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12 Tips to Fix iPhone Not Backing Up to iCloud (2022 Update)

Regularly backing up your iPhone to iCloud is an important way to keep your data secure. However, sometimes you may find that your iPhone was not backed up to iCloud for a long time, and you're not sure why this happens.

iphone not backing up to icloud

You're not alone. Many iOS users have experienced such issue and there are a number of reasons for iPhone won't backup to iCloud. In this article, we will explain the reasons as well as the solutions to fix iPhone not backing up ti iCloud. Keep reading.

Part 1. Why is My iPhone Not Backing Up to iCloud?

Are you trying to back up your iPhone to iCloud but get the error message like "iPhone backup failed" or "your last backup couldn't be completed"? While there are various reasons why your iPhone won't backup to iCloud, they are often easy to overcome.

First of all, it is impossible to back up your iPhone to iCloud unless the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network and there is enough storage on iCloud to make the backup.

If you have accidentally disabled the iCloud backup, or automatically logged out of your iCloud account on your iPhone, the device will also fail to backup data to iCloud.

So, we’ll start by addressing these common issues that may interfere with the iCloud backup process and what you can do to fix them.

Part 2. Basic Solutions to Fix iPhone Won't Backup to iCloud

2.1 Enable iCloud Backup

One of the most common reasons why your iCloud backup fails is because you haven’t enabled iCloud backup on your iPhone. Fortunately, it is easy to double-check; just follow these simple steps:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Tap on your name at the top and then select “iCloud”.
  • Scroll down to “iCloud Backup” and make sure that it is turned on (to green).
  • If it is disabled, tap on the toggle to turn it back on.

backup to icloud

Once “iCloud Backup” is on, the iCloud backup will start automatically as long as the device is locked, connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into a power source.

2.2 Check Your Wi-Fi Connection

Before using iCloud to back up your iPhone data, you should ensure that the iPhone is connected with a stable Wi-Fi network. Or the backup will never get started.

To connect your iPhone to an active WiFi, navigate to Settings and click the WiFi name that is available to connect. And you will be promoted to enter the password to join the WiFi.

check iphone wifi connection

When you ensure that your iPhone is connected to a strong WiFi network, you can go to Settings to check if iCloud could back up your iPhone data now.

2.3 Ensure Sufficient iCloud Storage

iCloud only offers 5GB of free storage space for all iOS users. If you have large amount of photos and videos and enabled Photos in iCloud backup, you will soon have the problem of iPhone not backing up to iCloud due to insufficient storage.

insufficient icloud storage

For the error of no sufficient storage on iCloud, there are 2 choices for you: to purchase more storage or free up the iCloud space.

How to Purchase More iCloud Storage

  • Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage or iCloud Storage. If you are using iOS 10.2 or earlier, then go to Settings > Storage.
  • Click "Purchase more storage" or "Change storage plan". Choose a plan to purchase.

change icloud storage plan

There is an additional benefit to purchase more iCloud storage: If you create a Family Sharing group for your Apple device, your family members can also use the storage you have without affecting the privacy of their data.

If you don't want to buy more space, you can also choose to free up the iCloud storage by backing up less data or deleting the data that already occupies much storage.

How to Free Up iCloud Storage

There are often five types of data that occupy the iCloud storage:

  • iOS application data saved in iCloud.
  • iPhone backup file.
  • Documents and files from Mac (if you have enabled iCloud backup on your macOS computers).
  • Data from Apple services (iCloud photo gallery, photo streaming, messages in iCloud, etc.)
  • Family shared data (that is, other family members who have been granted permission to use the storage).

On the iCloud Storage page, you can tap a specific app and delete its backed-up data, or delete the old iCloud backup file to make free space.

2.4 Keep Your iPhone in Charging

As we mentioned above, you need to keep your iPhone on charge to start and complete the iCloud backup process. When your iPhone is plugged into a power source, make sure the charging symbol is on. If your iPhone doesn't charge, try using a different charging cable or power source.

check charging symbol on iphone

2.5 Check iCloud Server Status

If iCloud server goes down or is undering maintainence, your iPhone won't backup to iCloud normally no matter what you do. You can go to Apple System Status page to check the iCloud Backup status. Make sure there is a green indictor beside the iCloud server.

apple system status

Part 3. Advanced Solutions to Fix iPhone Not Backing Up to iCloud

3.1 Sign Out of iCloud and Sign Back In

Another reason resulting the issue of iPhone not backing up to iCloud is that the iCloud account is not set correctly. You can simply sign out of your iCloud account and sign in again to check if this issue is caused by the account verification.

