Protect your photos, messages, and other data on your iPhone and iPad by backing it up to iCloud!

Your iPhone or iPad stores all your photos, messages, health data, documents, accessory setups, settings, and more. In other words, your memories and your preferences. If anything goes wrong, be it accident or theft, or if you simply want to upgrade to something new, having everything backed up is essential. Luckily, iCloud also makes it easy. If you didn't enable iCloud backup when you first setup your device, you should definitely enable it now!

How to enable iCloud backup on your iPhone or iPad

Using iCloud as a backup location for your iPhone or iPad is a great idea. If anything happens to your phone or tablet, you will have a backup you can access from anywhere with an internet connection. But before you can start backing up to iCloud, you have to make sure that iCloud backups are enabled on your device.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Backup.

    Launch the Settings app, tap on iCloud, and tap on Backup.

  4. Turn on iCloud Backup by moving the slider to the right.
  5. You will be warned that your iPhone will no longer back up to your computer automatically. Tap on OK.

    Move the slider to turn on iCloud backup and tap OK. iCloud will attempt to start a backup your data every 24 hours or so, as long as your iPhone or iPad is connected to Wi-Fi and plugged in to charge. Most of the time this will happen while you sleep.

If you've never backed up to iCloud before, the first backup can take a while. After that, iCloud will only upload the changes you've made since the last backup, which is much faster.

How to manually trigger an iCloud backup

iCloud backups should automatically happen at least once a day: They trigger when your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is plugged in and on Wi-Fi. That said, here's how to make sure you have an up-to-the-minute backup solution.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Select iCloud

    Launch the settings app and select iCloud.

  3. Tap on Backup.
  4. Tap on Back Up Now.

    Tap on backup and tap on back up now.

That's all there is to it! You can now upgrade your devices without fear. Keep in mind: If you want to back up to iCloud, you must first have an iCloud account and be signed in to it. If you don't and aren't sure how to make one, here's how to go about doing it.

Ally Kazmucha contributed to an earlier version of this article.