No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

If you’ve felt the pain of losing all the photos, videos, and documents saved on your iPhone, or want to avoid it, iCloud is your friend. Here’s how to make sure everything’s set up and syncing.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Most of us have been in the situation where we had to get a new iOS device, and all our photos, notes, and contacts went poof, never to be seen again.

If you’ve felt that pain—or want to avoid it—iCloud is your friend. Cloud storage services, including Apple’s iCloud Drive, back up valuable information, documents, and images wirelessly to the internet, where it’s easy to retrieve or download from any device.

Apple automatically provides every user with 5GB of free iCloud storage. You can use this storage to back up apps, images, videos, or documents. But 5GB fills up fast; additional storage starts at $0.99 per month for 50GB in the US. With Apple One, you can also bundle iCloud storage with other Apple services, like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Fitness+, and more.

What Does iCloud Backup Include?

With Apple iCloud, you can back up:

Home screen and app organization

iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages

Photos and videos on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Purchase history from Apple services, like music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books

Visual Voicemail password (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)

You can select what is protected and what is not, including Calendars, Contacts, Health Notes, Photos, Reminders, Wallet, and more. There are also third-party apps that can be connected to your iCloud account. Add and revoke these permissions at any time.

Manage what is included by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and toggle the switch on or off for the apps you do or do not want to sync to iCloud storage.

How to Back Up Your Device to iCloud

First, make sure your account has enough available space in iCloud. Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage, which will list how much iCloud storage you’re using and which apps are eating up the most storage.

To automatically back up your device each day, turn on iCloud Backup via Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup and toggle iCloud Backup to on. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup. The device will then back up when your phone is connected to power, locked, and on Wi-Fi.

To manually back up your phone via iCloud, navigate to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now. Here, you can also see the last time your device was successfully backed up.

Automatically Upload Pictures to iCloud

Making sure your beloved photos or videos are getting backed up to iCloud can be confusing, but you can do it with just a few taps.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadSource: iMore

We’re not here to tell you what photos you should and shouldn’t take with your iPhone. That’s your business. However, we are here to tell you that any photo you do take with your best iPhone is stored in iCloud by default. What does this mean? Well, it means that in some form, any photos you take are on the internet and susceptible to being “found.”

Now, although we love everything iOS 15 allows you to do with the photos you take, you may not be comfortable with having your private photos on iCloud. The good news is you can keep your photos off iCloud; it just requires a few steps. Here’s how you can keep your photos off iCloud.

Turn off iCloud Photos

iCloud Photos syncs every photo you take on your iPhone up to Apple’s servers and then syncs it back down to any other Apple devices you have logged into the same account. That includes personal, private, even intimate photos. It doesn’t differentiate or distinguish cinnamon buns from, well, human buns. That’s your job.

So, if your camera roll is filled up with photos you don’t want on Apple’s servers — or anyone else’s servers, you can turn off iCloud Photos. You’ll lose your backup, but you might decide the peace of mind is worth it.

    Launch Settings from your Home screen.

Tap your Apple ID banner at the top of the menu.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Source: iMore

Tap iCloud.

Tap the iCloud Photos On/Off Switch. The switch should be grey when the feature is off.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Source: iMore

If you later change your mind and decide you do want to backup your photos to iCloud, you can toggle it back on by following these same steps above.

Turn off My Photo Stream

iCloud Photos has more or less replaced My Photo Stream, but it’s still there for people who have been using it. If you’re one of them, and you’re now concerned about just how much flesh tone or family business is included in those pics, you can shut it down too.

    Launch Settings from your Home screen.

Tap your Apple ID banner at the top of the menu.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Source: iMore

Tap iCloud.

Tap the My Photo Stream On/Off Switch. The switch should be grey when the feature is off.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Source: iMore

If you later change your mind and decide you do want My Photo Stream to live again, you can toggle it back on by following the same steps above.

Delete photos in chat or IM

If you don’t just take private photos but share them, then it’s possible your messaging client of choice has copies of those photos stored as well. Whether it’s Apple’s iMessage, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, or any of the half-dozen or so Google apps that offer messaging, if you want your pictures gone, you’ll have to get rid of them there as well.

Some apps let you set photos to automatically evaporate after a short period of time. Others require you to delete them manually. Take a look through the settings and choose the options that make sense to you.

You might even be able to manually or bulk delete any photos already in the app. Just realize there’s almost no way to make sure the person you sent the photos to has likewise deleted them. Saving, screenshots, even taking photos of the screen with another phone or camera are all possibilities.

The only truly deleted photo is the one never shared or taken. Everything else is mitigation.

Opt for local backups

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

If you want a backup of your photos — all your photos — but don’t want them online, you can backup your photos to your Mac or Windows PC using iTunes or any camera capture app. This makes sure you’ll still have your photos in the event you lose or break your iPhone but it also means there’ll be copies on your computer, which is another place you’ll have to protect.

At the end of the day, decide how important having the photos are to you. If they’re treasured memories you’d be devastated to lose, then back them up. Even online if it’s easier. If they’re just for fun and you’d be crushed if they ever got out, treat them as disposable. Don’t back them up, and delete them as soon as possible.

The only copy that can’t get out is no copy at all.

More iCloud Photo Library help

While you certainly need to turn off iCloud Photos if you want to ensure your photos are staying off the cloud, there are lots of reasons why you may still want to use the iCloud Photo Library. Don’t forget to check our iCloud Photo Library ultimate guide to ensure you’re using iCloud Photos the way you want.

iPhones are known for their cameras, but what happens when you run out of space for those photos?

The holidays are creeping closer and this year, it’s going to be different. Thanks to vaccines, including boosters and newly available shots for kids ages 5 to 11, more people are able to gather with their extended families in person.

That likely means more photos and videos. Lots of them. Unfortunately those big beautiful files can quickly eat up all of your smartphone storage. As with Thanksgiving pie, it’s best to plan ahead so you don’t run out of room. To make sure there’s space for every candid of grandma playing with the adorable pandemic babies, do a little memory maintenance ahead of time.

We’ve already covered the best ways to manage your Google storage, so if you’re an Android user or an Apple person who relies on Google Photos you can learn more there. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, start with these basics to avoid a full phone or iCloud account.

Apple devices come with a free iCloud account for backing up and storing things in the cloud. Unfortunately it only includes 5 gigabytes of storage. Between images, text messages, third-party apps and full phone backups, it goes fast.

First, see what’s on your device. On an iOS device, go to Settings → General → iPhone Storage and give it a moment to calculate. This screen might show helpful suggestions like emptying your trash, but Apple also never misses an opportunity to promote its own cloud storage for a few dollars a month. Skip that for now and scroll down to the list of apps and how much storage they’re using.

If any of the top space-gobbling apps are ones you don’t use, you can delete them from your device. (There’s an option to “offload app” instead, but it often doesn’t solve the problem, since all of its data sticks around.) This is also a good place to find out which apps are storing big files you don’t need, like downloaded videos in Prime Video or a silly iMovie creation. Chances are the next biggest offenders are Messages and photos you’ve saved. You can manually clear out any pix or conversations you no longer need, but chances are you’ll want to back up some of them first, which we’ll get to in a moment.

Next, see what’s already taking up your free (or paid) iCloud space. Go to Settings → [Your Name] → iCloud and check out how much storage you have. Before leaving this screen, scroll down. You may be surprised what apps are using your iCloud for storage. If you’re comfortable with it, you can start turning off anything you don’t think should be tapping into this limited resource.

Now scroll back up and hit Manage Storage. This is where you see which apps use the most iCloud space. One surprise people often find here is Messages, Apple’s built-in texting app. That’s because our texts are now half words and half things like photos, videos, GIFs and emoji and they all count toward your storage.

