In addition to serving as a cell phone, your iPhone acts as a miniature computer with the ability to keep track of your calendars, check your e-mail, store your contacts and play games. In fact, you store so much information on your iPhone, you frequently have to sync it with your computer to save that information. Every time you change information on your iPhone, such as updating a contact or purchasing a new application, it is a good idea to save that information to your iTunes software. iTunes then takes that information and creates a backup.
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The act of syncing pulls the information from your iPhone and saves it to your computer. New music and applications are synced to the iTunes library. New or modified contacts are synced to whatever third party application you have set your settings to sync with. For example, iTunes can sync your contacts with Outlook, Google Contacts, Windows Contacts and Yahoo! Contacts. It is up to you how you want that information saved.
A backup is a file that saves all the information on your iPhone, from files to applications. This file is stored inside the iTunes software for future use if necessary. iTunes backs up your SMS messages, contacts, application settings, home screen icon order, wallpaper image, photos, messages, calendar events, notes and favourites. Later, if you have to factory restore your iPhone, you can reinstall this backup to regain your iPhone information.
The program that stores your iPhone contacts is set on the "Info" screen in iTunes. You need to plug your iPhone into your computer to access this screen. Even though the iTunes backup does backup your contacts, you can also have a backup to your backup settings by saving your contacts to a third party application. Later, you can re-sync the contacts and regain information that way.
Plug your iPhone into your personal computer using your USB cord. Open the iTunes software on your computer. Click on your iPhone in the left column. It is located under the "Devices" header. On the main iTunes screen, click the "Sync" button. This syncs your information and creates a backup that includes your contact information.
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