Deleting old iCloud Backups | iLounge Article


Deleting old iCloud Backups

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Q: I recently upgraded to the new iPhone, so on I backed my old one up and restored it to the new one. Now I keep getting notifications that I’m running out of storage in iCloud. If I select the option to delete the backup from my old iPhone from iCloud will that also erase the stuff from my phone?

- Cady

A: The short answer is no—deleting your old iPhone backup from iCloud is completely safe and won’t affect any of the data on your actual iPhone. In fact, even deleting the backup of your current iPhone won’t have any impact on what’s actually on your device. The information stored in your iCloud Backups is just that—a backup, or copy, of what is currently on your iPhone.

You can remove any device backup stored in iCloud by going into your iOS Settings app and selecting iCloud, Storage & Backup and then Manage Storage. This will display a list of all of the device backups stored in iCloud, with the device you’re currently using listed at the top and indicated as such. Selecting any backup by tapping on it will display the backup size, date and time the backup was last made, and a “Delete Backup” button at the bottom. Selecting the backup for the device you’re using will display additional options for configuring what to back up, but if you scroll down the “Delete Backup” button can still be found at the bottom of the list.


While removing this backup will not affect anything on your device, it will leave you without a backup until another one is made, so it’s a good idea to not delete your old backup until you’re in a position to make backup from your new device. As long as you’re on a Wi-Fi network, you can make an iCloud Backup on demand at any time simply by tapping the “Back Up Now” button at the bottom of the iCloud Storage & Backup screen.


It’s a good idea to do this manually immediately after you delete your old iCloud backup to ensure that you have a current backup of your data just in case. Once you’ve made this initial backup, your device will continue to be backed up to iCloud automatically one every 24 hours as long as your device is plugged in and connected to a Wi-Fi network.


Note that you can also make an on-demand backup to your computer using iTunes at any time, even if you normally use iCloud for automatic backups. Simply connect your iPhone to your Mac or Windows PC and click the “Back Up Now” button on the Summary screen for your device. This will make an extra, one-time backup to your computer and can be useful as an extra precaution if you’re really concerned about not having a current backup, especially if you’re having problems backing up to iCloud or don’t have a Wi-Fi connection readily available to make an iCloud backup.


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THANK YOU FOR THIS! So helpful!!

Posted by Cameron on November 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM (CST)


That’s a great guide if you want to delete an iCloud backup, but make sure you have an iTunes backup at hand for restoring, you never know when you might need it!

Posted by bb2house in Thailand on November 19, 2013 at 1:13 AM (CST)


Hi i have a small prob i was using my old iphone 4s and i forgt its password and all its security and i bought my brand new iphone 5 and i did the restore and it again updated my iclode where i had originaly now i cant remember the password how can i delete it? :(

Posted by Shevon on December 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM (CST)


There is a way to delete my icloud accounts?? a direct link?? i try with but nothing…

Posted by Cancellà Mary on December 11, 2013 at 2:40 PM (CST)


sir i hav connected my iphone to someone’s PC it was backuped by unknown icloud id….. so i want to remove dat id…..please help me out

Posted by waqas on December 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM (CST)


I deleted my iCloud backup a month or so ago. I’m noticing that an app I used 2 years ago called “textplus” is still showing under my iCloud account when I search for apps. Why is it still showing this since I haven’t used it in 2 years AND deleted my backup. Help please

Posted by Ashton on December 30, 2013 at 3:42 PM (CST)


I have never backed up any data on iCloud… If my data were to be deleted, can they still be retrieved?

Posted by B.parker on January 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM (CST)


I backed up my phone and restored it so I could unlock my device. Usually it takes a few minutes to get back all your apps and contacts but it is not happening. How can I get all my things from my old device?

Posted by Daniel Carvalho on January 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM (CST)


I deleted a bunch of photos from my iPhone 4 several months ago (having saved them to a storage device).  They all came back onto my phone after a backup.  Now I have to go thru 800 images and redelete them.  What happened and how do I prevent this in the future?

Posted by K Boyce on February 16, 2014 at 8:42 PM (CST)

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