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Is your smartphone backed up? Set it up before you need it.

I think it’s time to revisit how to back up the important data on your smartphone.

We all update our phones from time to time — some more than others — and if you have your calendar, contacts, mail accounts and other information up in the cloud, your new phone can look just like your old phone in just a few minutes.

I’m going to recommend that you back up to the cloud using either a Google account, if you’re on Android, or an iCloud account if you have an iPhone.

There are other ways to back up, but these are easy to set up and actually restore from when you need to set up a new phone.


You can use your Google account to back up app data, calendars, Chrome data, contacts, Gmail, Google Play music, movies and TV, people details and Picasa web albums.

Since Android is a Google product, I’m hoping you have a Google account already, and that you’re signed into it and using it on the phone.

You’ll want to go to your apps and then open Settings. Scroll down to Personal, then Backup and Reset. Tap Backup My Data and turn it on.

Then you’ll select an account. You’ll want to select Google and tap on the email address you’re using. Then you can see sync options for each type of data you can back up.

Now if you ever have to use another Android phone, sign into the same Google account during setup, and your data will be there.

Google includes 15 gigabytes of space, and you can certainly buy more. You can upgrade to 100 gb for $19.99 per year.

For the Google support document explaining backups, go to


If your phone is running iOS, I’m betting you have an iCloud account. If not, you really should sign up for one.

When you sign up for iCloud, your account will include 5 gigabytes of storage for your iPhone backups or whatever else you’d like to store there.

You’ll want to be connected to Wi-Fi for the backup.

Go to Settings and touch your name at the top of the Settings page and then touch iCloud.

You’ll see a bar chart of your iCloud storage and how much you are using and how much is available.

Under the chart, there is a list of apps using iCloud for storing data.

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Things you can store in iCloud include photos, mail, contacts, calendar, reminders, notes, Safari data, Apple News preferences, and a few other things like health data, watch backups, Homescreen icon organization and saved passwords in Keychain.

At the bottom of the list you’ll see an entry for iCloud backup, which you can turn on or off. Hopefully you’ve turned it on.

Your choices for what to back up will determine if you have enough space to back it all up. I’ve chosen to upgrade my iCloud backup space to 50 gigabytes of storage which costs just 99 cents per month.

If you decide to back up photos, you’re likely going to want more space.

Now when you buy a new iPhone, you just sign into your iCloud account and all your data will magically appear.

For the full Apple support document on backing up, go to



Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at

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