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After upgrading to iOS 5, I have some issues with my iPhone 4.
I did not activate iCloud backups, preferring to keep them on my MacBook Pro, but when I sync the phone to iTunes the backup does not start, neither through wi-fi nor by connecting the phone to the mac with the USB cable. It syncs without any problem, but the backup is not happening. Is there a way to manually trigger the backup?
The last backup listed in Itunes is the one made during the update to iOS 5, and not having regular backups makes me feel nervous.

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You didn't set the iCloud backup option in the phone by accident? –  patrix Oct 22 '11 at 13:26
    
No, on the phone it's off. –  Davide Gualano Oct 22 '11 at 16:01
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try logging out and logging in again. There was an issue with some helper not restarting the right way after the required upgrades, relogging helped me. If that doesn't work, try rebooting.

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Thank you Hack Saw, rebooting the macbook fixed the issue, now the backup starts without any problem. –  Davide Gualano Oct 23 '11 at 16:46
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Keep in mind that backups are only done once a day at minimum and at most every few days depending on how often you plug it in, so that would be the reason you don't see it every time you sync. However you can manually initiate a backup by right-clicking on your device on the iTunes Sidebar and selecting backup.

Backup Device

To confirm that the backups are indeed happening you can look under Settings/Preferences for the Devices tab which will show you the status and dates of the last backup. I use iCloud backup so I don't have a status on mine at the moment.

Backup Status

These steps apply to both Mac and Windows

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Thanks, I did not know I could manually start a backup through the right click menu. –  Davide Gualano Oct 23 '11 at 22:07
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