iCloud: Troubleshooting creating backups
The table below contains alert messages you may encounter on your iOS device if you have an issue with iCloud Backup. This article focuses primarily on issues with creating backups; if you are having trouble restoring an iCloud backup, see this article.
Troubleshooting specific alert messages
Note: If you have trouble remembering the text of any messages you receive, you might want to take a screenshot on your iOS device. You can take a screenshot in iOS by simultaneously pressing the Home and Lock buttons. The screenshot will then be saved to your Camera Roll or Photos collection.
|Backup alert message
||Explanation / Resolution
|"Your iPhone will no longer back up to your computer automatically when you sync with iTunes."||This is a standard message that occurs when you enable iCloud Backup. It means that automatic iTunes backups will no longer occur when you plug your iOS device into your computer via USB. You can still manually back up data via USB cable by right-clicking (or Control-clicking) the device in iTunes and choosing Back Up in the menu.|
|"You must be connected to a Wi-Fi network to start a backup."||iCloud Backup requires a Wi-Fi connection to successfully back up to iCloud. Make sure your iOS device is able to connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi.|
|"This iPhone hasn't been backed up. Backups happen when this iPhone is plugged in, locked, and connected to Wi-Fi"||This is a status message advising that an iOS device has never completed a backup. For automatic backups to occur, you must plug in your device, lock your screen, and connect to Wi-Fi. If you've put your device in this state, and it still isn't backing up, you might need to free up or purchase additional iCloud storage. Learn more about managing your iCloud storage.|
|"This iPhone hasn’t been backed up in 2 weeks. Backups happen when this iPhone is plugged in, locked, and connected to Wi-Fi."||This is a status message advising that an iOS device has not completed a backup in a specified number of weeks. The number specified corresponds to how many weeks have passed since you successfully backed up your iOS device. For automatic backups to occur, make sure you have plugged in your device, locked the screen, and are connected to Wi-Fi. If you've put your device in this state, and it still isn't backing up, you might need to free up or purchase additional iCloud storage. Learn more about managing your iCloud storage.|
|"Turn off Airplane Mode or use Wi-Fi to enable iCloud Backup."||Airplane Mode can prevent your iOS device from connecting to the Internet. iCloud Backup requires a Wi-Fi connection to back up to iCloud. Make sure your iOS device is able to connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi.|
|"This iPhone is currently being restored and will automatically back up when it is done."||A backup cannot occur while a background restore is occurring. This message indicates that the iOS device is still being restored in some manner, such as apps or songs are still downloading. Wait for the restore to complete before attempting a backup.|
|"This iPhone cannot be backed up because there is not enough iCloud storage available."||This message is displayed when there is not enough storage space available in your iCloud Storage to complete your backup. You can either reduce the amount of data you are backing up under Backup Options, or you can buy more storage.|
|"An additional 100 MB is required to back up this iPhone."||This message is displayed when the most recent backup attempt for your device cannot complete due to lack of space. When you actually receive this alert, it will include an exact amount required to complete the backup. To resolve this issue, you can reduce the amount of data you are backing up under Backup Options, or buy more storage.|
|"This iPhone has not been backed up recently because it has not finished being restored. Would you like to finish downloading any remaining purchases and media before backing up, or delete them along with any app data?"||This message is displayed if your iOS device has been trying to complete a restore for more than three days. This can occur if your restore has been interrupted due to network connectivity issues or some other problem occurs.|
|"iCloud Backup is unable to access the account 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. Review your account information in Settings."||iCloud is unable to authenticate the password for the account entered in iCloud Settings (email@example.com is just used as an example here). This most commonly happens if you reset your password and have not updated it in iCloud Settings on your iOS device. This can also occur if authentication is failing for other reasons, such as being unable to connect to the iCloud authentication servers.|
|"This iPhone cannot back up to iCloud without a verified email address."||This message occurs if you have an unverified iCloud account entered in iCloud Settings on your iOS device. To resolve this, check the email account your iCloud Apple ID is associated with. Verify you are using the correct address with the verification email sent to you by Apple.|
|"There was a problem enabling iCloud Backup."||There are various reasons that this can occur. If you receive this alert, wait and try again later. If you receive a more specific alert message as well, make any required adjustments and try again. If you continue to receive this generic alert, contact iCloud Support for assistance.|
|"Backups for appname cannot be turned off at this time."||This message occurs if disabling Backup for an app on your iOS device does not complete successfully. Wait a few minutes and then attempt to enable Backup for the app again. If you continue to receive this alert, contact iCloud Support for assistance.|
|"Backup Not Supported"||This message is displayed in Settings > iCloud > Backup under an app that is not being backed up to iCloud from your iOS device. An app-specific issue is preventing the backup from occurring. You may wish to contact the application's vendor for more information, or contact iCloud Support.|
- iCloud Backup requires a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet.
- Automatic backups occur when you've plugged in your iOS device, locked the screen, and have connected it to Wi-Fi.
- You can manually start a backup by tapping Back Up Now in Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup (requires a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet).
- iCloud Backup will provide helpful information and status messages related to backups at the bottom of Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
- If automatic backups don't work as expected, test to see what happens when you start a manual backup by tapping Back Up Now at the bottom of the Storage & Backup screen.
- Backups and restores both take time, especially if you have a lot of data or a slow connection. Depending on the size of your data and the speed of your network, you may need to give more time than you expected to a backup or restore.
- Make sure you have at least 50 MB of free space available on your iOS device before you back up. If you have no space available on your device, iCloud Backup can fail in some cases. You can verify how much free space you have available on your iOS device in Settings > General > About.
iCloud Backup settings are controlled on a per-device basis from Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
- To view Storage & Backup settings:
- Tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
- Tap Manage Storage.
- Tap your device's name. From here you can:
- View the size of your backups and see the storage used by each app.
- Enable or disable Backup for each app.
- Delete Backups.
- Buy more storage.
- If you're out of iCloud Storage space, you can apply several solutions:
- Exclude Camera Roll and other large data from iCloud backups of your device by going to iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage and choosing your device.
- Remove some of the larger files on your device, such as large audio or video files, from your Camera Roll in order make more space.
- Remove existing Backups.
- Purchase more storage.
For more information about managing and using the Storage & Backup settings, see this article.
If an issue persists and you are not able to resolve it using the methods discussed in this article, contact iCloud Support for additional assistance.
Note: If you haven't backed up your device to iCloud for a period of 180 days or longer, Apple reserves the right to delete the backups associated with that device. Review the iCloud Terms and Conditions for more information.