I am changing jobs and so I am giving back to the old company an iPhone 3GS running iOS 5. I am searching for a To-Do list for things to copy from the iPhone to a Mac computer so that I don't lose anything. Here are the things I could remember:

  • Photos: copied to the Mac using the Preview.
  • Music: All are already in Mac using iTunes.
  • Email, Contacts and Calendar: from iCloud account are still available in Mac Mail and Clendar programs.
  • Apps: the apps installed are downloaded in iTunes, but, as far as I know, the app data will get lost.
  • Maps bookmarks: would be nice to copy them from iphone, but I have no idea whether this is possible!

Are there any other things to copy from my iPhone?

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    Restore codes if you have any authenticator apps. I believe backups also backup Notes, but if you were saving any important ones, maybe write them down? – Tracy Fu Jun 28 '12 at 5:43
  • You are right! Notes will also be saved to iCloud! – adranale Jun 28 '12 at 11:10
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    Whilst ensuring you copy everything you need off, don't forget you also probably want to remove any personal information, or reset the device before handing it back. – Kevin Jun 28 '12 at 16:14
  • Sure, reseting the device is important but it is just an easy step. – adranale Jun 29 '12 at 0:14
  • @TracyFu, what do you mean by restore codes in authenticator apps? Can't we simply reinstall authenticator and rescan the QR code in? – Pacerier Jun 20 '13 at 15:24

You can save all the app data to migrate to another iOS device at a later date by backing the iPhone up to iTunes or setting up a free iCloud account.

This will nicely complement your existing plan in case you forget something until after you turn in the phone. You can restore your backup on to a friend's device long enough to retrieve that additional data and then erase the device. As long as you maintain the iTunes backup on the computer or iCloud access - your backup will be waiting until you get another iOS device to load the backup.

Here are some other apps you may have used occasionally and want to transfer to your Mac:

  • voice memos can be imported to iTunes
  • call history, SMS messages and voicemail (using an app like PhoneView)

If you have a good backup, you can feel better about having the phone erase all content and settings so you give it back clean and with no personal data just in case your company doesn't do a great job sanitizing the device before re-issuing it to someone else.

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Backing it up will save stuff such as app data, including Maps bookmarks but by default, needs to be restored to a replacement iOS device.

iTunes: About iOS backups http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946

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