With the ever-looming possibility of loosing data due to theft, data corruption, and various other threats of the day, its incredibly important to discuss backing up data on all devices regularly. Backing up the data on your iPhone is no exception. It cannot only save you should unexpected events occur, but it can also aid in assisting you in restoring your data onto a second device.

This article will explain how to add various attributes to your iCloud backup option so that all desired data can be saved safety to your iCloud account on a nightly basis. But first, a few basics:

When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5 GB of free storage. This can quickly get eaten up by music and picture files, so if you need to purchase more storage, you may find more information on how to do so here.

What is Automatically backed up by Default?

iCloud automatically backs up the information on your devices—iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch—over Wi-Fi every day when the device is turned on, locked, and connected to a power source. When your iOS device information is backed up in iCloud, you can easily set up a new device or restore information on one you already have.

Here’s what iCloud backs up:

  • Purchase history for music, movies, TV shows, apps, and booksYour iCloud backup includes information about the content you purchased, butnot the purchased content itself. When you restore from an iCloud backup, your purchased content is automatically downloaded from the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. Some types of content aren’t downloaded automatically in all countries, and previous purchases may be unavailable if they have been refunded or are no longer available in the store. For more information, see the Apple Support article Availability of iTunes redownloads. Some types of content aren’t available in all countries. For more information, see the Apple Support article What can I buy from the iTunes Store in my country?.
  • Photos and videos on your iOS devicesHowever, if you turn on iCloud Photo Library on your iOS device (iOS 8.1 or later) or Mac (OS X v10.10.3 or later), your photos and videos are already stored in iCloud, so they aren’t included in your iCloud backup.
  • Device settings
  • App data
  • Home screen and app organization
  • iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemail password (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)
  • Health data
  • HomeKit configuration

Select which iOS apps to back up

Many apps automatically back up to iCloud after you install them. But some applications take up more data than others, or may be just as important as those that are saved automatically. Therefore, you can change which apps back up to iCloud and remove existing backups of that app’s data from your storage.

Use these steps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Tap Settings > iCloud.
    • If you’re using iOS 8 or later, tap Storage > Manage Storage.
    • If you’re using an earlier version of iOS, tap Storage & Backup > Manage Storage.
  2. Tap the name of your iOS device.
  3. Under Backup Options, select the apps that you want to back up or turn off those that you no longer want to backup.

When you’re asked to confirm, choose Turn Off & Delete to turn off the option of Backing up for that app. This will remove all of its data from iCloud.

** Please note that once you turn off the backing up of that application and confirm it, all data will be wiped from previous backups. You will not have the ability to go back through your iCloud storage to find that data afterward.

You may also select the option to turn off all backups, although this is not recommended, as you will loose all ability to restore your device in the event of theft, damage or corruption. Choose carefully when considering any changes to this area.

You can back up and restore your WhatsApp chat history with iCloud.


  • WhatsApp chat histories aren’t stored on our servers.
  • Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backup.
  • We can’t retrieve any deleted messages for you.

Back up to iCloud

Manual backup

You can make a manual backup of your chats at any time.

Go to WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Back Up Now.

Automatic backup

You can enable automatic, scheduled backups by tapping Auto Backup and choosing your backup frequency.

This will back up your chats and media to your iCloud account. You can choose to include or exclude videos from the backup. The iCloud backup process can take a while to complete, depending on your Internet connection and backup size.

  • You must be signed in with the Apple ID you use to access iCloud.
  • You must have iOS 10 or newer and iCloud Drive must be turned on.
  • There must be enough free space on both your iCloud and iPhone. You need to have at least 2.05 times the space available in your iCloud account and on your phone than the actual size of your backup.

If you’re concerned about your cellular data usage, we recommend that you limit your iCloud to only back up on Wi-Fi.

Restore from a previous backup

If you’ve previously backed up your iPhone using iCloud or iTunes, you might be able to retrieve your WhatsApp chats by restoring your iPhone from a previous backup. For more information on backing up and restoring your iPhone, visit the Apple Support website.

Export chat history

You can email yourself your chat history if you’d like to save a chat.

Note: If you’re in Germany, you might have to update WhatsApp before you can use the export chat feature.

Yes, of course you want to back up your iPhone — as we all know, despite phone cases and Gorilla glass and careful engineering, disaster — in the form of cracked displays, lost devices, and three-year-olds who think it’s fun to sit on your latest phone — can happen. When that happens, you want to have all your data backed up.

The easiest way to go is to back up using iCloud, which is not only simple to set up, but makes it just as simple to set up a new phone if your old one is no longer available. (You can also back up to other services, such as Google Drive, but it isn’t nearly as convenient.) Or, if you’re an iPhone user who is steadfast about retaining your privacy, you can back up your iPhone to your Mac or Windows computer and retain full control of your data backups.

Here’s how to back up to iCloud or your laptop / desktop.

Back up to iCloud

  • Tap on “Settings” > [your name] top button > “iCloud” > “iCloud Backup.”
  • If “iCloud Backup” is switched off, toggle it on. If it’s already toggled on, and you’re preparing to wipe your old iPhone, you may want to tap “Back Up Now” just in case.

Back up to your desktop

  • Connect your phone to your computer using its charging cable.
  • Fire up iTunes if you’re using Windows or a Mac with macOS 10.14 or earlier; use Finder on a Mac with macOS 10.15 Catalina or later.

If you’re using Finder, open a Finder window (by either clicking on the Finder icon in your dock or selecting “File” > “New Finder Window” in the top Finder menu bar), and look for your iPhone in the left-hand menu under “Locations.”

  • In iTunes, you should see a small iPhone icon in the upper left corner; select that. (If you don’t see it, you may need to authorize your system. Go to the top iTunes menu and select “Account” > “Authorizations” > “Authorize This Computer. ” and follow the instructions.)
  • After that, the process for either iTunes or Finder is much the same, although the look of the pages and the language will be slightly different.
  • If this is the first time you’ve done this, when you click on the phone icon, you may be asked if you trust the phone, first on the computer and then on the phone itself.
  • First-timers may also be asked if you want to set your phone up as a new device or restore it from a previous backup. In this case, select the first.
  • Select the “General” tab on top and look for the category labeled “Backups.” Select “This computer” (in iTunes) or “Back up all of the data on your iPhone to your Mac” (in Finder).
  • You’re going to want to encrypt your backup for increased security. Check “Encrypt iPhone backup” (in iTunes) or “Encrypt local backup” (in Finder) and enter a password. Don’t lose that password; otherwise, you’re going to lose access to your data.
  • Once you set the encryption, it’s probable that the backup will start automatically. Otherwise, click on “Back Up Now.”

Using iTunes to change your backup from iCloud to this computer.

If you need to restore your backup, just go to the same page and click on “Restore Backup. ”

Note that you can either manually back up your iPhone, or you can also have it automatically back up each time you connect it to your computer. Look for “Options” just below the “Backups” section, and select “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected.”

Once you’ve set up your backup to your computer, you may want to delete any backups you’ve made to iCloud.

To do this on your Mac:

  • Click on the Apple icon in the top corner of your system.
  • Select “System Preferences” > “Internet Accounts” > “iCloud.”
  • Select the “Manage” button in the lower right corner of the window and then “Backups.”
  • Select a backup to delete, click on the minus icon in the lower left of the window, and select “Delete.” This will both delete all your backups from iCloud and turn off any further backups.

To do this on your iPhone:

  • Go to “Settings” and tap your name.
  • Select “iCloud” > “Manage Storage” > “Backups.”
  • Tap on “Delete Backup.”
  • Tap on “Turn Off & Delete.”

Select “iCloud” > “Manage Storage” > “Backups”

Tap on “Turn Off & Delete”

Update September 15th, 2021, 10:20AM ET: This article was originally published on January 23, 2020 and has been updated to add directions for updating with iCloud and to update the other instructions.

