Planning on a new iPhone? Make an encrypted backup to ensure your Health data is restored.

For many people, you may not have to restore an old iPhone backup when activating your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus—iCloud takes care of syncing a lot of your data these days. That said, there are still a few reasons to make a backup and restore your new 6s from said backup—and your health data is high on that list.

Now, if you want, you can back up your Health data to iCloud along with the rest of your iPhone: It's encrypted and should restore just fine when you get a new iPhone.

But I've had issues in the past restoring that data from an iCloud backup, and given that we upgrade to new iPhone models every now and again, having that data around is crucial. Luckily, Apple also offers the option for an encrypted backup to iTunes. You'll have to create and remember a password for the backup, which will be required if you ever want to restore, but it'll save your Health data for a future iPhone to access. This way, if your iCloud restore fails to bring back your Health information for any reason, you have a secondary backup. (And, from experience, restoring from iTunes is also a lot faster than restoring from iCloud on iPhone launch day.)

How to make an encrypted backup of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iTunes

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer via USB.
  2. Open iTunes and click on the device icon in the tab bar.
  3. In the Summary section, scroll to Backups.

  4. Change the Automatically Back Up section to This computer, and click the box labeled Encrypt iPhone backups. You'll have to create a password to do so if you've never made an encrypted backup before.
  5. Under Manually Back Up and Restore, click Back Up Now.
  6. After you make a backup, start the set up process for your new iPhone and choose Restore from Backup when you get to that screen.


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Updated at 11:06 a.m. ET to correct information about iCloud Health backups.