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Newbie Backup Question


iPF Noob
Apr 1, 2012
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Chicago, IL
Hi All,

I am new to the forum as well as fairly new to iMac (was always a PC user), and very new to iPad but, a long time user of the iPhone. Hope I posted in the correct place.

A little background (in hopes you don't get frustrated with the newbie questions):

All of the Apple products I own are not used to their full potential. I use them to surf the web, reply to emails and play a few games when I need to pass the time. I have now started using all the products moreso for business reasons and find I need to understand them a bit better whereas I have important information sitting on all of them now. One of the (many) things I am confused about (even after reading threads regarding iCloud, iTunes, etc) is... where should I back up my data (contacts, files, pictures, documents, etc.)? In the past, I have backed up/synced with iTunes and when I did, I lost all my new contacts put into my phone. I do this just about everytime so I stopped syncing. How in the world do I get my contacts from my iPhone and iPad into iTunes when I may add a contact to one device and not necessarily the other? Does iCloud fix losing contacts and any other important potential data loss (user error I am sure) and help the "i" ignorant people such as me? Does it also eliminate the need to "transfer purchases" from my iPhone or iPad?

Hope I explained it well enough to understand.. if not, it should give you a good look into the jumbled mess by brain has on "i" anything! LOL

Pretty sad when an old-bird such as myself has less understanding of this stuff than the 7 year old next door! :eek:

Thanks in advance!!


iPad Fan
Jan 8, 2011
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Milton-Freewater, OR
If you use iCloud on your iDevices and the iMac you eliminate the need to use iTunes at all for things like syncing your contacts, calendars, and most of the other stuff you find in the Info tab. You set it up, and it just works (providing all computes and devices are regularly connected to the internet).

Apple - iCloud - Learn how to set up iCloud on all your devices.

{before you set up iCloud be sure you've turned off all syncing in the Info tab of iTunes for all your devices. failure to do so can result in duplications and other unhappiness}

There is no way to chose to sync some contacts with one device and not another. You couldn't do that in iTunes either. However iCloud syncing does support groups. You can organize your contacts into personal and business groups to keep the confusion down.

Most of the organizing should be done on the iMac in Address Book, as the best tool for the job. On the iPad you can not move contacts between groups. They end up in whatever group you have open when you create them. You'll also have access to your contacts on other computers at icloud.com. It can also be used to reorganize your contacts.

When you use iCloud for contacts on all your Apple products it is very robust. You won't lose your contacts just because one device decides to have problem. iCloud.com becomes your offsite backup.

If you also use Time Machine to keep your iMac backed up you should be able to restore accidentally deleted or edited contacts by rolling them back to previous versions.

All in all, iCloud + Time Machine makes an excellent backup solutions for your contacts.

Apple - iCloud - Your content. On all your devices.

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