What Is iCloud Backup and How to Use It to Back up and Restore Your iPhone/iPad

iCloud is the cloud storage developed by Apple for users to expand their internal space. It is well known that either iPhone/iPad or MacBook cannot use SD cards or flash drives. Since it was released in 2011, iCloud has become a popular way to back up, sync, and restore data among iPhone/iPad and Mac users. This article will talk about iCloud backup and demonstrate how to use this feature on your device properly.

iCloud Backup

Part 1. What Is iCloud Backup

Apple offers 5GB of free iCloud backup storage for each Apple ID account. If you need more storage capacity, you can subscribe the iCloud+, which is the premium tier service. There are three plans, 50GB at $0.99 per month, 200GB at $2.99 per month, and 2TB at $9.99 per month.

The iCloud backup feature is directly integrated within iPhones, iPad, and Mac computers by default. The items that you can back up and sync using iCloud include:

By default, every time you charge your iPhone or iPad, iCloud tries to back up the device through a Wi-Fi network or cellular data. Of course, you can decide to turn on or off iCloud backup, what to back up, and when to back up too.

Part 2. How to Use iCloud Backup

As mentioned previously, iCloud backup is designed to be a place to store and back up your photos, files, settings, and app data so you never lose anything. We explain how to use it in detail below.

How to Back up iPhone to iCloud

To back up an iPhone or iPad to iCloud, you need to connect your device to a network. If you want to speed up the process, you'd better use a good Wi-Fi network. Bear in mind that public Wi-Fi is not a proper choice considering the security of your privacy.

How to Backup
Step 1:
Find WhatsApp on your iPhone, and uninstall it to remove all contents of WhatsApp from your iPhone.
Step 2:
Tap on your profile, and choose iCloud. Firstly, check the storage by pressing Manage Storage , and make sure that you have enough space for iCloud backup. Then go back to the iCloud screen.
Step 3:
Here you can see a list under APPS USING ICLOUD. Toggle on each of the apps that you want to store in iCloud. To get all apps, tap the Show All Apps button.
Step 4:
After setting, tap the iCloud Backup option, and press Back Up Now. Once complete, you will get the date and time of the last successful backup below the Back Up Now button. If you wish to back up your iPhone to iCloud automatically, tap iCloud Backup, and toggle on the switch of Back Up This iPhone.

Chances are that you may receive a notification if your iCloud does not have enough storage space or you have turned off all apps. Then follow the notification and try again.

How to Restore iPhone from iCloud Backup

Restoring your iPhone from iCloud backup is a quick way to get back deleted photos, messages, contacts, or other data on your device. It is also used to migrate all data, apps, and settings from an old iPhone to a new iOS device.

Step 1:
To restore iCloud backup on a new iPhone, skip to the next step directly. On an old device, open the Settings app, enter the General tab, choose Reset or Transfer or Reset iPhone, and tap Erase All Content and Settings. When prompted, input your passcode, and confirm the action.
Erase iPhone
Step 2:
When your iPhone reboots, you will be presented with the welcome screen. Set up it as a new device until you reach the Apps & Data screen.
Step 3:
Choose Restore from iCloud Backup, and then enter your Apple ID and password. Next, choose the desired iCloud backup.
Restore iCloud Backup
Step 4:
Select the apps and settings that you want to restore, and tap Continue. Then complete the setup process.

Since iCloud overwrites your iPhone when restoring the backup, you'd better back up your device before the process to avoid data loss.

How to Download iCloud Backup

There are two ways to download iCloud backup to your PC or Mac. The iCloud website and app are the official interfaces to access specific data in your backup, such as photos, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, iMessages, notes, emails, and reminders.

How to Download iCloud Backup from a Browser

Download Backup Website
Step 1:
Visit the iCloud website in your browser, and sign into your account. If you have enabled two-factor authentication, input the verification code.
Step 2:
Choose the data type that you want to download on the home page, such as Contacts.
Step 3:
Next, select the desired contacts on the list, click the Gear icon at the bottom left corner, and choose Export vCard. Set a directory to save the contacts in your iCloud backup.

How to Download Photos from iCloud Backup in iCloud App

Step 1:
Open the iCloud app on your PC or Mac, and log into your account.
Step 2:
Make sure to back up photos to iCloud on your iPhone. Then turn to your iCloud app, and click the Options button next to the Photos item.
iCloud App
Step 3:
When prompted, enable iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Sharing. Check the box next to Download new photos and videos to my PC. If you wish to adjust the download folder, click the Change button.
Download Folder
Step 4:
Wait for a while and you will find the photos in the download folder.

