Learn how to Encrypt Your iPhone or iPad Backup

Make your iPhone or iPad backup as secure as possible by encrypting it behind a password.


Whenever you store private or confidential information on your iPhone or iPad, you should encrypt your iPhone and iPad backups.

This guide will tell you what happens when a backup is encrypted and how to create encrypted iOS or iPadOS backups on your computer.

What does encrypting an iOS or iPadOS backup do?

In simple terms, encrypting an iOS or iPadOS backup means that password protection is added to the backup. This ensures that only you can restore the backup and only after entering the correct password.

Encryption changes how files are stored in your backup. In an encrypted backup, your files look like a lot of encrypted text. The only way to decrypt it is to enter the correct password.

In contrast, anyone can view all of your data if they have an unencrypted backup.

Read our guide to how encryption works to learn more about this security technique.

Why should you encrypt your iPhone or iPad backup?

There are many benefits to encrypting your iPhone and iPad backups.

First, as explained above, your data is better protected in an encrypted backup than in an unencrypted backup.

Second, you need to use an encrypted backup if you want to store certain data in your iPhone or iPad backups. This includes your saved passwords, health data, Wi-Fi settings, call history and website history. Apple does not allow you to save this information in an unencrypted backup.

How to encrypt your iPhone or iPad backup

When you back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud, it is already encrypted. Apple encrypts every iCloud backup with your Apple ID password.

To make a local, encrypted backup, you need to use Finder or iTunes on a computer. It's as simple as plugging in your iPhone or iPad and enabling the correct option.

Here's how it works in iTunes on a Windows PC (or Finder on a Mac):

  1. to open iTunes or finder and connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer.

  2. In iTunes or Finder, click your device.

  3. Choose Summary from the options on the left or at the top of the Finder.

  4. In the right pane you will see an option that says Encrypt local backup. Activate this option.

  5. iTunes or Finder will ask you to set an encryption password. Enter a password in both fields and click on to set a password. Save this password in a safe place as you will not be able to restore your backups without this password.

  6. iTunes or Finder will begin backing up your device.

Encrypt an iOS backup in iTunes

As long as the Encrypt local backup If this option is enabled, all future backups will be encrypted.

In addition, there are other iPhone security settings that you can adjust to make your data even more secure.

How to check if a backup is encrypted

You can use an option in iTunes or Finder to verify that your iOS or iPadOS backup is encrypted.

Related Topics: How to Restore Your iPhone or iPad from Backup

You can do this in iTunes on a Windows PC:

  1. to open iTunes or finder. Your iOS or iPadOS device doesn't need to be connected to your computer when you follow these steps.

  2. Press the To edit Menu at the top and select Settings.

  3. Go to equipment Tab.

  4. Encrypted backups have a lock symbol next to them. If you see this icon for your backup, your backup is encrypted.

Look for encrypted iOS backups

On a Mac:

  1. Connect your device to a Mac and open it finder.

  2. Select your device in the sidebar and go to General Tab.

  3. click Manage backups.

  4. Encrypted backups have a lock symbol next to them. If you see this icon for your backup, your backup is encrypted.

How to stop encrypting your iOS or iPadOS backups

If you no longer need encryption for your backups, you can disable this feature in both iTunes and the Finder.

To do this, open iTunes or Finder and uncheck the box Encrypt local backup Possibility.

Your future backups will not be encrypted until you reactivate the function. Also, keep in mind that you will not be able to store certain sensitive information in your unencrypted backups as mentioned above.

Improve data security on your Apple devices

Encrypting your iPhone or iPad backups is a great way to keep your data safe. By simply enabling an option in your default backup program, you can enable and disable the encryption feature for your iOS backups.

Make sure to write down the password for your encrypted backups, otherwise you will not be able to recover it.

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About the author

Mahesh Makvana
(121 articles published)

Mahesh is a tech writer at MakeUseOf. He has been writing technical guides for about 8 years and has covered many subjects. He loves teaching people how to get the most out of their devices.

From Mahesh Makvana

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