The camera roll on your device only uploads to OneDrive – it does not sync photos both ways. That means you can delete uploaded photos and videos from your device, and the copies in OneDrive won’t be affected.

To automatically upload your iPhone or iPad camera roll to OneDrive

In the OneDrive app, tap your account image:

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Tap Settings then Camera Upload

Important: You can only upload your camera roll to one account at a time, so make sure you’re signed in with the account that you want to upload photos to. Tap the relevant account icon to switch accounts.

Turn on Camera Upload to automatically upload photos and videos to OneDrive.

To make sure videos automatically upload, turn on Include Videos.

If camera upload isn’t working

If automatic camera upload isn’t working, or only some pictures are uploaded, follow these steps:

Apple recommend that customers leave the OneDrive app running in the background. Automatic uploading cannot work if the app has been Force Closed (double-tap Home and swipe up and away).

If you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, check your mobile OneDrive settings. If you want to use your mobile network, tap Settings, tap Camera upload, and then turn on Use Mobile Network.

If your camera upload is taking too long to set up or look for photos, without giving any error message, it could be because you have too many photos in your camera roll.

OneDrive cannot upload photos optimized for iCloud. To disable optimization, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos and uncheck Optimize Storage.

Learn more

Need more help?

Contact Support
For help with your Microsoft account and subscriptions, visit Account & Billing Help.

For technical support, go to Contact Microsoft Support, enter your problem and select Get Help. If you still need help, select Contact Support to be routed to the best support option.

I have had this crop up a few times with family and friends devices when the Photos App stops uploading to their iCloud photo library. Unable to access recent photos or videos in iCloud they turned to me for a fix. Here is a rundown of the fixes I have applied to get the Photos App uploading to iCloud again.

Restart your device

As we know one of the reasons for using iPhone’s and iPad’s is their outstanding reliability in comparison to other devices. And one of the simplest things to try is to restart the device which can clear weeks or even months of out of date caches and settings.

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button. Swipe right and turn your device off.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Wait until the iOS device switches off then turn it back on again.

Toggle iCloud Photo Library

If your Photos and Videos are still not updating in iCloud (you may need to wait a while and this is also best completed when connected to WIFI). You can go further and turn off and on again iCloud Photo Library from within your account management, this is different from the steps above so read on.

Go to: Settings > your name/Apple ID.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Then: iCloud > Photos.

Turn Off “iCloud Photo Library”.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Turn your iPhone/iPad off and then back on again. Go to: Settings > your name / Apple ID. Then: iCloud > Photos. Turn On “iCloud Photo Library”.

The MOAB (Mother of All Bombs)

Not really but it does seem like using a hammer to crack a nut! If the steps above still bring no joy then you are going to have to delete all the Photos in iCloud :-/ (do this at your own risk however following this guide should make it less painful). So at this point you are going to need to make sure you have

  1. A large cup of Coffee or something to keep you going, and
  2. A backup of all your Photos and Videos on the iPhone/iPad and iCloud.

Now to remove all the Photo’s and Video’s from iCloud < Read that twice!

Go to: Settings > your account name/Apple ID.

Then: iCloud > Photos Turn Off iCloud Photo Library Turn your iPhone/iPad off and then back on again. On your computer go to and log in with your Apple ID and password and then delete all photos and videos.

Go to: Settings > your account name/Apple ID.

Then: iCloud > Photos Turn On iCloud Photo Library At this stage everything should work on all but one occasion I haven’t had to go further than the above.

The Thermonuclear option

Factory reset the device! Argh.As a final resort if still after following the steps above and also waiting at least 15 minutes to see if iCloud does start to update! You are going to have to hard reset the device (may as well be on Android right ☺ ). Only once have I needed to do this I repeat wait a minimum of 15 minutes after each of the previous 3 steps.

Plug your iPhone / iPad into a computer and do a full backup via iTunes.

Then to do a hard reset on the iOS Device Go to: Settings > General > Reset.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Then: Choose “Erase All Content and Settings”

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

All your data will be erased from the device at this point so make sure you have followed the steps here to backup your device:

Press “Erase Now”, thankfully Apple has added “Backup Then Erase” as an option (Hint You need a backup before you do this)

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

After the iPhone or iPad has been erased you will need to restore it, simply go back into iTunes and go to Summary > Restore iPhone ; using the latest backup you made before you started this process.

If you have chosen to use iCloud backups instead, although to my mind if you are having a problem with iCloud this is not the greatest idea simply follow the Guide on Apple support but choose the iCloud backup option instead.

Now you should be up and running beautifully again, with your photos and videos syncing with iCloud. Like I’ve said previously the Factory reset is a last resort so be patient with every step.

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If you have turned on Back up and Sync, photos and videos you delete will stay in your trash for 60 days before they are deleted forever. Learn how to turn on Back up and Sync.

Tip: To move all your photos to a different account, share your photo library with that account.

Before you delete photos & videos

Items you delete from Google Photos are also removed from:

    and the Photos app on any synced devices
  • Google Photos albums
  • Some Google Photos movies. Learn more about deleted photos in movies.
  • Shared albums and conversations you added them to

Items you delete are not automatically removed from:

  • Blogger
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Local storage when the files are downloaded on to iOS and Android 11 and up devices

Before you get started

Delete photos & videos

You can delete up to 1,500 items from your Google Photos library or your SD card at a time.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Touch and hold a photo or video you want to move to the trash. You can select multiple items.
  4. At the top, tap Delete .


  • If you delete a photo or video that’s backed up in Google Photos, it will stay in your trash for 60 days.
  • If you permanently delete an item from your iPhone or iPad without it being backed up in Google Photos, it will be deleted forever. Learn how to turn on back up and sync.
  • If you see a photo or video in Google Photos that you think you deleted, it might be on a removable memory card. To delete it, use your device’s gallery app.

To permanently delete an item from your device:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Select the items you want to delete from your iPhone or iPad.
  4. In the top right, tap More Delete from device.

Restore photos & videos

If you deleted an item and want it back, check your trash to see if it’s there.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. At the bottom, tap Library Trash .
  3. Touch and hold the photo or video you want to restore.
  4. At the bottom, tap Restore. The photo or video will be back:
  • In your phone’s gallery app
  • In your Google Photos Account
  • In any albums it was in

If the item is not in your trash, it may be permanently deleted.

Don’t see the photo or video?

If a deleted photo or video isn’t in trash, you can’t restore it. You won’t be able to restore a photo if:

  • You moved it to trash more than 60 days ago.
  • You moved it to trash, then emptied your trash.
  • You moved it to trash more than 30 days ago, and it wasn’t backed up.
  • You permanently deleted it from your trash.
  • You permanently deleted it from your device’s Gallery app, without backing it up first.

To find and recover photos easily, turn on back up and sync.

Important: If your Google Photos account is inactive for 2 years or you’re over your storage limit, your content may be impacted. Learn more about this.

Is iCloud not working? Here’s what to do when you can’t sign into iCloud, see an iCloud error, or have other common iCloud issues.

Anyone who has an Apple device probably uses iCloud as well. This cloud storage service makes it easy to sync photos, calendars, documents, and more across all your Apple products. But if iCloud isn’t working, you might lose access to all that data!

We’ve put together a list of the most common iCloud problems from across the web and how to troubleshoot them. So whether you’ve got issues with iCloud not loading or you can’t sign in to iCloud from your iPhone, you can find how to fix your problem below.

1. Cannot Connect to iCloud

The first step to take when your device cannot connect to iCloud is to check that Apple’s systems are all online. Go to Apple’s System Status website and make sure every iCloud-related service has a green circle next to it.

