Mac OS X: iTunes backs up your iOS device's settings each time you sync, but it doesn't even come close to backing up the device in its entirety. If you want a complete backup of your device, you can do it easily with an application called PhoneDisk and the wonderful command-line utility rsync.
Photo from the Backin' Up Song
- Download and install Phone Disk.
- Connect your iOS device to your computer and run Phone Disk. This will mount your iOS device like a drive.
- In Phone Disk, open Preferences and rename your iOS device so it has a simple, one word name. That means no spaces and no special characters—just letters and numbers.
- Make sure you have the latest version of rsync installed (if not, download it) and run the following command:
cd /volumes;/usr/local/bin/rsync -avv --protect-args 'iPhone'/ 'Macintosh HD'/Users/Home/Downloads/iphone_backup Of course, you'll want to change 'iPhone' to whatever you named your iOS device and the path that follows it to wherever you want to save the backup. Once you run the command successfully, rsync will create a copy of all the data on your iOS device and you'll have a complete backup.
Total iPhone Backup | Mac OS X Hints