How to reduce the size of your iCloud backup

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you get 5GB of free storage space in iCloud, which gives you the possibility of backing up your data. However, it is likely that you run out of space very quickly since you probably have a lot of photos, songs and other files that you may want to keep. Furthermore, 5GB is very little if you want to back up data from multiple iOS devices to iCloud. Once you reach the storage limit, you get a notification letting you know that iCloud is full so you won’t be able to back up additional back ups. There are three things that you can do when you reach the storage limit in iCloud. The first option is to disable iCloud backup and to use iTunes to backup to your computer instead. The second option is to remove some files from your device to regain some space in iCloud. The other alternative is to purchase additional iCloud storage.

If you don’t know if you are actually using iCloud, you can open the Settings app, select iCloud and then “Backup”, to confirm if the option is enabled on the device. If you see that the iCloud Backup slider is in the “on” position, the data in your device is being backed up to iCloud. In order to prevent your device from backing up to iCloud, you can simply disable the option by setting the slider to the off position. Once you disable iCloud Backup, the data on your device won’t be automatically backed up and you will have to connect your device to your computer to back up your data using iTunes. In addition, you will see the date of the last iCloud backup at the bottom of the window.

How to make the most out of your iCloud Backup by removing unnecessary data

  1. In order to manage your iCloud storage, open Settings, select iCloud and then Storage. You will see the total amount of iCloud storage capacity available.
  2. To find out what data is being backed up to iCloud, tap Manage Storage. There you will see a list of all the devices that have backs up in iCloud.
  3. If there are old devices in the list, or devices that you no longer use, you can delete them to free up some space. You can delete a backup from the the list by tapping on the name of the device and select Delete Backup in the window shown.
  4. You can change the data that is backed up for the device you are using by tapping the name of the device in the list of backups. You will see a screen showing the size of the backup as well as the date of the last backup performed. In addition, the size of the next backup will be displayed.
  5. A list of apps that have data in the iCloud backup will also appear. The apps are organized based on the amount of the iCloud storage space that is used for the app data. The apps that are using the highest amount of iCloud storage space will appear first on the list. You can stop an app from backing up to iCloud just by setting the slider for that app to the off position. Once you do this, you will be asked to confirm if you really want to disable the iCloud backup and remove all the app data from it.

Deleting data from iCloud would not remove it from your device. The data related to the app is removed from iCloud and the app data won’t be included in the iCloud backups that are performed in the future. Check the list of apps and disable the ones that you don’t want to include in the iCloud backup. Keep in mind that if an app is not backed up and it is deleted by accident or your device is lost, damaged or stolen, it won’t be possible to recover the data.

Other option to optimize your iCloud backup storage is to save photos to your computer. If you don’t want to completely disable iCloud backup for your photos, you can copy them your device to your computer. Once this is done, you can delete some of the photos from the device. By deleting the photos from the device, you can free up storage space on iCloud.

If you don’t want to remove photos from your device but find that 5 GB is not enough for your needs, you can simply purchase additional iCloud storage space. You can see the storage plans by opening Settings, selecting iCloud and then Storage. Tap Buy More Storage to get additional storage space.

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