Different shapes in yellow or red mean Apple is experiencing problems with that service. If iCloud is currently unavailable, there’s nothing you can do but wait for Apple to fix the issue.

If iCloud is up and running, there may be new terms and conditions for you to agree to before you can connect to it again. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your name at the top. A popup will prompt you to agree to new terms and conditions if there are any.

Failing that, you should sign out of iCloud on your iPhone or iPad, then sign in again. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name].
  2. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  3. If prompted, enter your Apple ID password to Turn Off Find My.
  4. Choose what data to keep on your device—anything you don’t keep is still saved to iCloud—then tap Sign Out.
  5. Return to Settings to sign in again using your Apple ID details.

2. iCloud Doesn’t Sync Data Across Devices

When it’s working, iCloud syncs everything without any effort from you. That means you can, for example, take a photo on one device and it will seamlessly sync to your other devices.

Unfortunately, iCloud doesn’t always work seamlessly. When that’s the case, these iCloud troubleshooting tips can fix it. Try them one by one:

iCloud is a handy cloud service offered by Apple to store your content and keep your data up to date across your devices. Most of the time it does a good job of managing your files, but sometimes it may run improperly due to iOS system errors. These problems may stop you from syncing photos with iCloud. If this, unfortunately, happens to you, don’t worry, here are some solutions to solve it.

Part 1. Fixes to “iCloud Photos Library Not Syncing” Issue

iCloud Photos Library is an option on your iPhone that enables you to back up and sync any photos and videos you take to iCloud. When you enable the iCloud Photo Library, it can use Optimize Storage to upload your files to iCloud and gives you access to your photos. It works well most of the time, but sometimes it goes wrong and stops you from syncing photos. If that happens to you, don’t worry, the following solutions can help you out.

1. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to the Settings > Tap “Photos” > Tap “Wireless Data” > Choose “WLAN & Cellular Data” to allow iCloud to sync your photos via WiFi or cellular(when there is no WiFi available, it will automatically use cellular). If Wi-Fi not working on your iPhone with your WiFi, try to fix it before syncing.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

2. Running short of iCloud storage might be another factor that stops your iCloud photos from syncing. So you can go to your Settings to check if there is sufficient iCloud storage for syncing. If there is enough iCloud storage, you can directly navigate to the next solution. If there is not enough storage, you’ll need to manage the iCloud storage by buying more storage or deleting some unwanted apps.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

3. If both solutions above are useless, then you can try to turn off and turn on the iCloud Photo Library to fix this problem. On your iOS device, go to the Settings app > iCloud > Photos >Toggle the “iCloud Photo Library” to the Off position.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Part 2. Fixes to “iCloud Photos Not Syncing to Windows 10” Issue

You may have experienced or are experiencing the problem that iCloud photos not syncing to Mac/Windows 10. When you face this issue, don’t worry, the following solutions will get you out of trouble.

1. Make sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID that you’re using with iCloud for Windows. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud.

2. Turn on My Photo Stream on your iCloud for Windows. To do this, you can open iCloud for Windows > Click “Options” next to “Photos” > Turn on “My Photo Stream.”

3. Close and restart iCloud for Windows. If it doesn’t work, restart your computer.

Part 3. Using an Alternative Way to Sync iPhone Photos to Your Computer

It is really time-consuming to use the above-introduced eight solutions one by one to try if they work, especially for those who are pushed for time. To save your time, we recommend you sync iPhone directly with an alternative tool – EaseUS MobiMover – one of the world’s best iPhone transfer software that can not only help you upload photos to the computer but also offer you the way to sync photos between iOS devices. Besides, it has many functions like:

  • Manage your iPhone data like music, photos, videos, contacts by transferring, exporting/importing.
  • Back up your iPhone files to the computer without erasing.
  • Supports almost all iOS models in almost all iOS versions.

Now, you can download EaseUS MobiMover on your computer and start to sync iPhone photos.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer (Mac or PC). Launch EaseUS MobiMover, then choose “Phone to PC” and click the “Next” button to continue. If you prefer to transfer photos from your iPhone to computer selectively, go to “Content Management” > “Pictures” > “Photos” instead.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Step 2. Choose “Pictures” from the displayed data categories. You can also transfer other files together to free up iPhone space or for backup. And, you are free to save the exported iPhone files on your local computer or USB flash drive.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Step 3. Then click the “Transfer” button to start transferring photos from iPhone to computer. Wait patiently for the process to finish and then go to check the exported items.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

The Bottom Line

After trying all these methods, you may have solved the “iCloud photos not syncing” Issue. As you see, many factors might lead to this Issue. Whatever the factors, these solutions get you covered. If you have any other problems related to this issue, don’t hesitate to contact us to help you out!


4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 10 votes

EaseUS MobiMover allows you to easily transfer all data from your iPhone to your PC. The app is available for both Windows and Macs so irrespective of which platform you use, you are covered.

EaseUs MobiMover solves this problem as it allows you to transfer data from an iPhone to a Mac, Mac to an iPhone, or from one iPhone to another iPhone fast.

EaseUS MobiMover is a program that allows you to share files between your iOS device and your PC in an easy manner. This is very useful, since both operative systems are not compatible.

EaseUS MobiMover for Mac and PC is a powerful tool for transferring data from your Apple mobile device to your computer, managing the variety of files that you create, and moving those huge videos quickly.

The first 5GB of iCloud storage on your iPhone are free, but if you use iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Drive, that 5GB can fill up pretty quickly. Follow these steps to see which data occupy your storage and how to increase your space, if need be.

Open the Settings app, tap iCloud, and then tap Storage toward the top of the screen.

The Storage screen opens and you see the Total Storage you have (5GB if you haven’t purchased additional storage) and the Available Storage.

Tap Manage Storage.

The Manage Storage screen opens, which shows you what is stored on iCloud. You see four sections that indicate how your storage is occupied: Photos, Backups, Documents and Data, and Mail.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Tap iCloud Photo Library.

You see how many photos and videos occupy the storage, but you have to go to the Photos app to delete any of the images to free up space.

If you wish to stop using iCloud Photo Library, tap Disable and Delete, which disables iCloud Photo Library on all your devices. Your photos and videos remain for 30 days, during which time you should download your photos and videos to your iPhone or another device.

Tap Back or swipe right to return to the Manage Storage screen.

Tap iPhone in the Backups section.

The Info screen opens. The date and size of the last backup appear at the top. Scroll down and tap Show All Apps to see the apps for which iCloud backs up data — not the apps themselves, only the data.

By default, backup is on for all apps. To shrink the size of your backup file, you can turn one or more off by tapping the switch next to it. You see how much storage the app data occupies under the name of the app.

If, at some time in the future, you want to delete your backup, scroll to the bottom of this screen and tap Delete Backup, which both deletes your iCloud backup and turns it off.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Tap Back or swipe right to return to the Manage Storage screen.

Scroll down and tap Show All in the Documents & Data section.

The list shows all the types and size of files that are stored on iCloud Drive. Tap an app to see the list of files stored from that app.

To delete files, tap the Edit button in the upper-right corner. Tap the Delete button (the red and white minus sign) to the left of the document, and then tap the Delete button that appears to the right. You’re asked to confirm the action as it deletes the file both from iCloud Drive and from your iPhone. Tap Delete All at the bottom to take that action.

Tap Back or swipe right to return to the Manage Storage screen, and again to the Storage screen.

(Optional) If you see you’re running low on available storage, you can purchase additional iCloud storage.

iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Library give you 5GB total storage for mail, contacts, calendars, documents, photos, and backup. Media purchased from iTunes doesn’t count toward that limit. If you use Photo Stream but not iCloud Photo Library, the images in Photo Stream don’t count toward the 5GB.

Do the following to buy more storage:

Tap Buy More Storage.

