It is now more than five years since the iPhone revolutionized the mobile phone and the way in which we communicate. A lot has changed since then; however, the fundamental limitations imposed by Apple against transfer of iPhone data to computer remain. This article examines ways to backup iPhone to computer which circumvent Apple’s restrictions.
Backup iPhone contacts to PC:
With the arrival of the iCloud, it is easier than ever to transfer one’s iPhone contacts between multiple devices in storing iPhone contacts on Apple’s servers. But what if you are looking to create a safe offline backup of your contact list stored away from third-party company servers? How to backup iPhone contacts directly to your PC?
Well, the answer is not that simple at first since there are dozens, if not hundreds, of apps which promise to do some sort of iPhone contact import, export, transfer, or backup. You can use iTunes and sync iPhone contacts to your Windows Contacts. This, however, requires syncing your iPhone with iTunes. If your iTunes library was not previously synced with your iPhone, you run the risk of your iPhone music being wiped away by iTunes.
Very recently, I found several 3rd party programs which offer to manage your iPhone contacts and, among other features, can help you transfer and backup iPhone contacts to another location such as a new iPhone or directly to a folder on your PC.
Here is a quick overview of the first program in action called CopyTrans Contacts.
This program requires you to have a Windows PC, if you are using a Mac or do not wish to use a computer as an intermediary to backup your iPhone data, scroll further below. Connect your iPhone to your PC after which your contacts will show up.
You only need to select your iPhone contacts from the program window and drag/drop them to a folder on your computer. Your iPhone contacts will transfer in the form of a *.vcf files within that folder. You can later use these files and restore them to your iPhone, should you need to or even to another iPhone.
More information about this program from the developer’s website:
There are a number of alternative ways of transferring iPhone contacts featuring both your computer as an intermediary, or directly through your iPhone device. For instance, My Contacts Backup would send your old iPhone contacts to your email account from where you can recuperate them on your new iPhone.
If you are looking to bringing all your contacts from various online accounts such as your Facebook, LInkedIn, Email, etc, to your iPhone you can use Smartr Contacts.
Smartr contacts will upload your contact data from your various social and online accounts to their servers and display all data combined within their app designed to run on your iPhone.
Syncing contacts and other iPhone data to your Google account via Google Sync
A popular way to backup your online data, at least for those who have a Google account is via Google Sync. If you don’t have a Google account, you can easily open one. Google sync is easy to set up on your iPhone and will sync your Contacts, Email, and Calendars to your Google account.
You can sync your iPhone contacts via iTunes sync by selecting the “Google Contacts” option in “Sync Contacts with” under the “Info” tab.
For those who would like to avoid iTunes sync, the easiest way is to use Google Sync directly on their iPhone. To do so, simply set up an Exchange account by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Microsoft Exchange.
Just follow through the set-up wizard where you would have to enter your Google user name and password in addition to Google’s mobile server (m.google.com).
Syncing iPhone contacts across multiple devices using the iCloud
For those who wouldn’t mind uploading their contact info on Apple’s servers; mind you if you are a privacy freak who keeps their data strictly offline, you might not enjoy this, Apple has developed a rather handy Cloud-based platform for sharing your iPhone contacts, calendars, photos and even music across all of your iOS devices called simply the iCloud.
All iOS devices such as the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad running on iOS 5 + are automatically compatible with the iCloud. In order to enable the iCloud on your iPhone, you would first need to set up an Apple ID. An Apple ID usually requires that you provide your credit card information.
Next, enable the iCloud on your iPhone by navigating to Settings > iCloud and entering your Apple ID and password.
Finally, choose what data you would like to sync between your iPhone and your iCloud account.
These are several easy ways to backup iPhone to computer circumventing iTunes and Apple limitations, depending on whether you want to backup iPhone contacts or transfer iPhone music and aps.