How To Delete Backups From iCloud.
Every Apple device, be it an iPhone or MacBook, comes with 5GB of free iCloud storage. It’s pretty easy for Apple device owners to fill it with photos, messages, and settings, but it’s the automatic backups your iOS devices make to iCloud that can really fill your free storage quota – and quickly.
You can purchase additional storage to fix this problem, but if you manage your iCloud storage carefully, you probably won’t need it. Instead, you can view and delete old iCloud backups to make room for other, more important files, photos, and backups. Here’s how to delete backups from iCloud on macOS and iOS.
Is it Safe to Delete Backups from iCloud?
Simply put: yes. It is completely safe to delete backups of old devices from iCloud storage. This will not affect the data currently stored on those devices, so if you stop using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you can safely delete that device’s backup from iCloud.
However, you should keep backups for the devices you are currently using in case your iOS device stops working – after all, this is why you have a backup. If you are deleting backups for older devices, make sure you save any important files or settings from the device to a different location before proceeding.
By default, iCloud will try to back up any Apple device you use every 24 hours, with each backup for that device replacing the previous one. You can turn off iCloud backup completely, but as we mentioned, we really don’t recommend doing this unless you have another way to back up your iPhone or other iOS devices.
How to delete iCloud backups on iOS
By default, most Apple devices try to use iCloud to store important files and settings. Specifically, iOS devices like iPhone and iPad will use iCloud to take a complete snapshot of your device’s settings, accounts, and files.
If you want to delete backups from iCloud on iOS, you need to first make sure that your device is currently backing up to iCloud regularly.
- To do this, go to your iOS device settings. Tap your name at the top of the menu.
- Scroll down until you reach the iCloud tab, then click on it to enter the iCloud settings menu.
- In iCloud settings, scroll down until you see the iCloud backup option. Click on this entry to access the iCloud backup settings.
- When the slider for iCloud Backup is set to On, your iOS device backs up regularly. You can see the date of the last backup indicated as Last backup under the “Back up now” button. If you want to stop backing up your iOS device to iCloud at this point, tap the slider again to set it to off.
Disabling iOS device backup will not delete the last backup saved to iCloud storage. You will need to delete this backup as soon as iCloud backup is disabled.
- To delete backups from iCloud on iOS, you need to go back to your iOS device’s settings, tap your name iCloud, then click the Manage Storage button under the storage graph at the top of the menu.
- Current iCloud storage usage will be displayed on the iCloud storage screen. Your device’s backups will be listed in the Backups section, so click Backups to continue.
- On the Information screen, the device you are currently using will be labeled This iPhone or equivalent, depending on your device. To remove a backup from iCloud, click here on the list of devices.
- Scroll to the end of the next information screen that appears. Click the Delete Backup button and accept all prompts on the screen to begin deleting the backup from iCloud storage.
At this point, your iCloud backup will be deleted. To restore it, go back to iCloud settings and re-enable the iCloud backup setting.
Delete iCloud Backups on macOS
If you have a macOS device, you can check your iCloud storage status in the System Preferences menu. You can view information about current usage as well as see what device backups are currently stored on Apple servers.
- First you need to open the system settings menu. To do this, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your Mac screen, then click System Preferences. You can also click the System Preferences icon in the Dock at the bottom of the screen to launch it.
- Click the Apple ID icon in the upper right corner of the System Preferences menu to access your Apple Account settings.
- Various account settings are listed on the left side of the Apple ID menu screen – click the iCloud tab here to view your iCloud storage details. You’ll see a list of services your macOS device is currently backing up to iCloud, apps on this Mac using the iCloud list, and a graph of storage usage below. To continue, click the Manage button next to the storage usage graph.
- A more detailed list of files and services using iCloud appears in a second window at the top. Click the Backups tab to view a list of your iOS device’s backups.
- To delete one of the backups in the list, click on it to select it, then click the minus button at the bottom of the list to start deleting it.
- macOS will ask you for confirmation. Click the Delete button to start deleting the backup from iCloud, accepting any further prompts or on-screen alerts.
Once the uninstallation process is complete, the backup of your iOS device will be completely deleted from your iCloud storage. You can check how much space you’ve gotten by returning to the iCloud tab in the Apple ID menu and looking at the storage graph at the bottom of the screen.
Better iCloud Storage Management
Once you know how to delete backups from iCloud, you can start using it more effectively on your Apple devices. Fill it up with photos, videos, and more – you might even consider accessing iCloud on Android to share files across both major mobile platforms.
What are your solutions for better iCloud storage management? Let us know how you comply with iCloud storage limits in the comments below.