The Upgrade iCloud Storage screen opens. You see your current plan and upgrade options; downgrade options are available if you have a purchased plan.

Tap the plan you want to purchase, and then tap the Buy button.

Enter the password for your Apple ID, if requested, and then enter your payment information.

Your credit card is charged for the amount indicated immediately and on an annual basis until you downgrade.

If you purchase more storage and then find you don’t need it, you can downgrade at any time so your credit card will be charged less or not at all when the renewal date arrives. Do the following:

Tap Downgrade Options.

You may be asked to enter your Apple ID password.

Tap the storage plan you want when your current plan expires.

You can also purchase iCloud storage through the System Preferences application on your Mac (tap iCloud) or from the iCloud pane of the Control Panel in Windows.

The alternative to buying more storage is deleting documents and files as explained in Step 7 previously. However, if the documents you delete are only stored in iCloud, you lose them completely. Open and save the documents on your computer, upload (using the Share Sheet) them to another remote storage server, or email them to yourself before deleting them from iCloud if you want to keep a copy.

Most users opt for iCloud backup when switching from an old iPhone to the new one. It’s one of the best backup solutions and works seamlessly among Apple devices. However, there can be times when iPhone fails to backup the device data to iCloud. Here are the top nine ways to fix iPhone not backing up to iCloud.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

There can be multiple factors leading to iCloud backup failure on iPhone. We will discuss every scenario and fix the issue for you.

1. Enable iCloud Backup

You might have disabled iCloud backup on your iPhone before. It’s time to enable it from the Settings menu.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on iPhone.

Step 2: Go to your profile.

Step 3: Select iCloud.

Step 4: Tap on iCloud Backup.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadNo icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Step 5: Enable iCloud Backup toggle from the following menu.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

2. Make Sufficient iCloud Storage

By default, iCloud comes with only 5GB of storage. When you have photos enabled for iCloud backup, 5GB isn’t enough to perform the complete iCloud backup.

You need to pay for one of the iCloud plans. The cheapest plan starts at $0.99 for 50GB. You also get other goodies such as Hide my Email and iCloud Private Relay.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Go to Settings and select user profile. Tap on iCloud and check the remaining storage.

3. Connect to Faster Wi-Fi Connection

iCloud backups don’t come in small sizes. If you have dozens of app data to backup on iPhone, you might have an iCloud backup in 5GB-7GB in size.

You need to connect your iPhone to a faster internet connection in this situation. Don’t rely on high-speed 4G or 5G mobile connections. iCloud backup won’t start until you connect to a Wi-Fi network.

For fewer failure rates, connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency and not the 2.4GHz one.

4. Keep Your iPhone in Charging

To complete the iCloud backup process successfully, you need to keep your iPhone on charge. Keep your iPhone connected to a power source during the backup process, and you are good to go.

5. Check iCloud Servers

If iCloud servers are having an off day, the backup process won’t be complete no matter what you try.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Apple offers a dedicated System Status page to check the current iCloud Backup status. Ensure it’s showing a green indicator beside the iCloud service and then proceed with the backup option.

6. Exclude Big Apps from iCloud Backup

Apps like WhatsApp take a big chunk of iCloud backup storage. Since we have been using WhatsApp for a long time, it takes around 5GB-6GB alone in the iCloud backup.

If not required, you can exclude such big apps from iCloud backup and try backing up again. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the iPhone Settings app.

Step 2: Go to your profile and select iCloud.

Step 3: Scroll down and disable WhatsApp toggle.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadNo icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

From the same menu, tap on iCloud Backup and select the Back Up Now button from the following menu.

7. Manage iCloud Storage

In the second point, we showed you how insufficient iCloud storage could lead to iPhone backup errors. Chances are, even the base 50GB storage plan for $0.99 might be insufficient for you. You can always move to higher plans at $2.99 for 200GB or $9.99 for 2TB, but it’s costly when you think about the long term.

Instead, you can check what’s taking up your iCloud storage and remove unnecessary files from it. Here’s how.

Step 1: From the iPhone Settings app, tap on your profile.

Step 2: Go to iCloud and select Manage Storage.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadNo icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Step 3: You will see a detailed breakdown of iCloud data.

Photos will take a big pie of iCloud storage for most users, followed by previous iPhone backups and apps like WhatsApp. You can remove photos, delete old backups, or make other changes to free up storage in iCloud.

8. Update iPhone

iPhone not backing up to iCloud might be due to an outdated iOS build on your phone. You need to keep your iPhone up to date with the latest iOS version.

Go to iPhone Settings and select the General menu. Tap on Software Updates and download the latest iOS update on your phone.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

9. Use iTunes for Backup

If none of the tricks works for you, it’s time to use old-fashioned iTunes software to take offline iPhone backup on PC.

Mac users need to use the Finder menu to take iPhone backups on the device. If you have problems connecting your iPhone to PC, read our dedicated troubleshooting guide to fix the issue.

Take Regular iCloud Backups

Following the iOS 15 update, when you transfer from an old iPhone to a new one, Apple will temporarily grant you unlimited iCloud storage to make a smooth transfer. When upgrading to a new iPhone, you won’t face any iCloud storage vows.

It’s always advisable to take regular iCloud backups to keep your data safe and secure. It can help you restore data loss from accidental damage or blank screen issues.

Last updated on 04 February, 2022

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Are you having trouble backing up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud? More specifically, did you get an error notification saying “iPhone Backup failed” on your lock screen? This issue is not really uncommon, but it’s usually a pretty easy to fix if you do encounter it.

Typically, iCloud backups happen automatically when your iPhone or iPad is charging, locked, and connected to Wi-Fi. The whole process is seamless for the most part as you don’t have to do anything apart from just turning on the feature. However, iCloud backups may fail sometimes due to various reasons like lack of enough iCloud storage space, slow and irregular internet connection, or just buggy firmware in general.

If you’re one of the many iOS users who can’t get their devices to back up to iCloud, we’re here to help.

Troubleshooting iCloud Backup Issues on iPhone & iPad

You can follow each of these troubleshooting steps individually and see if you’re able to successfully back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud without any errors.

Check Your iCloud Storage

The first thing you want to do whenever your iCloud backup fails is to see how much free space you have on iCloud. Lack of enough storage space can prevent iCloud backups from completing, as a result of which you may get the error message on your screen. To check your iCloud storage space, head over to Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud on your iPhone or iPad. Here, you’ll be able to see all the necessary details. If you’re very low on storage, you can tap on “Change Storage Plan” to upgrade to a more expensive plan with higher storage limit.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Check Your Wi-Fi Connection

Your Wi-Fi connection is just as important as free storage space for successful backups. Slow and irregular internet connection can cause an iCloud backup to fail and you may get the error as a notification. Also, you cannot use a cellular collection if Wi-Fi isn’t available to perform iCloud backups as they’re usually huge in size and could use up a lot of your internet data. Therefore, make sure you’re connected to a working Wi-Fi connection. To check this, go to Settings -> Wi-Fi and see if there’s a tick mark next to the network you usually connect to. Plus, you can use the Speedtest app to check your connection speed and reliability.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Reduce Your iCloud Backup Size

Although iCloud backups happen automatically, you can still reduce the data size for your next iCloud backup if you’re running low on cloud storage space. This can be done by limiting the data and content that will be backed up to iCloud. To do this, go to Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud -> Manage Storage -> Backups -> iPhone/iPad. Doing this will take you to the following menu, as shown in the screenshot below. Here, you can use the toggle to uncheck the data that you don’t want to include in your next iCloud backup and reduce the size of your backup effectively.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Free Up iCloud Storage Space

If you don’t want to upgrade to an iCloud plan with more storage, you may want to free up the storage space you have. A considerable amount of space can be freed up by simply disabling iCloud Photos. Just go to Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud -> Photos and use the toggle to turn off iCloud Photos. Also, if you store a lot of documents on iCloud, you can remove the unwanted files and documents from iCloud Drive. You can do this easily using the built-in Files app on your iPhone or iPad.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Update the Software

If freeing up iCloud storage space and checking your Wi-Fi connectivity didn’t resolve the backup issues you’re facing, there’s a chance that it’s a firmware-related problem. Apple is typically quick to address the issues that are reported by users with a subsequent hotfix or software update as a point release. Therefore, it’d help if you’re on the latest possible firmware. To check for any available updates, head over to Settings -> General -> Software Update and tap on “Install Now” if you see anything.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Hopefully by now, you should’ve resolved the issues you were facing with iCloud backups on your iPhone and iPad.

