If you have an iOS device and use iCloud, it is recommended to back up your data regularly using the method described in this article. If anything happens to your iPhone or iPad, like a hardware malfunction or loss/theft, that causes you to lose important information such as pictures and contacts, syncing with iCloud can save you from losing all of that precious stuff.
Backing up iCloud with an iPhone is a very simple process and should be done regularly to prevent data loss. Read on for a walk-through of the steps of backing up and restoring your iCloud data with an iPhone.
Ensure that your iOS device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, not the cellular data network. Cellular downloads are slow and will take hours or even days, depending on how much information needs to be backed up. A wireless network connection is fast enough for just a few minutes of backup time.
- First, open the Settings app on your iPhone and select iCloud
- Sign in with your Apple ID if you haven’t already done so
- Turn iCloud Backup to ON by tapping the switch at the very top of this menu, next to its name
- After a few seconds, a backup should commence automatically – after it ends, tap OK to return to the settings menu
- And that’s it – repeat once every month or so for best results
The first time you backup to iCloud from an iOS device can take quite some time as all of your data is synced over Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connection. If you have multiple iOS devices using iCloud, please remember that only one.
iCloud refers to the service in general, but iCloud backup specifically refers to the backup of user data saved by mobile iOS devices. It’s essential to back up your device regularly.
Apple ID is a single connection to both iCloud and iTunes accounts. iPhone backup and iCloud backup are the same. As long as you have your iCloud settings enabled on your iOS device, you can back up at any time.
Backing up your iPhone or iPad is a great way to protect your device, and we recommend it. Apple suggests users backup their iOS devices every one to two weeks.
Backup iCloud daily if it is a business phone, weekly if personal use, ideally at least once per month. Some users might prefer to make the occasional full backup as well as incremental backups.
It’s also possible to create an “on this date” backup by asking Siri, “Create a backup on this date.” This will prompt iOS devices to automatically generate a full backup at that time.
When you backup your iCloud, data is saved to iCloud servers, but not everything will be saved. There are a number of files that iCloud does not backup for security reasons.
Backups to iCloud don’t back up everything. They do not include data already stored in iCloud, such as contacts, calendars, bookmarks, reminders, voice memos, messages in iCloud, iCloud Photos, and shared photos.
This also makes it impossible for users to sync between devices with different operating systems as iCloud backups only work on iOS devices.
iCloud backups include:
- App data
- Apple Watch data
- Settings for your device
- Home screen and app organization
- iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages
- Photos and videos on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch2
- Purchase history
Note: If you turn off iCloud Backup on your device, there’s no way to backup apps. Please do not disable iCloud backup if you want to use iCloud Photo Library alongside iTunes and App Store backups.
iCloud can be used for more than just backups, but the most important feature is the ability to automatically save all of your photos and videos in their original quality without filling up your phone memory or hard drive.
To initiate an iCloud backup, go to Settings -> iCloud -> Backup and tap on “Back Up Now.” You can also ask Siri to back up your iPhone by saying, “Back up my iPhone.”
iCloud backups are enabled by default. When your phone is plugged in, locked, and connected to Wi-Fi, it automatically backs up photos, videos, email accounts, device settings, etc.
The first time you back up an iOS device to iCloud, it will likely be a lengthy process as all of the data needs to be transferred over a Wi-Fi connection. Subsequent backups will only upload new or changed files.
When you back up to iCloud, you’re essentially making a copy of everything on your device for safekeeping. This includes your photos, videos, contacts, messages (iMessage easy), calendar events, notes, app data, and settings paired with Apple ID account information.
iCloud and Dropbox differ in that iCloud backups can be accessed from any iOS device logged into the same Apple ID as the original backup. Dropbox doesn’t offer such convenience as an account holder can only access photos and videos stored on their own computer or mobile device.
iCloud encrypts all data before it leaves your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and stores key pieces of information in encrypted form, which means you can view your backups online if need be. This also means that if your iCloud account is hacked, or if your device gets into the wrong hands, then whoever possesses it won’t be able to access the contents of the backup.
Backing up your iCloud is easy to do and offers peace of mind in case something happens to your iPhone or iPad. It also protects against any unexpected loss of data; if something were to happen to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Apple’s cloud server stores up to 25 GB of data for free. While this should be more than enough storage space for most users’ needs, you might want to upgrade your plan if you find yourself running out of space. You can increase your iCloud storage up to 2TB starting at $0.99 per month.