How to Back Up your iPhone to iCloud


A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the “Cloud” and the benefits of backing up to a cloud system. I recommended Google as my favorite. Another option for iPhone users is “iCloud.”

The website offers quick set up instructions that give folks some advice I’m a bit wary of.  They encourage you to set up “automatic downloads” for all of your apps and they promote how “automatic” the whole system is.  Well that’s fine…..if you pay for additional cloud storage space!

Apple offers 5MB of iCloud storage for free when you sign up. However, the average user will have much more data (in photos, music, videos and apps) that will quickly use up this space. When you start the iCloud back up process and you find out that you need more iCloud storage, you can buy more from Apple at that time. Plans start at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month. Which is a small price to pay to backup all of your photos of the kids and grandkids.

Another option is to sign up for a family plan which gives you, and all the people you add to the plan, 200GB of shared cloud space for $2.99 a month. Maybe you should ask one of your adult children to add you to their plan…. For more information about the different iCloud storage plans, read this article by Apple.

And, as always with iPhones, you can attend a free workshop at your local Apple Store with help on setting up iCloud and many other iPhone tricks. Click here to see what’s happening at your local store. Hint: Look for “iPhone Basics.”

But… before you get going, and to hopefully prevent problems with your iCloud backup, I strongly recommend that you read these articles on

Get help making a backup.
Managing your Cloud Storage – this is SUPER important!  It will teach you how to reduce the size of your back up to iCloud.

Now if you’re ready to try setting up iCloud at home, here are my basic instructions to get you going.

How to back up with iCloud

    1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.


    1. Go to Settings:
      Where to find Settings on your iPhone


    1. Tap on [your name], and tap iCloud. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings, then scroll down and tap iCloud.


    1. Tap iCloud Backup. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Backup. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
      iPhone iCloud settings


    1. Tap Back Up Now. Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.
      iPhone iCloud Back Up Now


You can check the progress and confirm the backup completed. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Under Back Up Now, you’ll see the date and time of your last backup.


Automatically back up with iCloud Backup

To let iCloud automatically back up your device each day, here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  • Connect your device to a power source.
  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Make sure that your device’s screen is locked.

Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup. When you sign in to iCloud, you get 5GB of iCloud storage for free. If you need more iCloud storage, you can buy more from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Plans start at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month. Learn more about prices in your region.

And of course, if you are still stuck, schedule an appointment with me and I can get you going!

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