on your computer. Make sure you periodically copy these to an external drive or put them into a Dropbox folder for backup.

Contacts

Would you like your contact list to sync seamlessly across your devices? It is super easy with Apple and iCloud. I have highlighted the way to do this in a separate blog post here – https://www.eprcreations.com/apple/move-on-my-iphone-contacts-to-icloud/

*Bonus – Apple also has a Restore Contacts feature in iCloud.com. If you ever delete a contact by mistake, you can restore it there. But this will only work if you have set your contacts to be saved in iCloud.

Notes

If you’ve been using an iPhone for a while and have been using the Notes app, you may be saving notes just to your iPhone without them being backed up to the cloud. You will want for your notes to be saved into iCloud instead of your phone for the following reasons:

  • If something goes wrong with your phone or you lose your phone, you lose all of your notes.
  • If you save your notes to iCloud, they are accessible on all of your devices making it easy to fluidly switch between devices.

Go to Notes. In the upper left-hand corner, click the icon and you’ll see if your notes are in iCloud or on your iPhone/iPad. If they are on your iPhone/iPad, click that item and then select all of your notes and then choose to “Move” them to iCloud. Bam – all of your notes are now backed up to your iCloud account.

iCloud Two Factor Authentication

If you’ve had a sinking feeling while reading through this post thinking about the ramifications of having all of your data in one place, then you need to make sure that data is as protected as possible. There is actually a website iCloud.com where you can sign in, view your content and all of your photos. On a different website, you can (and need to) turn on a feature called Two-Factor Authentication. This will make it so that if you log into iCloud.com to see your content, a second code will show on one of your other devices. It will be impossible to get into your account without this code. It adds a much-needed extra level of security. And while you’re at it, if your password for your Apple/iCloud account is week, set a new password immediately.

The way to turn on Two-Factor Authentication is to go to https://appleid.apple.com/ and under Security, turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

The best way to see if all of your backups and sync connections have worked is to sign in at iCloud.com and go to each of the items discussed above – photos, contacts, notes, reminders. See if all of your content is here. The iCloud website is the ground zero for your content, so if set up correctly, all info here should be on all of your Apple devices.

Erik Rostad

Author Erik Rostad

Erik Rostad started EPR Creations in May 2008. He works with universities, international organizations, and executives on their online presence.

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