If none of the above troubleshooting steps worked for you, you can try restarting your iPhone or iPad and see if you’re still getting the error. If that didn’t help either, you can try force restarting your device which is slightly different from a normal reboot. On iPhones and iPads with physical home buttons, this can be done by simply holding the power button and home button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo on the screen. On newer devices with Face ID, you’ll need to click the volume up button first, followed by the volume down button, and then hold the side/power button until you see the Apple logo.

As a last resort method, you can restore your iPhone or iPad, but only do this if you’ve tried all the other steps. This can be done by going to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings on your iPhone. However, make sure you have a backup of all your data stored in iCloud or iTunes before you proceed with the restoration. Failing to back up can result in permanent loss of data.

If you need any additional help, you can always get in touch with Apple Support. They will be able to help in ways that we couldn’t. You can either chat with an Apple Support tech or talk to a live person at Apple according to your preference.

We hope you were able to finally back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud without any error messages. Which of these troubleshooting methods worked for you? Do you have any additional tips that can help with backup-related issues? Let us know your valuable thoughts and share your experiences in the comments section down below.

This article explains how to sync your iPhone and iPad using the iCloud service. Instructions apply to iPhones and iPads running iOS 12 or iOS 11.

Can’t You Sync iPhone Directly to iPad?

It’s not possible to sync your iPhone and iPad in the same way that you sync your iOS devices to your computer (by connecting the two devices with a cable or syncing via Wi-Fi and moving data back and forth between the devices). There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Apple didn’t design the devices or iOS to work that way. One of the fundamental concepts of the way iOS mobile devices manage data is that they access data in the cloud, on the internet, or with stationary computers. That’s where a web-based server, cloud storage, or your home computer comes into the picture.
  • No manufacturer makes a cable you can use to connect the two devices.

The Solution: iCloud

If you want to keep the data on your iPhone and iPad in sync, use Apple iCloud to keep all your devices in sync at all times. As long as both your devices connect to the internet and have the same iCloud settings—and you access them using the same Apple ID—they’ll stay in sync.

Here’s how to set up iCloud:

Open the Settings app on one device, tap your name to open the Apple ID screen, then select iCloud.

Turn on the toggle switches next to every category of app and content that you want to sync between the iPhone and iPad. Repeat this process with the second device.

The settings must be set identically on both devices for the sync to work.

Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts and ensure the email accounts are set up the same on both devices.

Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and turn on automatic downloads for Music, Apps, Books & Audiobooks, and Updates on both devices by moving the toggle switches next to them to the On/green position.

After you set up iCloud on both devices, they’ll remain synced. This approach keeps the majority of your information identical across both devices. The iCloud is accessible on iOS, macOS, and Windows devices, and it keeps your data secure when it is in storage and when it is in transit.

Acquire Additional iCloud Storage Space

The iCloud service is free from Apple, and it comes with 5 GB of storage. The amount of iCloud storage used is displayed at the top of the iCloud settings screen. If this isn’t enough space for you, or you are nearing your limit, you can purchase 50 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB plans from Apple beginning at $0.99 per month. Go to the iCloud settings screen and tap Manage Storage > Change Storage Plan.

Ensure you’ve prepared for device failures, drops, and other accidents by backing up your iOS and iPadOS devices using either iCloud or your Mac.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad
Image: Apple, Inc.

It’s important to keep backups of your mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.) so you can easily recover if the device is lost, stolen, or dropped and broken. Fortunately, for iPadOS and iOS, Apple makes this process extremely simple using iCloud backups. This tutorial walks you through how to create backups using iCloud or locally using your Mac if you don’t have the available iCloud storage.

How to create backups on iCloud

One of the simplest ways to ensure that your devices stay constantly backed up every night is to enable iCloud backups. This will utilize your iCloud storage plan, so if you’re on the free plan, you should upgrade to a plan that will accommodate the devices that you plan to back up.

There’s no limit to the number of devices that you can back up to the same iCloud account, so you can use the same account and these steps to accommodate iPhones and iPads.

To enable iCloud backups, perform the following steps on your iOS 13 devices.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select your Apple account at the top of the Settings app.
  3. Navigate to iCloud | iCloud Backup.
  4. Enable the option for iCloud Backup (Figure A).

Figure A

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadIn this view, you can also manually perform a backup at any time by selecting the Back Up Now button.
Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

After you enable this backup option at night whenever your device is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi, it will automatically perform a full device backup to iCloud.

How to remove backups on iCloud

When you get rid of an older device, you can reclaim some space that was taken by the backups in iCloud. Follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select your Apple account at the top of the Settings app.
  3. Navigate to iCloud | Manage Storage | Backups.
  4. Select the device that you wish to remove from iCloud backups.
  5. Select the option to Delete Backup (Figure B).

The backup will be removed from iCloud and no longer counted against your available storage space.

Figure B

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadDeleting old iCloud backups is a great way to free up storage. You can see exactly how much storage will be reclaimed when the backup is removed in this view.
Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

How to create backups on your Mac

If you don’t have the available storage in iCloud to perform a full backup of your iOS/iPadOS devices, you can easily back up your devices to your Mac. If you are using macOS Catalina or newer, follow these steps.

  1. Connect your iOS device to your Mac.
  2. Open the Finder.
  3. Select the device from the Locations sidebar item.
  4. Select Encrypt Local Backup and set a password when prompted–you’ll need to remember this password to restore from the encrypted backup.
  5. Select Back Up Now (Figure C).

Figure C

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipadIt can be a good idea to keep a local backup of your iOS device as well as iCloud backups in the event that you want faster restores without relying on iCloud or the internet.
Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

If you are using an older version of macOS, you’ll find these same backup options in iTunes when you plug your device into your Mac and select the device from the device selector below the now playing bar in iTunes.

How to remove backups on your Mac

If you’ve recently gotten rid of an iOS/iPad OS device and want to reclaim some of the storage that the backups were taking up on your Mac, then you can remove old backups performed on your Mac by following these steps.

  1. Connect your iOS device to your Mac.
  2. Open the Finder.
  3. Select the device from the Locations sidebar item.
  4. Select Manage Backups.
  5. Select the backup you wish to remove, then click Delete.

If you are using an older version of macOS, you’ll find these same backup options in iTunes when you plug your device into your Mac and select the device from the device selector below the now playing bar in iTunes.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Apple Weekly Newsletter

Whether you want iPhone and Mac tips or the latest enterprise-specific Apple news, we’ve got you covered.

Apple iCloud Drive is superb for macOS and iOS users, but it can become full far too quickly. Here’s how easy it is to free up some space.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Apple’s iCloud service is one of the best cloud storage products around – no wonder when it’s included alongside your Apple ID.

By default, Apple gives every user 5GB of cloud storage for syncing, storage and backups – but that capacity is linked to your Apple ID rather than individual devices. That means you’ve got to share that 5GB across all of your devices. If you own any combination of Apple desktop, laptop, iPhone or iPad then you could soon find that your iCloud Drive becomes uncomfortably cramped.

