Remove old iCloud backup after restoring to a new iPhone | iLounge Article


Remove old iCloud backup after restoring to a new iPhone

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Q: Thanks a lot for your article on Restoring from a previous iCloud backup. One question though: I’ve restored from iCloud onto my new iPhone. Now I want to back up the new one, but there isn’t enough space since the older one is still there. Can I delete the older back up and be sure not to lose my stuff? Even considering all content is in my new iPhone, it still seems kind of scary.

- Mariana

A: You can safely delete your old iCloud backup without affecting the data on your new iPhone at all. While of course you’ll be without a backup at that point, as long as you’re on a Wi-Fi network you can very easily make a new iCloud backup as soon as you’ve deleted the old one. Simply go into your Settings app and choose Storage & Backup from your iCloud settings, scroll down, and tap the “Back Up Now” button.

This shouldn’t normally take more than a few minutes, although if you have a slow Wi-Fi connection or a lot of photos and videos in your camera roll, the initial backup can take up to an hour or more. If you’ve deleted your original backup, you of course will be without a backup until this one completes, but that’s a reasonably low risk if you’re doing it at home overnight, since it’s not likely anything is going to happen to your iPhone during that time.

As an extra precaution, you can still make a manual backup to your computer using iTunes simply by connecting your device to your computer, selecting it in iTunes, and then choosing the “Back Up Now” button that appears on the Summary page for your device.


You can do this any time, even when you’re regularly backing up to iCloud. This backup will be stored on your computer, and can be used to restore your iPhone in the very unlikely event that your iPhone actually does fail while creating a new iCloud backup.


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We have 2 IPhone 4’s. ((My phone that has the only ITUNES ACCT already was upgraded).  My husband recently upgraded his to IOS 6 on the same computer with the same ITUNES ACCT as mine.  Now he has all my contacts and gets all my texts. Also I get all his things also. Also when he text or MSG me. It goes right bac to his phone. His phone is a business phone and I don’t want to delete his contacts on my phone because it deletes them on his.

Any ideas what I can do to clear up this mess so we don’t get each others
Things?  Or could you please explain to me how to do this?

Posted by Cindy in Toronto on May 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM (CDT)


My Q is that i installed clash of clans app on my iphone 5, i wanted to delete it and re-install it on my device from 0 gamplay time, I mean a new game!!!! But when i re-installed it after deleting back up, it started from the same gameplay from where i left so please help me out with it…....

Posted by Farooq in Toronto on July 18, 2013 at 9:08 PM (CDT)


Regarding the article above, I think you are missing something. After deleting the icloud account and creating a new backup, the old phone will be still associated with the same apple id and the old phone will continue receiving apps updates and maybe continuing making icloud backups if it has been setup for it. So there is something else to do with the old phone, maybe create a 2nd apple id and associate it with the old phone. I think many people are having this problem and they do not have a strategy to follow.

Posted by Gregory in Toronto on August 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM (CDT)


@Gregory (#3): The article refers to deleting a backup from your existing iCloud account so that you can make a new one from your new device. You’re essentially correct that if the user still has the old iPhone configured with the old Apple ID, it would continue making its own backups, but the question implies that the user is upgrading to a new iPhone and will no longer be using the old one with the same account.

Note that an iPhone is only “associated” with an Apple ID in terms of iCloud backups as long as it’s configured with a particularly iCloud account. Delete the iCloud account from the iPhone, and it will no longer backup to iCloud at all unless you setup an iCloud account on it again.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on August 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM (CDT)


My husbend an i have an iphone4 latley i maid an update to my ios to ios7 ,and the computer made an automaticaly backup .after afew days i made an update to my husbend phone but when the update is finisjh the told me if ieant to make a restor to backup ,so i press yes ,but after that my hisbend phone had all my contacts and photos and even if he want to open his old whatsapp he couldn’t .soo please just tell of he can restor his photos ,notes ,messages,or even jjust his whatsapp.

Posted by George in Toronto on October 11, 2013 at 2:40 PM (CDT)


Hi. I have recently upgraded to an iphone5 as my wifi on my iphone4 doesnt work.

However, I can’t delete my photos from my phone as they are synced with iCloud and I can’t get on to iCloud because I don’t have wifi on my iPhone 4!

Help! What can I do?!

Posted by Leanne Samonini in Toronto on October 29, 2013 at 7:43 PM (CDT)


This article does answer the tricky part of the question: how do you DELETE the backup of the old iPhone from iCloud?  Turning on the new backup is easy.  Doing a “restore to default” on the old phone is easy. 

But how do you delete the backup of the old phone from iCloud? 

Furthermore, for someone like me who has ALSO been backing up in iTunes, how do I delete the local iTunes backup of my old phone from iTunes on my MacBook Air?


Posted by Art M. in Toronto on January 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM (CST)

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