How to back up your iPhone to iCloud

They say the only backup you ever regret is the one you didn’t make. iPhone backups can be used to easily move your apps and data to a new phone, to recover things you’ve lost, or to fix things that have failed.

The most convenient way to backup your iPhone is to have it backup to iCloud. Backups are made every day, automatically, provided your phone is connected to power and locked. Be aware though that backups take take up a lot of your iCloud storage, and your phones’ data plan if you choose to backup when you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. If those are likely to be problems for you, you might prefer to backup your iPhone to your Mac.

This guide tells you how to enable backups to iCloud, and how to check that everything is working as you expect.

Open the Settings app.

iPhone home screen

Then tap where you see your name and Apple ID, iCloud+, Media & Purchases.

iPhone settings

Next, tap iCloud.

Apple ID screen

Scroll down and tap iCloud Backup.

iCloud screen

Toggle Back Up This iPhone to on.

iCloud Backup screen with backup option turned off.

This may reveal a Back Up Over Cellular Data or Back Up Over Mobile Data toggle. This creates backups when you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. Because backups can use a lot of data, toggling this on may cause you to exceed your data plan.

iCloud Backup screen with backup option turned on.

Once you have made a backup, you can access it from this screen under ALL DEVICE BACKUPS.

iCloud Backup screen showing device backups.

You can return to the previous screen by tapping the < iCloud link at the top. This screen shows you how much storage space your backups are using. To see a little more detail, tap Manage Account Storage.

iCloud screen showing account storage

Scroll down the list of apps until you see Backups to see how much storage your backups are using.

Manage account storage screen

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Pieter Arntz

Malware Intelligence Researcher

Was a Microsoft MVP in consumer security for 12 years running. Can speak four languages. Smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.