Need to make a local backup your iPhone with your Mac but haven’t done it in a while? Follow along for how to backup your iPhone in macOS Catalina.

If you don’t want to pay for iCloud storage, backing up your iPhone with a Mac is a good option.

But even if you like to use iCloud as your primary backup method, backing up with your Mac is a great plan to keep all your iPhone data protected in multiple places.

If you haven’t backed up your Mac in macOS Catalina, it’s a bit different than previous versions, let’s jump in…

Mac: How to backup your iPhone in macOS Catalina

  1. Plug your iPhone into your Mac with a USB-C or USB-A to Lightning cable
  2. Open Finder (on macOS versions older than Catalina do the same steps in iTunes)
  3. Look for your iPhone on the left sidebar and click it
  4. In the middle of the screen, click Back Up Now
  5. You can check the status in sidebar
  6. Click the eject button next to your iPhone before unplugging it

Here’s how these steps look:

You can backup your iPhone with your Mac even if you have the default set to iCloud.

How to backup iPhone on Mac macOS Catalina walkthrough 1

Note, if you want to change the default backup behavior for your iPhone, select “Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.”

How to backup iPhone on Mac macOS Catalina walkthrough 2

Finder doesn’t give an estimated time for how long the backup will take but you can look next to your iPhone in the sidebar to see a status icon (you can also hover over it to get a cancel button).

How to backup iPhone on Mac macOS Catalina walkthrough 3

You’ll see a confirmation that your iPhone was backed up to your Mac when it’s complete.

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.