iCloud: Backup and restore overview
Learn how iCloud Backup works, what data is backed up, and how Backup uses your iCloud storage.
iCloud automatically backs up the most important data on your device using iOS 5 or later. Once you have enabled Backup on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in Settings > iCloud > Backup & Storage, it will run on a daily basis as long as your device:
- is connected to Internet over Wi-Fi
- is connected to a power source
- has the screen locked
You can also back up manually whenever your device is connected to Internet over Wi-Fi by choosing Back Up Now from Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
Note: Learn about optimizing your iOS backup experience.
What is backed up
You get unlimited free storage for:
- Purchased music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books
Notes: Backup of purchased music is not available in all countries. Backups of purchased movies and TV shows are U.S. only. Previous purchases may not be restored if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.
Some previously purchased movies may not be available in iTunes in the Cloud. These movies will indicate that they are not available in iTunes in the Cloud on their product details page in the iTunes Store. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they have been refunded or are no longer available in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.
You get 5 GB of free iCloud storage for:
- Photos and videos in the Camera Roll
- Device settings (for example: Phone Favorites, Wallpaper, and Mail, Contacts, Calendar accounts)
- App data
- Home screen and app organization
- Messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS)
- Visual Voicemails
You can select which applications back up their data and see how much storage space each application is using:
- On your Home Screen, tap Settings
- Tap iCloud
- Tap Storage & Backup
- Tap Manage Storage
- Select the device you want to manage
If you need more iCloud storage, you can purchase additional iCloud storage from your iOS device, Mac, or PC.
The following items are not backed up to iCloud. You can sync these items with a computer using iTunes:
- Music, movies and TV shows not purchased from the iTunes Store
- Podcasts and audio books
- Photos that were originally synced from your computer
How content is restored to a new device
When you go through Setup Assistant on a new device using iOS 5 or later, choose "Restore from iCloud Backup" and enter your iCloud account and password. You will see the three most recent backups for each of the devices on which you enabled Backup. Choose which backup to restore from.
After your device restarts, your settings and accounts are restored and Backup starts downloading your purchased music, movies, TV shows, apps, books, Camera Roll, and other content.
Note: You may be prompted to enter the passwords for all accounts enabled on your device. You may also be prompted to enter the password for for any iTunes, iBookstore and App Store accounts for which iCloud Backup is attempting to restore content.
A progress bar will appear underneath the apps that are being downloaded. To prioritize the restore of a specific app, tap its icon. Restore will attempt to download the same version of the app that you had installed previously. If that version is no longer available, the latest version of the app will be restored.
If you are using iTunes Match (U.S. only), you can download any of your songs, albums, or playlist from iCloud after the restore is complete.
To check if the restore is complete, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
- Learn about messages that may appear when your device is trying to back up your data.
- Learn about messages that may appear when you are trying to restore to a new device.
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.