How to Encrypt and Delete Your iPhone or iPad Backups

There was recently a lot of noise in the tech news world about the iPhone and iPad keeping a tracking log of your location, and while that’s now in the past, you might want to consider encrypting your backups anyway. Here’s how to do it.

You can force iTunes to encrypt all your backups easily, but you’ll need to also delete the old backups that aren’t encrypted. Keep reading for how to do both.

Encrypting Future Backups

To encrypt your iTunes backups, connect your device to iTunes and go to the device’s tab in the sidebar. Near the bottom of that screen should be a checkbox for “Encrypt iPhone backup.” Check it, and a dialog box will open asking you to give your backups a password.

Give it a password that’s secure, but also one that you can remember, as forgetting it will make your backups useless as you won’t be able to restore any of them without it. Once you’ve chosen a password, iTunes will begin making an encrypted backup of your device. When that’s done, you should delete your old, unencrypted backups.

Deleting Old Backups

To delete backups in iTunes, open its preferences (iTunes -> Preferences on OS X or Edit -> Preferences on Windows) and then go to the “Devices” tab. You should see a list of all your backups along with a handy “Delete Backup” button. Simply select the backup you’d like to delete, and then press the button. Do this for all your unencrypted backups and no one should be able to track your location on your computer without putting some serious effort into it.

Alex is a Mac geek and former hackintosher, as well as other stuff.