Daily Tip: How to delete iCloud backups from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Running low on iCloud storage and wiCloud offers iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users a fantastic way to secure your personal data in the cloud. It makes everything a breeze if you have to restore a device or set up a new one. Just yype in your iCloud details and everything magically appears just how it was before you had the problem. Of course you only get 5GB of free storage, if you need more, you have to pay each month. Whilst this is not a problem for most, if you have multiple devices linked to one iCloud account and no longer use one or more of them, the iCloud backup may be taking up valuable space. Well there is a way to delete individual device backups in iCloud all from your iOS device. Read on and we will show you how.

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll down to iCloud and tap on it
  • Scroll down to the bottom and tap on Storage and Backup
  • Here you can see the storage being used and what is available
  • Click on Manage Storage
  • Here you will see a list of backups being held in iCloud, as you can see I have two iPhones. I had one replaced at the Apple Store last week so no longer need this backup.
  • Click on the one you want to remove from iCloud
  • Click on Delete Backup
  • Click on Turn Off and Delete
  • That’s it, that backup has now been removed and the space reclaimed in iCloud

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to delete iCloud backups from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch


Can you really type in your account details and get everything back if anything happend? Because as far as i know not photos. Unless i sync and save em but if im syncing why icloud?

Ezra, yes, it will restore completely. You have the option to back up your camera roll if you wish to do so but using this setting will quickly eat into your free 5gb iCloud storage. Photo stream however is separate to your iCloud storage but doesn't include video.

icloud or your home computer should be able to store a one to one backup image of your phone. Now wether you have 64gbs of icloud space is a different matter but i back up to my computer. I'm not talking about just contacts or pictures i mean one exact image that you can restore should something mess up like it did when i tried to update my mom's original ipad and it hung and then wouldn't restore. would have been nice to not tell my mom, "yeah i tried to help by updating your software but your ipad froze for 2 days and now the only way i could get it back was to erase it." would have been nice to be able to erase it and then load a full image. luckily she wasn't pissed.

Had a similar issue as 9th wonder in trying to update original ipad to iOS 5 using pc. Problem was the backup kept failing/hanging, after 24 hrs. it finally finished, only problem was all pics and videos had been deleted, fortunately had a backup of those and put them in the my pics folder and will sync that way. Restoring it from the backup that was successful didn't work as far as getting the pics and videos back, they were still missing after trying restore from backup option. I think apple should stress manual backups for pics and videos on iphone/ipad just in case.

I read where you are STILL below 5 GB. I have already had to purchase the $100 plan. Right now I'm at 30 GB. GET THIS: EVERYTHING IS TURNED OFF EXCEPT THE DOCUMENTS (which only has two or 3 apps using it) AND IPHONE FINDER AND MY GMAIL ACCOUNT!!
Your mail took up KBs???? MINE IS LIKE 19 GB !!!!
But if I turn the MAIL off then I can't access my email period
What is going on here? Can anyone help me please? Thank you so much! ;)

I have a replacement iPhone 4 so I was trying to do this to my phone as well but it won't allow me to. It says that it cannot be deleted at this time and to try again later. The only thing I can figure is that there is either a flaw in this system or that it's still looking for my old phone. Either way it doesn't make a ton of sense. So the only way for me to back up my phone right now is to act like iCloud never came out and just backup to my computer when I plug it in. Anyone else having these issues?

True, it's not a complete bckuap solution, but it does back up most of your key components. I think that Apple's ultimate goal is to just stream the movies/music portions once the cellular networks provide faster/unlimited plans. Until then the sync over WiFi still restores everything that iCloud doesn't.

where do I go to find out how to delete photos off my 4s I-phone such as photo library...my pics and pictures as I see no delete options.

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My problem is that my iPhone hasn't allowed me to access "manage storage". Same thing happened to me, I replaced my iPhone and used the backup from my old one and when I first got it I was able to access "manage storage", but later it wouldn't let me come through after the "storage and backup"-step. I've tried restarting it a couple of times. Is there any way to do this through my computer and not my iPhone?

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