[3 Ways] How to Selectively Backup iPhone Data

Just want to partially backup files on your iPhone? This guide will show you three quick ways to selectively backup iPhone in detail, enabling to save your time to the greatest extent.


By Demi / Updated on April 23, 2024

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Backing up your iPhone is an essential part of ensuring that your data, photos, and other important information are safe in the event of a device failure or accidental deletion. However, constantly creating full iPhone backups brings storage limitations or privacy concerns.

That’s where selectively backup iPhone come in handy. By selectively backing up specific data types or apps, you can save space and make sure that only the most important information is backed up.

backup iPhone

Here are some possible scenarios where you might need to selectively backup your iPhone:
• You have limited iCloud storage: Selectively backup only the most important data such as photos, contacts, and messages helps save iCloud storage.
• You want to save computer space and time: By selectively backing up only the necessary data, you can save valuable storage space when backing up using iTunes.
• You value privacy: If you have sensitive information on your iPhone, you may not want to backup everything to a cloud-based service like iCloud. Selectively backing up only the data that you're comfortable sharing can help protect your privacy.
• You want to restore selective files to new iPhone: To save storage space on new iPhone, you may want to restore only part of photos, contacts, and other files to new iPhone instead of everything from old iPhone.

In this guide, we’ll show you 3 ways to selectively backup your iPhone so that you can protect your important data without sacrificing storage space. Now, let’s get started.

Way 1. The best way to selectively backup iPhone to PC flexibly

There is no deny that the best way to backup only wanted iPhone data is to rely on a powerful iOS data backup tool. We highly recommend FoneTool to you, which provides you with an offline and reliable backup service to keep iPhone data safe on your computer.


✔ Partially backup and restore iPhone files. You can be free to preview and choose wanted iPhone files to backup and selectively restore the backup files to any iOS devices.

✔ Simple UI and operations. It’s pretty straightforward to backup iPhone files via FoneTool, which steps are as simple as ABC.

✔ Fast backup speed. No need of any network, it won’t take you much time to complete the backup task.

✔ Unlimited backup space. You have complete control over where your iPhone backup is saved. External hard drives, NAS, and local computer folders are all allowed.

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Download FoneTool, and follow the steps below to know how to selectively backup iPhone onto laptop with FoneTool.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer with a compatible USB cable. You may need to tap Trust on iPhone.

Step 2. In the Home screen of FoneTool, click Phone Backup > Get to Selective Backup and click Get Started to begin.

selective backup

Step 3. Make sure you have clicked each icon to select the files you want to backup to computer, then click OK.

select files

Step 4. Choose a storage path as you like > Click Start Backup to make it.

click on backup

When the task finishes, you can go to Backup History screen to locate, browse, and delete the backup files.

restore to device

As you can see from the image above, FoneTool also one of the best files transfer apps for iPhone to PC, which can do you a favor when you need to edit, browse iPhone files locally on your computer. 

Way 2. How to selectively backup iPhone using iCloud

Does iCloud backup everything? Yes, by default, iCloud will backup everything on your iPhone, including photos, videos, app data, iCloud keychain, contacts, reminders, and so on.

While when it comes to selectively backing up iPhone using iCloud, you are given an option to disable backup for a specific app from Settings app. You can do it if you don’t want to exceed your iCloud storage. Follow the steps below to know how to selectively backup iPhone data using iCloud.

Step 1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone > Tap your Apple ID > iCloud > Choose Manage Storage.

manage iCloud storage

Step 2. Choose Backups > This iPhone > Select what you need in BACKUP OPTIONS. To see all apps, tap Show All Apps.

backup options

Step 3. Then go back to the iCloud Back Up Now. Here you have to be connected to a WiFi network to do so.

back up now

Now the backup version which includes the specific data you need has been ready.

Cons of iCloud selective backup
Apparently, there are some inherent demerits with this method:
• You have only 5 GB of free iCloud storage. For more space, you’ll have to pay.
• The network condition will greatly affect the iCloud backup progress.
• You are not allowed to preview and select data during the process.
• There are privacy leakage of iCloud rumors from time to time since iCloud saves your personal data on the cloud service.

Way 3. How to Selectively backup iPhone on iTunes

iTunes is the other tool Apple offers to enable you to backup iPhone files. Although it is usually used to fully backup iPhone, its sync function can help selectively backup iPhone onto laptop to some degree.

Before any specific operations, please be noted that iTunes can only backup your media files, such as audio and video, which may be not enough for you.

Step 1. Launch the latest version of iTunes on your computer > Connect your iPhone to computer.

Step 2. Click the phone icon in iTunes > Under Settings, click on the type of data that you want to backup. Here we take Photos as an example.

Step 3. Check Sync Photos > Check Selected folders and you can choose the wanted folders to backup > Click Apply to confirm.

sync photos using iTunes

Repeat the steps above until you have backed up all wanted types of files on your iPhone.

Further reading: Can you selectively restore from iTunes backup?

For users how have already used iTunes full backup function and do not want to backup again, you may wonder whether you can selectively restore from iTunes backup to your new iOS device.

You may get upset since the answer to this question is No. Though iTunes has been strong enough to protect your data, it cannot support you to restore selected items from iTunes backup to restore. While, it is fortunately enough, you may make it by using some third-party tools like FoneDog.


In conclusion, there are several ways to selectively backup iPhone data. If you want a simple backup solution, iCloud may be the way to go. If you want more control over your backups, iTunes is a good choice. While by contrast, the phone backup tool FoneTool is more suggested since it is easier-to-use and offers more features and flexibilities.

Regardless of which method you choose, don't forget to regularly backup your iPhone to ensure that all your important data is safe and secure. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.