How to Save Everything on Your iPhone to Your Computer

By Danielle Fernandez

Your iPhone doesn't appear on your computer as a removable storage device.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You can configure iTunes to automatically transfer all apps, music, videos, photos, contacts, calendars, bookmarks and notes when you synchronize the device to your computer. The software also facilitates manual file sharing, which means you can also transfer content that's not automatically accessible from within iTunes, such as Keynote files or PDFs. This data transfer completely backs up your iPhone's settings and preferences so that you can quickly restore your device or initialize a new one. Before proceeding, ensure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer; if you do not, download and install it from Apple (link in Resources).

Step 1

Connect the iPhone to the computer using the iPhone's USB cable. ITunes launches automatically; if it doesn't, open iTunes manually.

Step 2

Select your iPhone from the list of available devices.

Step 3

Select the "Info" tab and ensure that your contacts, calendars, emails and bookmarks are checked to be included in the synchronization. Also ensure that iTunes is configured to transfer the data to the appropriate software on your computer. For example, if you use Outlook to manage your address book, select "Microsoft Outlook" from the "Sync Contacts With" drop-down menu.

Step 4

Access the remaining content tabs -- "Music," "Movies" and "Podcasts," for example -- and ensure that all of your content is set up to transfer with the sync session. For example, click the "Music" tab and ensure that you have the "All Songs and Playlists" option checked and that you have not inadvertently checked the box to "Manually Manage Music."

Step 5

Authorize the transfer of any content purchased through iTunes by clicking "Store," and then selecting "Authorize Computer." Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted, and then click "Authorize."

Step 6

Select the "Apps" tab, and then scroll to the File Sharing section at the bottom of the window.

Step 7

Select an app on the left to view any associated files on the right that are stored on your iPhone. Drag-and-drop files from the Documents list to your computer. Alternately, highlight individual files, select "Save To" at the bottom, and then specify a location to which you would like them saved on your computer.

Step 8

Click "Apply" or "Sync" to synchronize and completely transfer your iPhone's remaining content to your computer.