  • Open the Settings app and tap on your name at the top.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and click "Sign Out".
  • After signing out, you will turn to the log in interface. Then input the Apple ID and password to sign into the iCloud account.

sign out of and sign in icloud

After signing out and signing in to the iCloud account, try again to back up your iPhone to the iCloud.

Will iPhone Data be Deleted After Logging Out of iCloud?

When you sign out of the iCloud account, you will see a message pops up saying that the data saved on the iPhone will be deleted and removed. We can understand your hesitancy to come forward. Actually, you don't have to worry about that.

iCloud is always acting as a backup tool to keep a record of all the data on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. When you log out of your iCloud account, the data will still be saved in the iCloud Drive. And after resigning in, the data will soon be loaded to your iPhone. All the data will not get lost.

3.2 Restart Your iPhone

Another simple solution you can try is restarting your iPhone. This will reset iPhone's temporary memory and get the device backing up to iCloud again.

  • For iPhone X or later, press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until "slide to power off" appears.
  • For iPhone 8 or earlier, press and hold the Side or Top button until silde to power offf appears on the screen.
  • Drag the slider from right to left to power off the device. After that, hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

restart iphone

3.3 Reset Network Settings

This will usually work to fix iCloud backup issue due to network errors. Simply follow the steps here:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Click General. Scroll down to find the "Reset" option and click on it.
  • In the new window, select "Reset network Settings" and confirm the action.

reset network settings

3.4 Reset All Settings

If you are still having issues with iCloud Backup, you can try to reset all settings on your iPhone. Doing this will not erase any of the data on the device, but it will delete system settings like Wi-Fi passwords, Bluetooth, VPN and more.

It is essential in this case because it can remove any settings that may be interfering with the iCloud backup process. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Settings on your device.
  • Go to General > Reset > Reset All Settings and confirm that you would like to reset the settings.

reset all settings

Your iPhone will restart and you can try another backup. If it doesn’t work, continue to the next solution below.

3.5 Update iOS to Latest Version

iCloud backup might fail if your iPhone is running an outdated iOS version. In this case, you can update your iPhone to the latest iOS version to check if it helps. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to download and install the latest iOS 15 on your iPhone.

update ios

Part 4. Best iCloud Alternative: Back Up iPhone without iCloud for Free

4.1 Backup Your iPhone in iTunes or Finder

If your iPhone is still not backing up to iCloud, then you can choose to backup the device with iTunes or Finder (on macOS Catalina 10.15 and above) using your computer. Follow these steps to backup your iPhone on your computer;

  • Connect the iPhone to the computer using USB cable and open iTunes or Finder
  • Click on the iPhone at the top.
  • Under “Backups”, make sure that “This Computer” is selected and then click “Back Up Now” to begin the backup process.

backup iphone to itunes

In Finder, you will need to select the iPhone under “Locations.” Then, in the backups section, select “Backup all the Data on your iPhone to this Mac” and then click “Back up Now”.

4.2 Backup iPhone with FREE 3rd-Party Tool (No Storage Limitation)

Do you know that you can simply back up your iPhone data without iTunes or iCloud? FoneGeek Backup & Restore (iOS) is exactly the best tool for all iOS users to create an full or selective backup of the data on iPhone/iPad/iPod. It is not just a backup program, it can also restore the full or partial backup to any of your iOS or Android device without resetting the phone.

FoneGeek Backup & Restore (iOS): Back Up iOS Data for Free

  • Complete free to back up the whole iOS data fully or partially.
  • Extract 20+ types of data from iPhone, iPad/iPod Touch or from the backup to computer.
  • Restore specific data to an Android or iPhone without data loss.
  • Preview the data before the backup or restore process for free.
  • Works for all iOS devices and iOS versions, including the newest iPhone 14/13 and iOS 16.

   

Step 1. Download the iOS Backup program on your computer. Launch it and select the mode of "Backup & Restore".

backup & restore

Step 2. Here are 20+ types of data you can choose to make a backup. Choose the one or more data types you want and tap on "Backup".

select file types to backup

Step 3. You can then preview the data you have backed up by clicking "View Backup Data".

view backup history

Conclusion

You can easily fix the issue of iPhone not backing up to iCloud with the solutions introduced above. If iCloud backup is still not working, why not use a free iCloud alternative - FoneGeek Backup & Restore (iOS) to back up your iPhone data without any hassle?

Fay J. Melton

Fay J. Melton has explored the area of technology and software for more than 5 years and he is enthusiastic about helping users solve various technology issues.

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