One question we get asked frequently is, “what’s the difference between iOS backup and syncing?” . This short article explains the difference between the two: sync and backup. So what is the difference between doing a backup and doing a sync with iTunes on your computer for your iPad, iPod or iPhone?
Basically sync may mean two things (a) it is the process of making sure that two or more devices / systems (e.g. your iPhone, your computer, iCloud) contain the same up-to-date content (b) it is the process of, two-way, transferring content. You can sync your iPhone or iPad with iTunes on your computer using USB or Wi-Fi. You can sync apps, books, bookmarks, audio content etc. Syncing process makes sure that your content (files and data) is the same on your iPhone iPad or iPod touch and computer. However, back up refers to, one way, copying of most data from one location to another. You may use iCloud and iTunes and you can back up most data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Backing up your iOS device is a necessity, so that when things are lost, you can restore them with your backup.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.