Here’s how to backup your iPhone to iCloud

Always backup your iPhone data!

Backing up your iPhone to iCloud is the best way to keep its data safe and secure. You can always have peace of mind knowing that your data is always recoverable even if something happens to your phone.

What better day than World Backup Day to set up and enable iCloud backups for your iPhone? Read our guide to learn what iCloud backups entail and how to get started.

What does an iCloud backup include? An iCloud backup contains almost all important data stored on your iPhone.
Photo: apple

An iCloud backup creates a comprehensive backup of all important data on your iPhone to Apple’s iCloud servers. This includes data for all installed apps on your iPhone, device settings, home screen settings, ringtones, iCloud keychain, and your purchase history across various Apple services. If you’ve paired an Apple Watch with your iPhone, its content and settings will also be backed up as part of the process.

Apple already backs up iMessage chats, voice memos, and health data to iCloud. Even if you don’t use iCloud Backup, you don’t have to worry about it. Third-party app data installed on your iPhone is also backed up to iCloud. You can always control what your iPhone backs up to iCloud.

However, there are still some data that iCloud will never back up:

Apple Mail data Apple Pay settings and data Face ID or Touch ID settings Apple Music Library App Store content

Most importantly, an iCloud backup does not include the photos and videos stored on your phone. To do this, you need to set up and use iCloud Photos on your iPhone.

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Apple only gives 5GB of free storage with each iCloud account. This is unlikely to be enough for both device and photo backups. So, consider freeing up space on your iPhone before creating an iCloud backup. Otherwise, if you don’t mind paying, you can get up to 2TB of storage for your iCloud account to share with family members.

Here’s how to backup your iPhone to iCloud

Ready to create an iCloud backup? First, make sure your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network and has more than 50% battery charge before beginning the process. Then follow these steps:

Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Tap your name at the top, followed by iCloud. Choose iCloud backup. Turn on the Back up this iPhone switch. Enabling iCloud backup on your iPhone is easier than you think.
Photo: Rajesh

The backup only happens when your iPhone is charged, locked and connected to Wi-Fi. Depending on the amount of data on your phone, the backup process can take from a few minutes to a few hours. If your carrier allows it, you can back up your iPhone to the cloud over cellular data. But this way, you could use up your monthly data allowance in no time.

After the initial backup, your iPhone automatically backs up its data once a day when it’s plugged into a power adapter, connected to a Wi-Fi network, the screen is locked, and there is enough free space in iCloud. To trigger an iCloud backup manually, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now.

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You can always turn off iCloud backups later if you change your mind.

Enable Enhanced Data Protection for iCloud backups Follow these simple steps to encrypt more iCloud data.
Screenshots: Apple/Cult of Mac

By default, Apple offers end-to-end encryption for 13 categories of data. However, with Advanced Data Encryption, you can increase this number to 23. I highly recommend turning on Advanced Data Protection to further secure your iCloud data. During the setup process, make sure to add a recovery contact so you can regain access to your iCloud account if you ever forget your password.

When Enhanced Data Encryption is enabled, only iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar data is not encrypted for interoperability.

How to manage your iCloud backups

If you have multiple iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices, your iCloud account might get overloaded with backup data. This will eventually eat up all your iCloud storage space. Therefore, it is important that you manage your iCloud backups properly.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Tap your name at the top, followed by iCloud. Choose iCloud backup. Under All Device Backups, you’ll see iCloud backups of all Apple devices associated with your account. You can tap a device’s name to see its backup size, last backup date, and what’s backed up. Select the “Delete backup and disable” option below if you want the device to stop backing up to iCloud.

Once you set up iCloud Backup, you don’t have to worry about losing your data. Plus, the backup makes switching to a new device less of a hassle the next time you upgrade. You can sign in with your Apple ID, restore your previous iCloud backup, and your new iPhone is ready, with all your data and apps installed.

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