iPhone won’t back up to iCloud? 12 Ways to fix it!

Written By Ayush Reviewed By How-to iPad iPhone 11 Min Read

While iCloud backups are designed to protect your precious data in case something goes sideways, there are times when users express concerns that iPhone won’t back up to iCloud. In case you’ve also run into the same issue on your devices, here are a few solutions to help you fix it!

  1. Ensure that iCloud backup is enabled
  2. Connect to a stable network connection
  3. Disable Low Power and Low Data Mode
  4. Force restart your iPhone or iPad
  5. Check if you have sufficient iCloud storage
  6. Check iCloud server status
  7. Ensure that VPN is turned off
  8. Check for system updates
  9. Sign out and sign in to your Apple ID
  10. Reset All Settings
  11. Create a local backup on Mac or PC
  12. Contact Apple support

1. Ensure that iCloud backup is enabled

iPhones and iPads always ask if you want to enable iCloud backup for your data during the initial setup. However, if you somehow missed this option or accidentally turned it off in the Settings app, iCloud backups won’t work for you. Here’s how you can check if iCloud backup is enabled on your device.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the Apple ID banner with your name → Select iCloud.

    Tap Apple ID banner and go to iCloud
    ‍ 
  3. Tap iCloud Backup → Toggle on Back Up This iPhone (or iPad).
    On 5Gsupported models, you can also turn on Backup Over Cellular.

    Tap on iCloud Backup and Toggle on Back up this iPhone

2. Connect to a stable network connection

Your iPhone or iPad needs uninterrupted access to the internet before any of your precious data can be successfully backed up to iCloud. Therefore, you must ensure that your device is connected to a stable Wi-Fi or cellular connection that isn’t bogged down by any kind of network-related issues.

If you want to avoid such network-related issues, you should try running a quick internet speed test on your iPhone or iPad.

However, if your network fails to complete the speed test, you can try the steps below to reconnect your iPhone or iPad to the internet and possibly resolve the network issues.

  1. Open the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap and enable Airplane mode for a few seconds → Then turn it off.

    Refresh cellular network using Airplane mode

3. Disable Low Power and Low Data Mode

While Low Power and Low Data Mode are designed to reduce your device’s battery and cellular data usage, using them can prevent iCloud backups from working. Hence, you must disable them to see if that fixes the issue.

  • To toggle off Low Power Mode:
    ‍ ‍ 
    • Go to Settings → Battery → Toggle off Low Power Mode.

      To toggle off Low Power Mode
      ‍ 
  • To toggle off Low Data Mode for Cellular:
    ‍ 
    • Go to Settings → Cellular → Cellular Data Options.
      If you use dual SIMs, select a SIM to locate Cellular Data Options.

      Go to Cellular Data Options from Cellular in Settings
      ‍ 
    • Tap Data Mode → Deselect Low Data Mode.

      Tap Data Mode and Deselect Low Data Mode.
      ‍ 
  • To disable Low Data Mode for Wi-Fi:
    ‍ 
    • go to Settings → Wi-Fi.
    • Tap blue ‘i’ icon next to a network → Toggle off Low Data Mode.

      Toggle off Low Data Mode

4. Force restart your iPhone or iPad

If the preliminary fixes didn’t help resolve the issue, you should force restart your device. This will help you resolve temporary glitches that may prevent iCloud backups from working correctly. However, if you don’t know how you can do that, check out this guide on how to force restart an iPhone or iPad.

5. Check if you have sufficient iCloud storage

Apple provides 5GB of free iCloud storage with each Apple ID, which can be used to store iCloud backups, photos, and documents. If you’re not careful, it’s very easy to exhaust this limit, preventing iCloud backups from working.

  1. Open the Setting app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the Apple ID banner → Select iCloud.
  3. Tap Manage Account Storage to access additional details.

    Check if you have sufficient iCloud storage

In case you’re running low on iCloud storage, you can subscribe to iCloud+ to get additional storage. However, if you don’t want to purchase additional subscriptions, you can refer to our guide on how to free up iCloud storage.

