Tech Q&A: Backing up two different iPhones

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Q. Robert

I have an old iPhone 5 that I use for my music. I’ve always backed it up to my computer and now I have a newer iPhone 6 that I need to back up. My friend tells me that I can’t back up two iPhones to the same iTunes account. Is this true?

A. Hi Robert,

Your friend is mostly right. You need to take care if you are backing up two devices and you don’t want your data to intermingle, or lose any of the data on one of your devices.

If you are backing up multiple iPhones on one computer, Apple recommends creating separate user accounts on the machine as the easiest, safest and most straightforward method. Separate user accounts will ensure that the two iPhones and their data never mingle.

If you are backing up onto a Windows PC, go into the Control Panel and select User Accounts, click on User Accounts again and then select Manage Another Account, where it will present you with the option to add a new user. You can call the new user Robert iPhone 5, if that helps you remember which phone is linked to which user account. You can then switch users by clicking the Windows start button and selecting Switch User. Log in as one user and back-up one phone on that iTunes account and then switch to the other user to back-up the other iPhone.

Creating separate Mac user accounts requires you to go to System Preferences, click View and then click Accounts. Once there, you can click on the plus sign in the lower left section of the window. Once again, you can call the second user anything you like, but if you would like to remember which iPhone is backed up on which account, you might want to name it accordingly. Also, when using a Mac you will want to disable automatic login so there is no confusion as to which user is logging in to iTunes.

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