How to Backup iPhone or iPad without iTunes in macOS Catalina

Backup iPhone without iTunes in macOS Catalina

With the release of macOS Catalina, Apple has officially killed iTunes for good and replaced it with a standalone Music app. However, apart from listening to music, iTunes was also used for backing up iPhones and iPads. So, without iTunes, how does one back up their iPhone or iPad on a Mac that’s running Catalina? Read this guide to know how.

Apple might have killed iTunes but it has integrated almost all of its functionality in the new Music app or the Finder. So, even without iTunes, the entire process of backing up your iPhone or iPad to a Mac remains largely the same. Follow the steps below to know.

Backup iPhone or iPad without iTunes in macOS Catalina

Step 1: Connect your iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 to your Mac using a Lightning cable (or a USB-C cable if you have an iPad Pro).

Step 2: The device should be automatically detected by your Mac and show up in Finder. If you are connecting the iPhone or iPad to your Mac for the first time, you will have to accept the prompt to trust the computer on the device.

Step 3: Open a new Finder window and under Locations, you should see the connected iPhone or iPad. Click on the device name and wait for a few seconds.

iPad Connected to Catalina

Step 4: All details of your iPhone or iPad should have been synced to your Mac running Catalina. From this Finder window, you can not only backup/restore your iPhone/iPad but also manage the content stored on it, update it to the latest release of iOS/iPadOS, and more.

Step 5: Before you backup your iPhone or iPad, you must ensure that you are backing it up to your Mac and not to iCloud. Under General > Backups, ensure that the ‘Back up all the data on your iPhone/iPad to this Mac’ is selected. Proceed to click on Apply after that.

iPhone backup in Catalina

Step 6: Now click the Back Up Now button to start the backup process. This will back up all data and apps on your iPhone or iPad.

You can encrypt the local backup to password protect it. This will also ensure that all your health records and other sensitive data will be restored when you restore that encrypted backup to an iPhone or iPad.

Use iMazing to Backup iPhone or iPad Without iTunes

If you don’t want to rely on the native iPhone/iPad management of Catalina, you can make use of iMazing as well to back up your device. Backing up your iPhone or iPad using iMazing is a straightforward process and the app provides you with an option to change the location where the backups are stored, automatically archive older backups, and more. You can even backup your iPhone or iPad using iMazing over Wi-Fi.

iMazing Backup

The good thing about iMazing is that it works even on macOS Mojave and below so if you just don’t want to rely on iTunes for backing up your iPhone/iPad, you can use this app. You can download iMazing or purchase its full license from here.


The above guide should make it clear as to how you can backup your iPhone or iPad on a Mac running macOS Catalina. If you are still facing any issues, drop a comment and we will help you out.