If you're limited on iCloud storage space, you can manually decide what app data you want, and what you don't.

If you're on a free iCloud storage plan, you are probably already aware that you only get 5GB to store your information. That isn't a lot of space, especially if you own multiple iOS devices. One way you can free up some additional storage to use elsewhere is by manually choosing what app data gets stored, and what won't.

Turning off app data doesn't mean that app will not return to your device during an iCloud restore, it just means the app's data will not return. Typically the camera roll and document-centric apps are the most storage hungry. If you decide to turn these off, just make sure you're okay with losing the data within them in the event of a restore. We'd suggest saving any documents or photos to your computer frequently to free up storage space. Or you can of course upgrade your iCloud storage plan if you want to store all your things, all the time.

How to choose what app data gets backed up to iCloud for iPhone and iPad.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Storage.
  4. Tap on your device. It will say This iPhone or This iPad underneath it. Remember, you can only manage iCloud data for the device you're currently using.
  5. Turn Off any apps that you don't want to back up app data for.
  6. Tap on Turn Off & Delete in the popup menu.

How to manually manage what data backs up to iCloudHow to manually manage what data backs up to iCloud

Note: Originally published, April 2013. Updated, April 2015.