[3 Ways] How to Backup iPhone Before Upgrading to iOS 17

It's necessary to backup iPhone before upgrading. Learn 3 iPhone backup solutions to protect your data before upgrading to iOS 17.


By Lena / Updated on June 4, 2024

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iOS 15 was released last fall. Now iOS 16/17 comes out with new features and improvements. Can’t wait to update to iOS 16/17 to enjoy all the new features? Just one more step - make sure you have your iPhone data safely stored somewhere before the upgrade.

iOS 16

Do I Need to Backup My iPhone Before Upgrading?

The truth is that there is always a risk of data loss when upgrading to a new iOS. Each year, we receive many emails from users saying that some data gets lost after the update. Upgrade can bring your new features as well as many bugs. So it’s necessary to back up the iPhone before installing the beta or the official version.

On the other hand, due to Apple's security settings, the backup made on a higher iOS version is not supported to be restored to the device that running a lower iOS version. If you feel disappointed with the new iOS and want to downgrade from iOS 17 to iOS 15, the backup you made on iOS 17 cannot be restored to your device.

All in all, for anyone who wonders “Do I need to backup my iPhone before upgrading?”, the answer is definitely Yes. It is recommended to backup the iPhone before upgrading in case of data loss. It’s also a back road to the downgrade.

How to Backup iPhone Before Upgrade

There are three iPhone backup solutions for you to choose from and I’ll detail the advantages and disadvantages of each method. You can first read and choose one that suits you best to follow.

Method 1. Backup iPhone with iCloud

If you want to complete the backup on your iPhone directly, then you can choose to backup iPhone with iCloud. You just need to connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network and click the "Backup" option to run a backup automatically.

It will help you backup most iPhone data and settings. However, only 5 GB of free storage space is provided. If you do not want to upgrade the storage plan, you can go to delete the previous backup to free up more space.

Note: You can go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups > Choose your device > Toggle off the data that you do not want to include in your iCloud backup.

Steps to Backup iPhone Before Upgrade with iCloud

1. Connect your iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi network.

2. Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud.

3. Turn on iCloud Backup option.

4. Tap Back Up Now to start a backup at once.

Backup iPhone with iCloud

To restore from an iCloud backup, you should first erase your iPhone and it will take you to the setup process to select the “Restore from iCloud Backup” option to make it. All backup data will be restored to device.


- Support most iPhone data & settings.

- Backup can be done on the device.


- Do not support selective backup & restore.

- Limited free storage space.

- The backup files are not accessible.

- It will erase the existing data on the device during the restoration.

Method 2. Backup iPhone with iTunes

Although it’s quite easy to backup iPhone with iCloud, the 5 GB of free storage space may not be enough to store all your data. In this case, you can let iTunes help you backup your iPhone to computer. It will make a complete backup for your iPhone data and custom settings.

Steps to Backup iPhone Before Upgrade with iTunes

1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes on computer.

2. Connect your iPhone to computer and usually, iTunes will run automatically.

3. Click the Device tab > Click Summary > Select This Computer > Click Back Up Now to start the backup.

Backup iPhone with iTunes

To restore an iTunes backup, you should click the “Restore Backup” option on the Summary interface.


- Support most iPhone data & settings.

- No backup storage space limitation.


- Do not support selective backup & restore.

- The backup files are not readable.

- It will erase the existing data on the device during the restoration.

Method 3. Backup iPhone with FoneTool

The above are two official iPhone backup ways provided by Apple. Both iCloud and iTunes will help you make a backup package, however, what if you just want to backup some specific data like photos? One free iPhone backup tool named FoneTool is your best choice.

● It helps you backup the most important iPhone data: contacts, messages, photos, songs, and videos.
● It lets you preview and select the data you really want to backup instead of items.
● It also supports selective restoration and will not erase any existing data on iPhone.

Steps to Backup iPhone Before Upgrade with FoneTool

1. Download, install and launch FoneTool > Plug in your iPhone > Enter passocde on iPhone so the software can access your device.

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2. Choose Phone Backup > Click the Selective Backup option > Choose the type of data you want to backup. You can click each icon to select the items you want to backup.

Choose Contacts

3. Click Backup Storage Path, and select the storage space (you can even choose to backup iPhone to flash drive) > Click Start Backup to make it.

Start Backup

To restore a backup, go to the Backup History page > choose the backup task > preview the backup files > click “Restore to Device” to make it.

In addition, you can also choose the Phone Transfer iPhone to PC option to transfer full resolution photos from iPhone to PC, export iPhone contacts to CSV/VCF, etc.

Transfer to Computer


- Easy to use.

- Support selective backup & restore.

- No backup storage space limitation.

- The backup files are accessible and readable.

- No data erase during the restoration.

- Support data transfer between iPhone and computer.


- No Mac version.

- Just support a few types of iPhone data.


It’s necessary to backup iPhone before iOS 16/17 update. It can help us get back lost items as soon as possible if unfortunately, the upgrade goes wrong. For a complete iPhone backup, you can let iTunes or iCloud help you. If you prefer a selective backup & restore, FoneTool is the way to go.

FAQs about backup iPhone before iOS upgrade

Why is it important to back up your iPhone before an iOS upgrade?

  • Backing up your iPhone before an iOS upgrade is crucial to ensure that your data, settings, and apps are safely preserved. In case anything goes wrong during the update process, having a backup allows you to restore your device to its previous state without losing any valuable information.

How long does it take to back up an iPhone before an iOS upgrade?

  • The time it takes to back up an iPhone before an iOS upgrade depends on factors such as the amount of data on your device and the speed of your internet connection (if backing up to iCloud). Generally, backups can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more, so it's advisable to start the backup process well in advance of the upgrade.

Should you verify your iPhone backup before an iOS upgrade?

  • Verifying your iPhone backup before an iOS upgrade is a good practice to ensure that the backup is complete and not corrupted. You can verify iCloud backups by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup and checking the backup status. For iTunes/Finder backups, you can verify them by accessing the backup folder on your computer and checking the integrity of the backup files.
Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.