If you do need more space, you can always buy it from Apple. Not everyone will want to shell out more cash, though – and most people won’t actually have to do that. Some judicious trimming and sorting of your iCloud can free up plenty of space instead.

There are plenty of methods that can be used to free up space in your iCloud – some of them are obvious and others are more obscure. But if you’re regularly getting notifications about a lack of space, then follow these steps and find out exactly what to do.

Still a bit confused by cloud storage? Head over to our what is cloud storage article for an in-depth explanation. Or, for other providers, see our roundup of top cloud storage options (see below for prices).

Step 1: Explore your Apple iCloud

The first step to freeing up space in your iCloud is to discover exactly what is taking up all that storage.

If you’re using an iOS device, open Settings, then your Apple ID screen, head into the iCloud menu and click Manage Storage. You’ll be able to see exactly how much space is left and how your space is used, with a bar chart giving an overall impression and a list that details how much capacity each individual app is taking.

On a macOS device, it’s largely the same. Head to your iCloud settings, and click the Manage button next to the bar that illustrates your iCloud storage capacity.

Step 2: Get cleaning

Once you’ve seen how your 5GB is being used, you should have a clearer idea of how you can free up some crucial capacity.

One of the most common culprits when it comes to iCloud capacity is your photo library. Apple’s iOS devices can automatically upload photos to your iCloud, so if you’re a keen photographer then your storage will quickly fill.

The obvious solution? Delete photos. Remember that files deleted on individual devices may not be removed from your iCloud automatically, because the service moves them to the Recently Deleted folder for thirty days. If you want them gone, head to that folder and empty it.

If you don’t necessarily need all of your photos uploaded at all, open iCloud and head to the Photo menu. Here you can turn off the setting that automatically uploads your pictures or fine-tune it with alternative options. And, if you still want your photos uploaded to the cloud but don’t want them occupying your iCloud, then it’s worth investigating alternative products – many have free services that offer more than 5GB of space alongside compression-free uploads from iOS and macOS devices.

This principle can also be applied to other files. Simply head to your iCloud Drive folder using the Files app on your iOS device or your Finder app on your macOS hardware, see which files are taking up space and delete anything unnecessary. When apps like Photobooth and Garageband automatically use the iCloud Drive, it’s easy to see how that 5GB can quickly be consumed.

Step 3: Bin the backups

There’s another feature that often takes up loads of iCloud space: device backups. Apple’s devices regularly store backups on iCloud, but this means that your iCloud could easily be occupied with backups of devices that you don’t even own.

To remove these redundant backups, open the iCloud storage breakdown on your device and tap Backups. Here you’ll be able to see the list of backups – and the devices they’re from. You’ll be able to easily identify backups from older devices and delete them.

In this screen you can also fine-tune backups from your current devices, which can be useful for cutting down backup sizes in the future.

Step 4: Ditch app data

Your iCloud isn’t just filled with photo archives and backups. If you’re an iOS user, lots of apps use the iCloud to sync data and create their own backups. Your device could be storing data from apps that you’re barely using.

To deal with this, head to your iCloud menu and click Manage Storage. You’ll be able to see which apps occupy space. Click individual apps and you can delete its data from your iCloud. Even if you’ve lots of apps using small amounts of storage, that can easily add up.

Particular apps are frequent offenders when it comes to iCloud capacity. If you’re in busy group chats on WhatsApp, for instance, then your iCloud could have thousands of message backups, photos and GIFs. Realistically, you’ve never going to see those again – so head to the Manage Storage menu and delete them.

In a similar vein, your emails and messages from iOS or macOS will often be preserved in iCloud. This may be prudent for security and versatility, but it can take up ample space. You can delete your iCloud’s mail and message data by heading to the Manage Storage menu, or you can go to your apps on your devices and fine-tune your deletions – you could choose to only eliminate emails with large attachments.

Indeed, if you head to your main iCloud menu then you can see which apps are using iCloud and turn off ones that don’t need cloud storage and syncing. It’s an easy way to reduce capacity problems, although be aware that turning off an app’s iCloud access will restrict each app to its native device.

A similar feature can be deployed on your macOS machines: if you head to your iCloud menu and click the Options button next to the iCloud Drive feature, you can choose exactly which apps are allowed to use that space.

The Apple iCloud and the iCloud Drive are enormously powerful and useful tools for syncing data, backing up your devices and for storing important files, but the versatility of the service means that its default 5GB can quickly become filled.

Happily, there are several easy methods to reduce the amount of iCloud space you’re using – and they can ensure that you’ll never run into problems again, either. And the methods are largely the same whether you’re using iOS, macOS or a web browser, which makes the iCloud easy to manage no matter what device you’re using.

I’ve recently purchased a new Mac Mini, and I’ve been importing my old pictures into the Photos app.

I want to have these photos backed up to iCloud, along with the photos currently on my iPad. I then want everything synced to my Mac Mini, but not to my iPad, which has limited storage capacity.

Is it possible to have the Mac Mini and iPad set up to backup to iCloud, but only download backed-up photos to the desktop?

1 Answer 1

By default, iCloud Photo Library only downloads thumbnails of your photos onto each individual device. When you view a photo, a device-optimized version is downloaded. Higher-resolution versions may be pulled down as you zoom in. The full-resolution version isn’t downloaded until you try to Edit or Share the photo.

This default setting is best on space-limited devices such as an iPad or iPhone. As I mentioned, only thumbnails are downloaded by default, so you will not fill up your iPad’s storage. As your device runs out of space, iOS/macOS will automatically purge local copies and retain only thumbnails, as needed.

When you enable iCloud Photo Library, make sure Optimize iPad Storage is checked under SettingsPhotos & Camera:

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

On your Mac Mini, open Photos and make sure Download Originals to this Mac is selected under PhotosPreferencesiCloud:

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

The above configuration will cause your Mac Mini to keep a full-resolution copy of all your photos, with only thumbnails downloaded to your iPad by default, and everything backed up in iCloud.

Be aware that these photos will consume your iCloud data allowance. You may need to subscribe to an iCloud storage plan.

Upon upgrading MacOS, iCloud may no longer sync Desktop and Documents files automatically.

Where have my files gone?

If previously synced files are missing from Desktop or Documents, then these files are now located in iCloud Drive. To access these files, choose “iCloud Drive” in Finder or navigate to the paths below:

/Users/$USER/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud Drive/Desktop
/Users/$USER/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud Drive/Documents

Note that if you move files from these iCloud locations, they will be deleted from iCloud. To restore any files you’ve accidentally deleted, log in to iCloud’s web interface and select “Restore Files” in iCloud Settings.

Fixing the issue

  1. Verify that you are logged into iCloud. Go to System Preferences -> Apple ID.
  2. Select iCloud and make sure that iCloud is checked under “Apps on this Mac using iCloud.”
  3. If there is a button labeled “Options. ” next to iCloud, then click the button and enable Desktop & Documents Folders.
  4. If the button is not there, go to Storage Management via Apple menu -> About This Mac -> Storage -> Manage. Select iCloud and make sure Desktop and Documents syncing is enabled.
  5. Go back to System Preferences -> Apple ID -> iCloud. There should now be a button labeled “Options..” Click the button and enable Desktop & Documents Folders.

Recommended Tips

If your system has enough storage for all of your iCloud files, then uncheck “Optimize Mac Storage” in the System Preferences -> Apple ID -> iCloud screen. This will ensure that your files are always available locally.

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

Last modified: 2020/09/20 08:57:56.160630 GMT-4 by drew.m.hallett.1
Created: 2020/09/18 14:01:12.517656 GMT-4 by drew.m.hallett.1.



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No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

When you sync your contacts to iCloud, you’ll be able to access them anywhere, regardless of whether you’re using your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or even a Windows computer. All of your contacts will be stored on the cloud so that you have access to them anywhere you can sign in.

