Deleting old iCloud Backups
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
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?
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.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app