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.
To manually trigger an iCloud backup, you need:
Before manually forcing a backup, you should check the status of your last backup. Here's how:
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.
If your last backup is out of date, you can force your device to back up immediately by following these steps:
Your device may estimate how many minutes or hours until the backup is complete based on your connection speed and backup size.
To check the progress of your on-demand backup:
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.
If your on-demand backup won't start or complete, try these troubleshooting tips:
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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.
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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