How to create an iCloud backup of your iPhone or iPad

Alexandra Petruș

By Alexandra Petruș

Updated

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iCloud is Apple's cloud-based service, and it's available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac. iCloud stores your notes, calendar data, documents, photos, videos, and syncs your data across all your iOS devices. Besides storing particular data from your applications, you can also use iCloud to create and save a backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

The process is straightforward, and it's very similar to the regular backups created with iTunes. The big difference is that your data will be stored in your iCloud account, instead of your PC or Mac. This means that your data is safely stored in the cloud, and it will be accessible from anywhere, at any time.

An iCloud backup can be used to restore your iOS device, and also to recover specific data, such as photos, contacts or more.

In this article, I'll show you how to create an iCloud backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

How to create an iCloud backup

If you want to create a backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod, storing it on your iCloud account is pretty handy. iCloud is a reliable way to keep all your data safe. Before I jump into the process of creating an iCloud backup, I want to make sure you understand all the benefits of backing up with iCloud.

The most important advantage of using an iCloud backup over an iTunes backup is that all your data is stored online, and you don't have to worry about losing anything.

On the other side, iTunes backups are stored locally on your computer, and this means that if you will lose your computer or reinstall your operating system, it's very possible to lose your backup. Of course, it's better to use both, and there's no reason not to.

iCloud allows you to store 5GB of data for free. If you need more space, you can upgrade to 50GB for $0.99 per month or 200GB for $2.99 per month. (We've got a guide on iCloud data and services here.)

Without any further ado, here are the two options available to create an iCloud backup. The following methods can be used for iPhones, iPads or iPods running iOS 5 and above.

Option A. Create a backup wirelessly from your iPhone.

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone, scroll down and tap on iCloud.

  2. Log in with your iCloud account and password, then choose the storage plan you want to use (for most users, the free plan of 5GB is enough)

  3. From the iCloud tab, tap on Settings[your name] (right at the top) → iCloudiCloud Backup.

  4. Scroll at the bottom of the page, and choose "Back Up Now"

    You can also select the option to automatically backup your photos, accounts, documents and settings over the Wi-Fi and when plugged in. At the bottom of the screen you can see the date when your iOS device was backed up last.

    Backup now on iCloud
    Backup now on iCloud

Option B. Create an iCloud backup using iTunes

If for any reason you don't want to create an iCloud backup wirelessly, you can also use iTunes to create and save your backup in iCloud.

  1. Sync your iPhone with your PC or Mac, and open the latest version of iTunes

  2. From the top right side of iTunes, select your iPhone and scroll to the backup section

    Choose your device in iTunes
    Choose your device in iTunes

  3. Select iCloud and click on the button reading "Back Up Now" -- it will take a few minutes to generate and store your backup into iCloud

    Create an iCloud backup with iTunes
    Create an iCloud backup with iTunes

These are the two options available to create an iCloud backup. However, keep in mind that while restoring a whole iCloud backup, your iOS device will restore to the moment it was backed up, and you will lose all data generated after the backup was created.

Are you using iCloud to store your backups? Which backup method do you prefer, iTunes or iCloud?

About the author

Alexandra Petruș served as Reincubate's VP of Product for a number of years and remains a friend of the company. She's recognised as a Google Developer Expert for Product Strategy, and is a co-founder of Bucharest AI.

Reincubate's CEO at Buckingham Palace

Pictured above are members of Reincubate’s team meeting HM Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ at Buckingham Palace, after being awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work with Apple technology. Read our position on privacy, safety and security.

We've helped over 3,000,000 people recover their lost iPhone data. Let us help you too.


Comments (1)

Of course the iCloud is a real cool backup method. But it is also expensive!

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