Yes, you can still back up your iPhone even if you don’t have enough iCloud storage.


Manage iCloud storage by removing old backups of iOS devices you have.

James Philan / CNET

Backing up your iPhone is a rare task, but it can save you some frustration in the future. Whether you are getting ready to upgrade to the new one. IPhone 13, Update your iPhone. iOS 15 (Or iOS 15.1), Or just want to be ready if you The iPhone is sometimes lost or stolen.There are several different ways to back up your Apple device. However, the easiest way is to use iCloud.

Unfortunately, iCloud has its own limitations that can lead you to the terrible “iCloud storage is not enough” error message. But don’t worry. I’m going to take you back to your iPhone with iCloud, iTunes and Mac OS. And I’ll show you how to solve some of the limitations of iCloud and get to work.

Read more: Just bought an iPhone 13? This iOS 15 trick gives you more iCloud storage for free.

If you want to follow step by step, watch the video below: How to backup your iPhone.

iCloud: When everything works as it should.

iCloud is a free account (more on that later) that is linked to your Apple ID and can back up your iPhone. However, it does not back up everything on your phone. Everything you buy with Apple ID, such as apps or music, will not be backed up because Apple has a receipt that you have already purchased and will allow you to download them again for free. Email, contacts, and calendars are usually synced to your email account, such as Gmail, but in some cases, you can sync these things with iCloud as well.

When you have the iCloud space you need, backing up your iPhone is easy and convenient.

James Philan / CNET

You can double check on this by going to SettingTo do again Passwords and accounts, Contains a list of your email addresses. Below each address, you can see what is being synced: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, etc.

To start backing up to iCloud, connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi and then go. Setting And tap on. Apple ID / iCloud tab At the top, including your name. If you are not signed in, take a moment to do this and then tap. iCloud. On the next page, scroll down and tap. iCloud backup, Active iCloud backup And then tap. Back up now. To start.

Depending on how much data you have or if you are backing up to iCloud for the first time, the backup process may take a few minutes or an hour. Check below. Back up now. Button to see the exact time and date of the last backup of your phone. Now, any time your iPhone is connected to power, locked and on Wi-Fi, it will automatically back up any new data you have to iCloud.

‘This iPhone cannot be backed up because there is not enough iCloud storage’

If that iCloud backup works fine, well done. But I realize that a lot of people won’t be able to back up to iCloud without a little work. You may see the message on your iOS device, “This iPhone cannot be backed up because there is not enough iCloud storage available.”

Can't back up

Check out the message below Back up now. Button

James Philan / CNET

Each iCloud account gets 5GB for free. But most people have more than 5GB of data on their phone – or more than one iOS device that needs to be backed up. Therefore, 5GB is not enough space. And maybe one day Apple will change its free rating to give us more data and make backup easier for everyone. But until then, we need to do some calculations to improve our iCloud accounts.

Find out the iCloud backup size.

As I mentioned earlier, iCloud does not back up everything on your phone. Instead, it takes a smart approach, and will not back up things that are compatible with your Internet accounts or that you have purchased with your iTunes Apple ID. To find out how much iCloud space your backup file will take up. Setting, Tap on Apple ID / iCloud, Then tap. iCloud, Then Manage storage And, lastly, tap. Backups. Here is a list of the devices that are backing up or trying to back up your account.


You can manage your iCloud storage by removing old backups of iOS devices that you do not have.

James Philan / CNET

By the way, if you see multiple backups of the same phone, take a look at how old each one is. You may have an old iPhone backup that you can delete to open iCloud space. After clearing this list, tap on the name of the device you are currently using.

Give your phone a few seconds to figure things out, then look at the top of the screen. You see the following details: last backup, backup size and next backup size. If you haven’t backed up your iPhone to iCloud before or long ago, Next backup size There will be a huge amount of data. Obviously, if it’s more than 5GB, you’ve either purchased more storage or adjusted exactly what you’re backing up.

Change the backups in iCloud.

Down to the bottom of the screen Next backup size There is a list where you can. Select data for backup.. This list will include apps and how much data each one has to back up. The list is the one that takes up the most space and the least.

If you need a smaller backup file, uncheck the larger data items from the list if you don’t mind whether they are backed up or not.

Buy more iCloud storage.

This is the part no one likes to do. Basically you can pay Apple 99 cents a month to expand your iCloud storage from 5GB to 50GB. And if you still need more, there are iCloud storage tires that are up to 2TB high.

I don’t think a lot of people like the idea of ​​paying Apple more than we already spend on devices, accessories and AppleCare. But if you’ve lost your iPhone, got a new iPhone to replace it, and someone told you that you can download a backup of all the data from your lost phone for only 12, You might say yes. And how much extra storage costs a year on iCloud.

Use iTunes.

Remember iTunes? Good iTunes. If you’re running MacOS Mojave (10.14 or earlier) or if you’re on a PC, you can plug your phone into your computer and back it up to iTunes instead of using iCloud.

Open iTunes. If you’re on a PC, you’ll need to download it first. After allowing your devices to talk to each other, click Small. IPhone Icon at the top left of the iTunes window.


Easy to remember iPhone / iPad / iPod touch icons in iTunes.

James Philan / CNET

Scroll down. Backup Section and below automatically Backup Select This computer. After a while, your computer will have a backup file of your iPhone. To double check the file, go to. iTunes From the menu, select Preferences And select Tools Tab From there, you can see a list of any iPhone backups created via iTunes.

Keep in mind that your backup is only as current as the last time you performed this operation. Also, your backup file is only as safe as your computer.

Use MacOS Finder Backup.

You may have heard the murmur that MacOS Catalina, released in 2019, Finished with iTunes. Well, that’s kind of true. ITunes functions are being broken down and reassigned. Instead of backing up the iTunes app, you’ll just use a finder window.

Open a Finder Dock window Select your device from the sidebar below. Tools. Then right click. General Next tab, click Back up now.. Depending on how much data you have, it may take some time.

I highly recommend backing up your iPhone – and indeed any iOS device you have. But it’s up to you how you do it.

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