How to Back Up iPhone to iCloud

Back up your iPhone or iPad using iCloud Backup to keep your data safe and private.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Having a recent backup is the fastest way to restore your iPhone should something happen to it or if you decide to switch to a new iPhone or update to iOS 15. iCloud backups will even restore all of your settings! Here’s how to back up your iPhone to iCloud manually or set automatic iCloud backups to make things easier.

Related: How to Back Up Your iPhone to Your Computer

Why Backing Up to iCloud Matters

  • Prevent loss of photos, reminders, and more by keeping your iPhone and other devices backed up to iCloud.
  • Set iCloud backups to run automatically for peace of mind.

How to Back Up iPhone or iPad to iCloud

To learn more about backing up your data, consider signing up to our free Tip of the Day newsletter. For now, here's how to do an iCloud backup on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap on your Apple ID profile at the top.

    Tap name
  3. Tap iCloud.

    Tap iCloud
  4. Scroll down and select iCloud Backup.

    Tap iCloud Backup
  5. If it's not already enabled, tap the iCloud Backup toggle. The toggle will be green when enabled.

    backup iPhone to iCloud
  6. If you haven’t previously enabled iCloud Backup, you may receive a warning message that your device will no longer automatically back up when connected to your computer, but only if you had the computer backup feature enabled previously.
  7. If this warning message pops up, tap OK.
  8. Enter your iCloud password if prompted.
  9. If your iPhone is not connected to Wi-Fi and you don't have cellular backups enabled, the Back Up Now option will be gray and you won’t be able to tap it.

    Backup grayed out
  10. If this occurs, connect to Wi-Fi or return to the iCloud Backup menu and toggle Back Up Over Cellular on. We only recommend Back Up Over Cellular if you're comfortable using a large amount of cellular data to perform backups.

    how to backup iPhone to iCloud
  11. Tap Back Up Now to begin backing your iPhone up to iCloud.

    Back Up Now

With iCloud Backup turned on, your device will automatically begin backing up when your device is plugged in, connected to a WiFi network or with Cellular Backup enabled, and locked. However, that will only happen if you have enough iCloud storage. If you need to get more iCloud storage we have a how-to that’ll make it easy. You can also delete old iCloud backups to make more room. If you experience any issues with iCloud photo uploads, read this.

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Author Details

Jim Karpen's picture

Author Details

Jim Karpen

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.