By Dylan / Last update May 11, 2022

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Want to backup iPhone with iTunes?


Does iTunes backup saves everything including photos and messages?

Does iTunes save everything on my iPhone if I backup it with iTunes? I mainly want to save photos and messages but I’m not sure whether they would be exported by iTunes since this is the first time that I use iTunes. What does iTunes backup include? Does iTunes backup photos?

- Question from Apple Community

Apple has manufactured a series of fascinating products, especially iPhone. iPhone always attracted its fans for its creative design and performance.

When enjoying its service, you should also take care of it. If you are running out of the iPhone storage or you have some important data to save, you should backup your iPhone.

What does iPhone backup include? Apple users often choose iTunes or iCloud to backup iPhone and the content of iTunes backup and iCloud backup is nearly the same.

Since iTunes is the official backup tool, this passage would tell you what iTunes backup include and share with you some tips when you backup iPhone with iTunes.

Section 1. What does an iTunes backup save?

If you want to use iTunes to back up your iPhone, you must want to know about what iTunes backup includes. Does it include messages? You should know that iTunes backup includes most of the local data on your iPhone like photos, messages, contacts,call logs, iPhone settings, local files of apps, Keychain data, etc. To save space and time, data that could be downloaded from the server would not be included. For example, if you have 45GB of files on your 64GB iPhone X, you might get a backup of about 10GB with iTunes.

iTunes Logo

Local data in apps

Local files of apps like the pictures you’ve made with Paper, or the chat history in WhatsApp would be included in iTunes backup, and you just need to download apps to read them.

Apps would be at their former position but are greyed out after restoration. Connect iPhone to the network, tap the greyed-out apps to download the full apps from App Store. You could then find your files or game saves.

Music tracks or videos from the iTunes Store would not be included in iTunes backup. This passage has mentioned that if the file could be downloaded from the Internet, it would not be saved in iTunes backup. You need to download the media files like songs, videos, and books from where you get them.

WhatsApp Icon

iPhone settings

All of your settings on this iPad would be included in iTunes backup, so you could actually restore your iPhone to the previous version with the same data, apps position, and iPhone settings.


Photos, messages, and contacts (special)

Files like photos, messages, and contacts could be included in iTunes backup but they are pretty special for iTunes would not backup them if they have been uploaded to iCloud, which means you could download or sync them after you sign in iCloud. Therefore, you should know that everything that you have saved in iCloud would not be included in iTunes backup, so you could go to iCloud setting on your iPhone to see whether you have toggled on these features or you could download iCloud backup to PC.

Photos Messages Contacts

Call logs

Your call log would not be separately saved to iCloud unless you backup iPhone with iCloud, so your call logs would be included in iTunes backup.


Keychain data

If you want Keychain data to be included in iTunes backup, you need to check Encrypt local backup when you backup your iPhone with iTunes. Keychain data is very special. iTunes would backup them even though you have saved the data in iCloud.


● If you have used iTunes to sync photos, songs, and contracts, etc. to your iPhone. They would not be included in iTunes backup. You’d better try another way to backup iPhone photos to PC.
● If you using iCloud to sync Safari history and WhatsApp chat history, the data will not be backed up with iTunes.
● Data like Face ID, Touch ID settings, and Apple Pay information and settings would not be included in iTunes backup for they are associated with your ID. They would be automatically downloaded to your iPhone when you sign in with Apple ID. You could automatically get the data when you connected to the network.

Now, if someone asks the same question that “what does iTunes backup include”, you can easily give the answer.

Section 2. How to backup iPhone with iTunes?

To back up iPhone with iTunes, you should download iTunes to computer > Connect iPhone to computer > click the phone-shape icon >click Back Up Now.

When you restore your iPhone from backup with iTunes, the existing data on your iPhone would be erased and then iTunes would transfer data from that backup to your iPhone. You could download the left 35GB files from the Internet.

Except for iTunes backup, you could also create a custom backup in the following section.


Section 3. Easily decide what your backup includes

“What does a full iPhone backup include” might a tough question for iTunes users. iTunes is strict when you backup iPhone with it. You could backup your iPhone by one click with iTunes but you could select nothing and you could not view your backup in iTunes or folder.

Apple has released the new iPad 8/Air 4. The iPhone 12 is also coming soon. It's time to upgrade your iOS devices. If you want to easily view the files on your iPhone and see what your backup contains, you need a professional tool.

AOMEI MBackupper is a free professional iPhone backup software, allowing you to backup iPhone photos, videos, contacts, music, and messages to computer. It is easy to use and every step would be easily understood.

  • Preview and Select: You could preview and select the files when you backup or restore your iPhone.

  • No Data Loss: When you restore your iPhone from backup, it could do nothing to the existing files.

  • View and Position: You could view your backup with AOMEI MBackupper or position your backup file with one click.

  • Widely Compatible: It supports the latest iOS 15/14 also supports iPhone 13/12/11/X and iPad 8/Air 4.

  • Fully or Custom Backup: Thi software provides 2 backup services. You can also fully backup your iPhone or choose items to backup.

Step 1. Download AOMEI MBackupper. Connect your iPhone to the computer and tap “Trust” on it.

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

Step 2. Run AOMEI MBackupper, and click Custom Backup on the main interface.  

custom backup


Step 3. You could preview and select files by click an icon. Click the orange button OK to return.

Select Files

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

Click Backup iPhone

Tips: To view or position your backup, you could select your task and click the eye icon or the pin icon in Backup Management.


What does iTunes backup include? You have got the answer now. A full iPhone backup includes most of the local data on your iPhone and content from stores and data uploaded to iCloud would not be included. It also doesn’t allow you to select files or view backup in folder. If you want to select files on your iPhone and view backup on computer, you might need the help of AOMEI MBackupper.

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