Either the iCloud website or the app only allows you to download specific data types from iCloud backup. If you intend to download an entire iCloud backup, you will need a third-party tool.

How to Stop and Delete iCloud Backups

Delete Backup
Step 1:
Run the Settings app from your iPhone, and tap on your profile.
Step 2:
Go to iCloud, press Manage Storage, tap Backups, choose your iPhone name, scroll down, and hit Delete Backup.
Step 3:
Tap Turn Off & Delete on the alert box to confirm the action.

Note: If you just wish to stop specific apps in the iCloud backup, toggle off the switches.

How to View iCloud Backup

As mentioned previously, iCloud backups are encrypted and the only way to get your data back is by restoring your iPhone or iPad. Therefore, you need an iCloud backup viewer, such as FoneLab iPhone Data Recovery, to see the details. It decodes your iCloud backups and lets you view files and data.

iPhone Data Recovery


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Here are the steps to view your iCloud backup:

Step 1:
Sign in to your iCloud account

Launch the best iCloud viewer after you install it on your computer. Go to the Recover from iCloud tab from the left side, and sign in to your account.

FoneLab Scan iCloud Backup
Step 2:
Download an iCloud backup

Click iCloud Backup, and hit the Start button. Then you will see all iCloud backups of your iOS device. Hit the Download button on the desired backup file.

FoneLab Download iCloud Backup File
Step 3:
View iCloud backup

When prompted, select the desired data types, and click Next. To view the entire iCloud backup, check Select All. Then view and select the data that you wish to recover, and click the Recover button.

FoneLab Recover Deleted File from iCloud Backup File

Part 3. How to Back up iPhone without iCloud

iCloud is not the best way to back up your iPhone due to its limited storage capacity. From this point, we recommend Aiseesoft iOS Data Backup & Restore. It is a one-stop solution to back up your data on your iOS device.



Aiseesoft iOS Data Backup & Restore - Best Alternative to iCloud

  • Back up an iPhone without iCloud.
  • Add a password to your iPhone backup.
  • Back up specific data types.
  • Restore iPhone backup without damaging existing data.
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How to Back up an iPhone without iCloud

Step 1:
Connect to your iPhone

Install the iPhone backup tool on your desktop and open it. Next, plug your iPhone into the same machine with a Lightning cable. Click the iOS Data Backup button to move on.

iOS Data Backup Restore Main Interface
Step 2:
Select data types

Select Standard backup. If you want to protect your backup, select Encrypted backup and leave a password. Hit the Start button to enter the data type window. Now, select the desired data type or check Select All.

Select File Type
Step 3:
Back up your iPhone

Finally, click on the Next button. When you are presented with the Congratulations window, close the software and disconnect your iPhone.

Backup Completed

Part 4. FAQs about iCloud Backup

How long does iCloud backup take?

According to our research, it may take 30 minutes to even hours to back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud. It is determined by the condition of your internet connection and the amount of data on your iOS device.

How to back up Apple Watch to iCloud?

You cannot back up an Apple Watch to iCloud directly. Alternatively, you can sync the data to your iPhone. Once you turn on iCloud backup on your iPhone, your Apple Watch will be backed up to iCloud too. To back up your Apple Watch, pair it to your iPhone. Then go to the Settings app, tap on your name, choose iCloud, and tap iCloud Backup. The iCloud backup will also include your previously backed up watch data.

How to back up a computer to iCloud?

iCloud is a brilliant cloud storage. Similar to other cloud services, you can back up your iPhone and computer to your iCloud if it has enough space. Visit the iCloud website, log into your account, and choose the iCloud Drive option. Next, click the Upload icon on the top of the page, and back up the desired files from your hard disk.


Now, you should understand what is iCloud backup, how to back up your iPhone to iCloud, how to view, delete, and manage the backup file, and more. Following our guide, you can back up important data from your iPhone to iCloud and prevent data loss. Besides, we also recommended the best iCloud backup viewer, FoneLab iPhone Data Recovery, and iCloud alternative, Aiseesoft iOS Data Backup & Restore. If you have other questions about this topic, please write them down below this post.

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