What to do if your iPhone won’t backup to iCloud

There are many reasons as to why your iPhone won’t backup to iCloud. Among the usual culprits are network-connectivity errors, account-related issues, insufficient iCloud storage, and random software glitches. Generally the problem is attributed to the software and therefore can possibly be remedied by performing some workarounds.

Highlighted below are possible solutions and workarounds that are used to deal with a similar issue on an iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud for some reason. We will try to consider every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can determine what the problem is hopefully fix it. Feel free to refer to this troubleshooting guide.

Before we proceed, if you’re looking for a solution to a problem with your phone, try to browse through our troubleshooting pages to see if we support your device. If your phone is in the list of our supported devices, then go to the troubleshooting page and look for similar problems. Feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. Don’t worry it’s free. But if you still need our help, then fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Troubleshooting iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud

There are several factors to consider in determining the cause of this problem. But based on our experience, while this is a pesky little issue, it’s actually not that hard to fix. Try to see if one of the methods below will help you deal with your iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud

First solution: Check and manage iCloud Storage.

A common reason why your iPhone would fail to back up to iCloud is that your iCloud storage is insufficient or full already. The moment you set up an iCloud account, you’re granted with a 5GB of free storage. This storage space can be used for your iCloud backups including photos, videos and other critical data from your iPhone storage. If your iCloud storage space is running low or already full, you can delete all unwanted files to free up some space. Otherwise, you can buy more iCloud storage for a monthly fee.

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select your Apple ID header [your name] at the top of the screen.
  3. Then tap iCloud.
  4. Tap Manage Storage to view the available iCloud storage. If necessary, delete some files to free up some space and to allocate new backup files.
  5. Tap Upgrade to purchase additional storage space for your iCloud account.

You can talk to your carrier for more details of how much to pay per month for additional iCloud storage.

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Second solution: Sign out and back into iCloud.

As mentioned earlier, the problem can also be attributed to some random issues with your iCloud account or login session. To clear this out, signing out of your iCloud account and signing back in is recommended. Here’s what you should do then:

  • From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  • Select Accounts & Passwords.
  • Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  • If prompted, tap the option to confirm that you want to sign out of your iCloud account.

After signing out, navigate to iCloud sign-in page then enter your credentials (Apple ID and password) and follow the onscreen instructions to sign back into your iCloud account.

Third solution: Reboot your iPhone (soft reset).

The next factors you should rule out if account matters aren’t to blame are random software glitches. Network services including iCloud may suddenly encounter error or stop working when the system is glitching. This is usually the case if your iPhone is experiencing minor firmware crashes or data corruption. And the simplest yet very effective solution to minor software glitches like these is a soft reset or system reboot on your iPhone.

There are different ways to reboot/soft reset your iPhone and the steps vary depending on the model or version. If you’re using an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR, here’s how a soft reset or standard reboot is done:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier versions, follow these steps to reboot or soft reset the device:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

Allow your device to finish reboot and once it’s back up and running again, retry backing up files to iCloud.

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Fourth solution: Turn Wi-Fi off and on.

Random Wi-Fi issues can also affect wireless services including iCloud backup. Should this be just a minor Wi-Fi internet problem, refreshing your iPhone’s Wi-Fi feature will likely fix it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the Wi-Fi switch to turn it off.
  4. While Wi-Fi is turned off, reboot/soft reset your iPhone.
  5. After it reboots, go back to Settings.
  6. Tap Wi-Fi.
  7. Toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi on again.

Wait for your device to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and once it’s connected, retry backing up files iCloud.

Fifth solution: Turn off restrictions on your iPhone.

When Restrictions are enabled on your iPhone, some apps and features may be blocked or limited. To make sure that this isn’t halting iCloud backups, refer to the following methods. To turn off restrictions on an iPhone that’s running on iOS 11 or earlier versions, refer to these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap on Restrictions. If the feature is disabled, it should say OFF and the option to Enable Restrictions is active. If the feature is enabled, it shows the opposite.
  4. Tap the option to Disable Restrictions.
  5. Enter your Restrictions passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap on Disable Restrictions.
  7. Enter Restrictions passcode again to confirm.

If your iPhone is running on iOS 12 or later, disabling restrictions is done with these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Enter your passcode to continue.
  5. Then tap the switch to Turn Off Content & Privacy Restrictions.

You may also opt to keep your iPhone restrictions turned on without blocking or limiting iCloud, App Store or iTunes services. If your iPhone still won’t backup to iCloud after this procedure, try resetting the network settings.

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Sixth solution: Reset network settings.

Network-related problems on the iPhone may be the root cause of the problem. To clear out invalid or incorrect network configurations, performing a network reset is recommended. This reset will erase all your Wi-Fi networks and cellular data connection but it does not affect saved information on the internal memory. That said, it’s safe to carry out this reset even without backing up your iPhone data. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen to get started.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your phone’s passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your phone.

Wait for your phone to finish resetting and then restarts automatically when done. After it reboots, you will need to set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network in order to use online apps and services. If your device still won’t backup to iCloud after this, move on to the next solution.

Seventh solution: Reset all settings.

Customized settings can also cause conflict to certain network services and can cause iCloud backups to fail. If the problem started after installing updates or customizing your settings, then you may need to consider resetting all settings. This reset does not cause permanent data loss as it doesn’t affect the internal data stored on your iPhone memory. All it does is to clear out all customized settings and restores the original values and options.

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Reset All Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

After the reset, default values and options are restored. To use features that are disabled by default, re-enabling them individually is necessary.

Other options

You can use iTunes as alternative backup solution for the meantime. The iCloud server might have been down or under maintenance, thus unable to process backup requests. And to further troubleshoot and eliminate complex system errors that might cause iCloud backups to fail, you can use iTunes to erase and restore your iPhone. Here’s how it works.

  1. To get started, launch or open iTunes app on your computer. You can use either a Mac or Windows computer that has the latest version of iTunes app installed.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied cable or Lightning cable that came with it.
  3. If prompted to enter your device passcode or Trust This Computer, simply follow the onscreen instructions to proceed.
  4. Select your iPhone when it shows up in iTunes.
  5. Navigate to the Summary section, then click the button to Restore [iPhone]. You may also opt to back up files from your iPhone before restoring it. Just click the Back Up iPhone button to do so.
  6. Finally, if prompted with a warning message, click the Restore button to confirm.

The restore process will then instigate. Just follow the onscreen instructions to finish restoring your iPhone.
Does your iPhone still won’t backup to iCloud?

So you’ve already exhausted all possible solutions but nothing seems to work. If that’s how you ended up from troubleshooting, then you should now consider escalating the problem to Apple Support. Contact Apple Support and ask them to verify the current iCloud server status. There might be some problems on the iCloud server that Apple engineers are trying to fix. While waiting for iCloud services to resume, you can ask for other options and official recommendations.

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