How to Manually Trigger an iCloud Backup on iPhone and iPad?

Shreyas Patil SEO
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Manually Trigger an iCloud Backup on iPhone and iPad?

Backing up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud is one of the best ways to protect your data. iCloud automatically backs up your device each day when it's charging, on WiFi, and locked. However, you may want to manually trigger a backup before updating your iOS version, before erasing your device, or just for extra peace of mind. Luckily, it only takes a few taps to manually start an iCloud backup on your iPhone or iPad.

When You Should Manually Trigger a Backup

  • Before installing a major iOS update
  • Before erasing or replacing your device
  • Before sending your device in for repair
  • When you haven't backed up in awhile and want to update your backup

Requirements for iCloud Backups

To manually trigger an iCloud backup, you need:

  • An iPhone or iPad running iOS 5 or later
  • iCloud Backup turned on in Settings
  • Your device connected to a WiFi network
  • Enough available iCloud storage for the backup size
  • Your device locked and plugged in to power

How to Check Your iCloud Backup Status

Before manually forcing a backup, you should check the status of your last backup. Here's how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap your name at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. Tap iCloud Backup.

This will show you the date and time of your last successful iCloud backup, the total size of your backup, and what apps are included.

Starting a Manual iCloud Backup

If your last backup is out of date, you can force your device to back up immediately by following these steps:

  1. Plug your iPhone/iPad into power and connect to a WiFi network.
  2. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  3. Tap "Back Up Now".
  4. Stay plugged in with the screen locked until the backup completes.

Your device may estimate how many minutes or hours until the backup is complete based on your connection speed and backup size.

Checking Backup Progress

To check the progress of your on-demand backup:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  2. Look under "Backing up" to see the progress wheel and time remaining.

Don't unplug your device until the progress reads "Last Backup: Just now" and shows a green dot next to it. This confirms your new up-to-date iCloud backup is complete.

Troubleshooting Backups

If your on-demand backup won't start or complete, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Check that you have enough iCloud storage available. Upgrade your plan if needed.
  • Make sure your device is plugged into power. It needs to stay plugged in to complete.
  • Connect to a better WiFi network or use ethernet if possible.
  • Restart your device and try the backup again.
  • Toggle iCloud Backup off and then on again.
  • Update your iOS software in case of a bug with backups.

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Download PicBackMan

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. Simply Download PicBackMan (it's free!), register your account, connect to your online store and tell PicBackMan where your videos are - PicBackMan does the rest, automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and uploads those too. You don't have to ever touch it.

Alternative Backup Methods

If iCloud backups aren't working, you can also back up your iPhone or iPad using iTunes on a computer. Simply connect your device to your computer and click "Back Up Now" in iTunes. This will save a backup of your device data to your computer instead of iCloud.


Backing up your iPhone or iPad before making any major changes ensures you have a recent copy of your important data. Manually forcing an iCloud backup only takes a minute and provides peace of mind. Now you know how to check your last backup status, start an on-demand backup, monitor progress, and troubleshoot any issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I make sure my photos are included in my iCloud backup?

A: Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and make sure Photos is toggled ON under Apps Using iCloud. This ensures your entire iCloud Photos library is included in backups.

Q: Can I back up while my iPhone is still in use?

A: No, your iPhone needs to have the screen locked and be connected to power for a manual iCloud backup to run. This prevents interruption of the backup process.

Q: What takes up the most space in my iCloud backup?

A: Photos and videos usually make up the bulk of an iCloud backup. You can check your storage under Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage to see what's using space.

Q: How can I speed up my iCloud backups?

A: Back up over WiFi instead of mobile data for faster throughput. Also close all apps on your iPhone before backing up so the backup isn't interrupted.

Q: What if I need more iCloud storage for backups?

A: You can upgrade your iCloud storage plan at any time to allow for larger device backups. Just go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Buy More Storage.

Q: Can I back up my iPhone without iCloud?

A: Yes, you can backup to a computer instead using iTunes. Connect your iPhone, open iTunes, and click "Back Up Now". This saves backups locally rather than to iCloud.

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