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Why My iPhone Won't Back up to iCloud

By Carrie Murray, Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Many users back up their iPhone to iCloud everyday and sometimes they find that the iPhone won't back up to iCloud. It could be that the iDevice won't automatically backup at night or when you try to create a backup manually, you get alerts: "iPhone backup failed"; "The last backup could not be completed"; "There was a problem enabling icloud backup".

If your iPhone won't back up to iCloud, here are the fixes.

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Reasons Why Your iPhone Won't Back up to iCloud

To let iCloud back up your iPhone automatically every day, please make sure the followings are true:

  1. You have turn on iCloud backup on Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup;

  2. Your device has an active Wi-Fi network connection;

  3. Your device should be plugged to a workable power source;

  4. There are enough iCloud storage for the backup;

  5. Your device's screen should be off.

If your iPhone fails to meet these requirements, it is unable to back up data to iCloud. And above all, no Wi-Fi connection and lack of iCloud storage are the two most common reasons why iCloud backup failed or could not be completed.

Solutions to Fix iPhone Won't Back up to iCloud

When your iPhone is unable to back up data to iCloud, here is what you can do to fix it.

1. Check Wi-Fi Connection and iCloud Storage

First of all, you should make sure your iPhone has a strong Wi-Fi network connection, especially when you want it to back up automatically at night.

Then you should check the available iCloud storage of your account:

  • Tap Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Storage and you'll see the available iCloud storage.

  • Go to Manage Storage > Backup. It will estimate the size of your next backup.

  • If there is no enough iCloud storage for the next backup, you can tap Delete Backup to make room for the new one or make a smaller backup by choosing less data to back up.

  • Otherwise, you need to purchase more iCloud storage: Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage > Change Storage Plan.


2. Backup iPhone to iCloud Manually

This is helpful when you get the message saying "your last backup couldn't be completed" or your iPhone won't back up to iCloud automatically.

  • Open Settings app on your iPhone;  

  • If you are using iOS 10.2 or latter, tap Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now;

  • If your iPhone is running on iOS 10.1 or earlier, tap iCloud > Backup > Back Up Now.

Back up to iCloud Manually

3. Sign Out and Back to iCloud

This is useful when there is a problem enabling iCloud backup because of account verification issues. To log out and log in iCloud account:

  • Open Settings on iPhone.

  • For devices on iOS 10.2 or above, tap Apple ID and scroll down to tap Sign Out.

  • On iOS 10.1 or earlier, choose iCloud and tap Sign Out.

  • You'll be asked to erase all settings. Confirm it and you'll be log out of iCloud account.

Now sign in your iCloud account with your Apple ID and password. You can then check if the iPhone can be backed up to iCloud.

4. Reset All Settings on iPhone

Resetting all settings on iPhone will only erase system settings like Wi-Fi network passwords, etc. So you should not worry about files on your iPhone.

  • Go to Settings > General.

  • Scroll down and choose Reset.

  • Tap Reset All Settings.

  • You'll need to enter passcode and confirm your selection.

  • After the resetting, you can try to back up your iPhone to iCloud again.

Reset iPhone

Alternatives to iCloud for Backing Up iPhone

If you still can't back up iPhone to iCloud or you are reluctant to purchase iCloud storage, maybe you should seek for alternatives to iCloud: back up iPhone/iPad to computer, which is safer than storing data to cloud storage. To back up iOS data to PC/Mac, you can use iTunes or FonePaw iOS Data Backup & Restore.

Back up iPhone Without iTunes

Comparing to iCloud, FonePaw iOS Data Backup & Restore allows you to back up your iPhone data, including photos, videos, messages, WhatsApp messages, contacts, audios and more, to PC.

Main Features:

  • Select data to backup

  • Encrypt backup

  • Provide preview before restoring backup

  • Store backup files on PC in small size

Step 1 Download iOS Data Backup & Restore


Step 2 Launch the program and choose iOS Data Backup & Restore > iOS Data Backup.

Step 3 Connect iPhone to PC with USB cable. You can choose to create a encrypted or unencrypted backup.

Choose Encrypted or Unencrypted Backup

Step 4 Choose data types to back up, such as messages, photos. And click Next to begin backing up iPhone to PC.

Choose Data to Back up

When the backup is finished, you can restore the backup to iPhone or PCwith the program.

Back up iPhone with iTunes

You can also use iTunes to make a backup of your iPhone:

  • Open iTunes and connect your iPhone to iTunes.

  • Choose your device and under "Automatically Back Up" section, select "This compute" and "Back Up Now".

  • Wait until the backup is done.

Back up iPhone to iTunes

Backing up your iPhone regularly is important to keep your data safe. If you lose data because you don't have a backup, FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery can recover data for you.

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