6. Check iCloud server status

There’s also a possibility that the servers related to iCloud backup might’ve gone offline for maintenance or are experiencing issues due to a technical glitch that can prevent you from creating an iCloud backup of your device.

To check if iCloud servers are online, go to Apple’s System Status Page, then see if there is a green indicator beside the service for iCloud backup. If you see a grey box, the servers are undergoing maintenance, and you will need to wait until they are back online to successfully back up your iPhone/ iPad.

7. Ensure that VPN is turned off

VPNs offer a great way to mask your digital footprint and protect your data from the websites you visit. However, using VPNs often introduces network latency, which can interfere with your device’s ability to create backups. You should turn off VPN on your device before backing up your data via iCloud.

  • If you’ve configured a VPN manually, go to Settings → toggle off VPN.
  • If you use any other VPN service, open the VPN app → tap Disconnect.

    Ensure that VPN is turned off on iPhone

8. Check for system updates

Glitches in iOS can also prevent you from creating an iCloud backup. If you think that’s the case with your iPhone, follow the steps given below to check if Apple has issued a software update with new bug fixes to patch the issue.

  1. Go to Settings → General → Software Update.
  2. Tap Update Now if an update is available.

    Click on Update now for Software Update

9. Sign out and sign in to your Apple ID

If you’re still facing difficulty in getting your devices to create an iCloud backup, it’s possible that there’s a glitch with your Apple ID or the device you’re using. If you want to phase out the possibility of such glitches, you can try logging out and back into your Apple ID by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app → Tap the Apple ID banner.
  2. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  3. Enter your Apple ID’s password → tap Turn off.

    Sign out from Apple ID from your iPhone
    ‍ 
  4. Select the content you want to store offline. Then, tap Sign out.
  5. Sign in to your Apple account again.

    Save data offline and sign in again to your apple ID

10. Reset All Settings

If most solutions fail, you can reset all settings on your iPhone/iPad to see if that helps fix the issue. This action will restore all settings to their default values while leaving your data untouched. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Go to Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone (or iPad).

    Go to Settings then General Transfer or Reset iPhone
    ‍ 
  2. Tap Reset → Reset All Settings.
  3. Enter your iPhone or iPad’s Passcode.

    Tap Reset then Transfer or Reset iPhone
  4. Tap Reset All Settings again to complete the process.

11. Create a local backup on Mac or PC

Although iCloud backups are convenient, they can’t be created without an active internet connection. Therefore, the best way to back up an iPhone or iPad is to connect it to your Mac or PC via a cable to create a local backup.

If you’re using a Mac, you can back up your devices via Finder. However, if you have a PC, you will have to use iTunes to back up your devices locally.

12. Contact Apple support

If you’ve tried all of the solutions given above, but you’re still unable to back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud, it’s recommended that you contact Apple Support. They can assist you over the phone or help schedule a Genius Bar appointment at a nearby Apple Store to diagnose and resolve your issue.

FAQs

How long can it take to complete an iCloud backup?

Generally, iCloud backups don’t take more than a few minutes to a couple of hours to finish. However, this might change depending on your internet network’s upload speed and the size of data that needs to be backed up.

Can I schedule automatic backups with iCloud?

iCloud backups happen automatically when your device is connected to Wi-Fi, charging, and locked. You cannot set a specific schedule for iCloud backups, but they should happen regularly when these conditions are met.

Can I back up specific data to iCloud instead of everything?

iCloud backups generally include your device’s entire data. Nevertheless, you can still manage which apps use iCloud and turn off backups for them.

Signing off…

iCloud backups ensure that all your essential data, including your photos, stays secure in case your device runs into a technical issue, gets broken, or is stolen. But, if you aren’t able to back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud, the solutions mentioned in this troubleshooting guide can help you resolve this.

Also read:

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By Ayush Staff Writer
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Ayush is a writer with a keen interest in consumer technology and the Apple ecosystem. He has over three years of working experience at several big-name publications, including Guiding Tech, TechPP, and MobiGyaan. Here at iGeeksBlog, he specializes in crafting how-to guides, buying guides, and editorials related to all things Apple.
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