iCloud vs iTunes Backup, Which One Is Better?

To compare iCloud vs iTunes backup, this article would explain what they do with your data and give you a suggestion on which backup is better between iCloud and iTunes.


By Dylan / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Backup iPhone with iCloud or iTunes?

Apple devices are so popular in the world. iPhone and iPad have given people premium digital experience. Their styles are simple but unique, looking comfortable, and could be very endurable so that you could use your iPhone for years and its performance is still stable. Apple have released two applications to help users to backup their device, iCloud vs iTunes. Both of them have unique features. You might need to know more about the pro and con between iCloud and iTunes backup.

Comparison: iCloud vs iTunes

let’s shortly do a comparison between iCloud Backup and iTunes Backup. You could find more details in the following content.

iCloud Vs iTunes

Both iCloud and iTunes save the necessary data on iPhone and could restore iPhone to the previous version. It looks like that iCloud has more priority when storage is not considered as a problem.

iCloud backup vs iTunes backup

iTunes and iCloud are very powerful. They could help you to save most of the data on your iPhone and restore your iPhone to the previous version. Let’s see how they work.

Backup iPhone with iCloud

iCloud becomes a built-in application on Apple devices since iOS 5. You could find it in Settings and backup iPhone with iCloud in two ways.

Method 1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and you could see many features on your iPhone. Switching on the button means you would like to upload data in this app to iCloud. If you have signed in another Apple Device with the same ID, enabling iCloud on that device would sync data between two devices.

Method 2. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Switching on iCloud Backup means you would like to backup your whole iPhone. It would automatically backup iPhone to iCloud at night or you could tap Back Up Now to immediately backup iPhone to iCloud. You could check your iCloud backup size and decide the content of your backup in iCloud settings > Manage Storage. iCloud backup could be used to sign in a new iPhone.

Although you could decide to back up the content in which apps, you could not preview the data or view the backup copy on iPhone yet you could download iCloud backup to PC in another way.

iCloud is not totally free. You are only given 5GB of free storage. If you want more data to be included in backup, you need to pay for changing storage plan.

Backup iPhone on iCloud

Backup iPhone with iTunes

If you want to use iTunes to back up your iPhone, the first thing that you would like to know might be what iTunes backup includes. iTunes doesn’t allow you to decide what to backup, like iCloud, it would save most of the local data including device settings on your iPhone to computer. Photos, messages, call logs, notes and even Keychain data could be saved to computer by iTunes but they would not be included in iTunes backup if you have upload them to iCloud.

After knowing what iTunes does to your data, you might want to know how to backup iPhone with iTunes. You need to download iTunes, connect iPhone to computer with lightning cable, enter Summary of your iPhone and click Back Up Now. You’d better prepare at least 5GB of storage in C Drive. That depends on how much local data on your iPhone. Usually, you need to wait for 10 mins or more until it finishes the task.

You could locate iTunes backup in C Drive, yet you still could not view the data (no matter whether you have checked Encrypt iPhone backup).

If you would like to restore your iPhone from that backup, iTunes would erase the data on your iPhone first and then transfer backup copy to iPhone. You need to download apps and media files like songs and videos from the iTunes Store. After that, you restore iPhone to the previous version.


More flexible backup plan for Apple devices

If you are still seeking for a proper backup plan for your Apple devices, you could try FoneTool.

It is a professional Apple device backup application. You could use it to backup photos, videos, songs, messages, and contacts to computer. Besides, it also provides full backup option when the iCloud and iTunes 

• Preview and Select: It allows you to preview and select the files on your iPhone during backup and restoration. You could also easily view your backup by one click.
• Super Speed: It could transfer 100 photos in 2 seconds.
• Widely Compatible: It supports iPhone from iPhone 4 to iPhone 14 and would be perfectly compatible with the latest iOS 16. It also supports iPad and iPod Touch.
• Transfer Media Files: It would save your media files to computer so you could transfer them to another Apple device such as transferring videos from iPhone backup to iPad.
• Safely Restore: It would do nothing with the existing data on your device.

Selective backup important data to PC

Step 1. Download FoneTool for free. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable and tap “Trust” on it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click Selective Backup. Click an icon to preview files. After selecting needed files, click OK to return.

Select Files

Step 3. Click Start Backup and your task would be completed in seconds.

Click Start Backup

If you need to restore your device from this backup, you just connect the device to computer, select this task in Backup History and click Restore.

Create full iPhone backup on PC

If you are transferring data from iPhone to iPhone, or encounter an issue, creating a full iPhone backup is somehow necessary.  Here are how to perform it with FoneTool.

Step 1. Run this backup tool, and click "Phone Backup" > Mouse over "Full Backup" > Click "Get Started".

full backup

Step 2. To backup private data, please encrypt the operation. You can click Backup Storage Path, and click "Start Backup".

backup encryption


When comparing iCloud vs iTunes backup, you should know that both of them could save the necessary content on iPhone and restore it to the previous version but iCloud is more acceptable. You could try either of them.

If you want a more flexible backup plan, try the best iPhone backup software, FoneTool to selectively transfer data among your Apple devices.

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Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.