How to fix iPhone XS Max not backing up with iTunes

While iPhones come with great security features, there is no guarantee all stored files on the phone are always safe. So, creating backups is highly necessary. Before installing an iOS update, resetting your iPhone to factory defaults, and restoring via iTunes, backing up is recommended. You can automatically back up files on your device to iCloud, or do it manually using iTunes.

However, if you find some trouble with doing the latter, here are some helpful solutions and tested workarounds. Read on this post to know what to do if you are not able to back up files from your iPhone XS Max to iTunes due to some reasons.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max not backing up with iTunes

Before proceeding, you should first check and make sure that the Lightning cable in use does not have any damage. If there are external devices connected to other ports of your computer, you should unplug them, except for the keyboard and the mouse. Also, close all other running programs, except for iTunes. This will eliminate the bad factors from the underlying causes. Additionally, the computer must be connected to a stable Internet connection. A possible reason making iTunes backup fail is due to Internet corruption. If your computer is encountering the Internet connection error, try rebooting or power cycling your wireless router first to refresh the Internet connection. If it’s not the problem, you can then troubleshoot your iPhone XS Max and computer system by following the methods below.

Solution 1: Restart your iPhone and computer

If it is the first time that the backup process failed, then it could just be minor system glitches on your iPhone XS Max or computer system. To rule it out, you should restart both devices. On your iPhone, perform a reboot with these steps below:

  1. Press and hold the Power button along with one of two Volume buttons simultaneously.
  2. When you see Slide to Power Off command release them and then drag the slider to the right.
  3. After 1 minute, press and hold the Power button again until it reboots.

To get rid of random system errors that might have affected iTunes’ backup functions, restarting your computer is highly recommended. It’s the easiest solution to fix minor computer problems related to the software.

After restarting both your device, reconnect your iPhone XS Max with a Lightning cable and then try backing up files to iTunes again. If the process still fails, then move on to the next solutions.

Solution 2: Disable restrictions on your iPhone XS Max

If restrictions are enabled on your iPhone, there will be a number of operations that couldn’t be operated since your phone impedes the process. To make sure that it’s what preventing your iPhone from backing up files, you should disable restrictions with these steps:

  1. Open Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Screen Time.
  3. Choose Content & Privacy Restriction.

If the feature is enabled, toggle the switch to disable it. If not, toggle it ON and OFF again. After the restrictions are turned off, plug your iPhone XS Max to iTunes and retry to back up files.

Solution 3: Disable the security software on your computer

Sometimes, the problem is on your computer system itself. Among hindrances to iTunes and iOS operations, there are firewalls or antivirus restrictions. It’s the case when you use a Windows computer. Windows comes with a built-in firewall system, preventing synching operations. So, if you have any of these tools installed on your Windows computer, you should disable it temporarily or configure it to grant permission for your iPhone XS Max.

The computer would automatically read your iPhone as an external device when you connect it to the computer. The security software will prevent possible security breach to the computer system. So, if it detects a sort of security threats from your iPhone XS Max, it can act accordingly. That’s how these software are programmed to work.

The process of disabling antivirus and firewall varies, depending on the current operating system of your Windows computer. To get this done, you can visit Microsoft Support (if you use Windows) or Apple Support for Macs.

Solution 4: Update iTunes and your computer OS.

You are always recommended to run the latest iTunes version to manage the new iOS devices. This ensures that there will not be software incompatibility issues between the iTunes and your iOS device. The same thing occurs with the computer’s operating system to evade from incompatibility issues. If your computer is running on a too old version, then there is a high chance it no longer supports iOS 12 devices. The same thing happens if you use an obsolete version of iTunes. There may be a few key functions on the latest iTunes version or that cannot work on older systems, which result to problems.

In this case, you should check for the latest updates of iTunes or Windows, and then download and install if they are available. After your system is up-to-date, retry to back up your iPhone XS Max to iTunes and check if the problem is fixed or not.

Also see: How to fix “Update Unavailable with this Apple ID” error on iPhone XS Max

Solution 5: Manage or free up storage on your computer

Insufficient storage might also be a factor. You should know that backups would add more files into your computer drive, so you should prepare enough memory space. If you like installing huge software or large file contents on your computer, the insufficient memory is a factor that needs to be resolved.

In this case, you should check the current storage status of your computer drive and make sure there is still enough GBs of space left to allocate new files. If necessary, you should free up space by removing unused contents or uninstalling apps that are no longer necessary.

After freeing up the storage, you should restart your computer and try to connect your iPhone XS Max again. After that, check if iTunes is already possible to create backups from your phone.