An important note — you cannot sync your contacts from or iCloud for Windows. However, if you have already synced them from another device, you can still edit them using these programs.

Before you sync your contacts, you should note that unsyncing them does not automatically delete them from the devices synced to your iCloud — it just means that no new contacts you add will be synced. If you want to delete already synced contacts, you’ll have to do it manually.

How to sync contacts from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

1. Open the Settings app on your device.

2. At the top of the Settings menu, tap on your name and Apple ID.

3. In the Apple ID menu, tap “iCloud.”

4. Under “Apps using iCloud,” toggle the “Contacts” switch to the on position.

5. A pop-up will appear asking if you want to cancel or merge your contacts with your iCloud account — tap “Merge.”

How to sync contacts from a Mac computer

1. On the menu at the top of your screen, click the Apple symbol in the left corner.

2. Select “System Preferences” in the dropdown menu.

3. In the System Preferences window, click “Apple ID” in the top right corner.

Note: If you are using MacOS Mojave or earlier, you can skip this step.

4. Click “iCloud” from the menu on the left side.

5. On the iCloud menu, click the checkbox next to “Contacts.” This will sync any contacts not specified as “On my Mac.”

If you want to sync contacts specified as “On my Mac,” you will have to manually drag them from “On my Mac” to “All iCloud.”

Maggie Tillman, US contributing editor

No icloud isn’t backing them all up how to manage photos on your iphone or ipad

– Here’s everything you need to know

(Pocket-lint) – Apple launched iCloud support for iMessages, known as Messages in iCloud, in May 2018. Prior to the support, it wasn’t possible to use iCloud for text messages.

Following the update however – which was iOS 11.4 – the Messages in iCloud feature enables you to treat your iMessages as you would treat photos. Messages sync across all devices when turned on so you can keep up to date with all your Messages, no matter what Apple device you are using.

Here’s what you need to know about Messages in iCloud and how to switch the feature on or off.

What is Messages in iCloud?

It’s worth noting that “Messages” also means iMessage, which is Apple’s app that iOS device owners and Mac owners can use to send and receive texts, photos, videos, Animoji, Memoji and more. iCloud, meanwhile, is built into every Apple device so you can keep your photos, files, notes, and more, safe, up to date, and available wherever you are.

The Messages in iCloud feature syncs your messages across all your Apple devices. When turned on, your entire message history stays up to date across all of your Apple devices signed into your Apple ID. If you delete a message, attachment or conversation on one of your devices, it will delete from all of your devices.

Previous to the Messages in iCloud feature launching, any messages you sent or received on your iPhone would sync to your Mac and iPad. However, if you set up a new device, you would not see any of your old messages or conversations on that device. Of course, there were workarounds. You could restore your new iPhone from an old backup in order to carry over to your new iPhone for example, but it wasn’t as streamlined as it is now.

Each of your devices also backed up its entire Message library, which wasted iCloud storage space. The Messages in iCloud feature sees messages stored in a central spot however, and sent to any device you connect to now or in the future. If you need to free up iCloud storage space, you can just turn the Messages in iCloud feature off.

How does Messages in iCloud work?

Messages in iCloud essentially boils down to making your messages sync better across all your devices (old or new), allowing you to keep on top of them from any device you are using.

If you choose to turn the Messages in iCloud feature on, all your messages will appear on a new device when you sign into it with the same Apple ID account and you get the same view everywhere you use iMessage. As mentioned, when you delete messages and conversations from one device, they are instantly removed from all your devices.

If you delete a message, you can’t get it back. If you don’t want to keep your conversations up to date across all your devices, you can turn the Messages in iCloud feature off. If you turn it off on iPhone or iPad, your message history is included in a separate iCloud backup.

How to turn on Messages in iCloud

To enable Message in iCloud, make sure you have set up iCloud and are signed in with the same Apple ID across all your devices. You will also beed to be using two-factor authentification with your Apple ID and have turned on iCloud Keychain.

iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users

To turn Messages in iCloud on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on [your name] at the top
  3. Tap iCloud
  4. Turn on Messages

Mac users

To turn on Messages in iCloud on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages on your Mac
  2. Select the Messages menu in the top left corner
  3. Tap on Preferences from the menu
  4. Click iMessage
  5. Select the box next to Enable Messages in iCloud

How to turn off Messages in iCloud

If you turn off Messages in iCloud on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, your message history will be included in a separate iCloud backup, as we mentioned above.

You can choose to turn Messages in iCloud off for just one device, or for all your devices. Any device where Messages in iCloud remains on will continue to store what you send and receive from that device in iCloud.

iPhone, iPad and iPod users

To turn Messages in iCloud off on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, follow the steps below:

Although Apple makes iPhone backups easy and automatic with iCloud storage, after 5 gigabytes there is a cost, but Mac or PC backups are possible too.

Apple makes backing up an iPhone quick and easy, which is important because smartphones have become critical to daily life for many and often contain a lot of important data. Losing contacts, logins, and other info can result in several hours of restoration efforts and some data may never be recovered. That’s why it’s very helpful to have more than one way to start an automatic backup of an iPhone.

In the early days of the iPhone, full backups were only possible with a Mac computer, but Apple has offered some form of cloud storage since its MobileMe internet suite in 2000. It was a paid service and never really took off like other popular services from Google, Microsoft, and Dropbox did. It took until 2011 for Apple to launch iCloud, which offered a free storage tier and integrated perfectly with the iPhone and iPad. iCloud is now the automatic choice for most users needing to make online backups or share files between various types of Apple devices.

Backing up an iPhone with iCloud is remarkably easy. When connected to Wi-Fi, the option can be found in the Settings app. The user can tap their user ID, which appears at the top of the Settings app, then select ‘iCloud,’ then ‘iCloud Backup’ and make sure it is switched on, which will make the switch appear to be green and the white dot is to the right. If it’s off, the switch is gray and the selector is on the left side of the switch. Tapping ‘Back Up Now’ will immediately start the process. Backups can be scheduled to happen daily if that’s preferred. If there isn’t enough room left in iCloud, the backup will pause and alert the user. If this happens, either some data needs to be removed from the iPhone or some items can be excluded from the backup. Photos and videos can use large amounts of space in a short time, so consider backing these up in another way. Of course, Apple is happy to sell iCloud storage in order to relieve some of the stress of managing photos, videos, and other data. iCloud storage is priced competitively with other services, but it does have a limit of 2 terabytes, so avid photographers may need another solution. Thankfully, Apple allows backing up to a computer also.

Back Up An iPhone To A Computer

When choosing computer backups for an iPhone, the size of the data is generally much less important. Adding extra storage to a computer is relatively inexpensive and provides plenty of room. An iPhone can back up to a Mac or a Windows PC. Simply connecting the iPhone to the computer with its charging cable makes wired transfer possible and avoids any internet slowdowns. If the iPhone asks whether to ‘Trust This Computer,’ click yes to allow access. For newer Mac computers that have macOS 10.15 or greater, opening a Finder window is the next step and the iPhone should appear under ‘Locations’ in the left sidebar. For an older Mac or a Windows PC, Apple’s iTunes app is needed to connect to the iPhone and make a backup.

When using iTunes, check for the device icon that will appear near the top left of the window to open iPhone device options. With either the Finder or iTunes, the backup may happen automatically, but if it doesn’t, clicking ‘Back Up Now,’ will begin the process. It may take several minutes or longer depending on whether the device has been backed up recently or not. The speed of the computer and its storage device has an effect also. The iPhone is a very reliable device and typically doesn’t suffer data loss except in the event of a severely damaged phone. However, any mobile device is susceptible to being lost or stolen, so backing up an iPhone is an important safety measure.