What does iCloud back up?

Use iCloud Backup so that you have a copy of the information on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

How it works

iCloud Backup makes a copy of the information on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. When your device is backed up in iCloud, you can easily set up a new device or restore information on one you already have. To let iCloud automatically back up your device each day, here's what you need to do:

  1. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  2. Connect your device to a power source.
  3. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  4. Make sure that your device's screen is locked.
  5. Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup.

When you set up iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of storage. You can use that storage space for your iCloud backups, to keep your photos and videos stored in iCloud Photos, and your documents up to date in iCloud Drive. Depending on the size of your backup and amount of content you keep in iCloud, you might run out of free space. You can buy more iCloud storage or delete content.

 

Here’s what iCloud Backup includes

  • App data
  • Apple Watch backups
  • Device settings
  • HomeKit configuration
  • Home screen and app organization
  • iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages1
  • Photos and videos on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch1
  • Purchase history from Apple services, like your music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books2
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemail password (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)

Your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch backup only include information and settings stored on your device. It doesn’t include information already stored in iCloud, like Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks, Mail, Notes, Voice Memos3shared photos, iCloud Photos, Health data, call history4, and files you store in iCloud Drive.

1. When you use Messages in iCloud or turn on iCloud Photos, your content is automatically stored in iCloud. That means they're not included in your iCloud Backup.
2. Your iCloud Backup includes information about the content you buy, but not the content itself. When you restore from an iCloud backup, your purchased content is automatically redownloaded from the iTunes Store, App Store, or Books Store. Some types of content aren’t downloaded automatically in all countries or regions. Previous purchases might be unavailable if they've been refunded or aren't available in the store. Find out what you can redownload from iTunes in your country or region and what you can buy from the iTunes Store in your country or region.
3. If you use iOS 11 or earlier, Voice Memos are included in iCloud Backup.
4. If you use iOS 10 or earlier, call history is included in iCloud Backup.

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