Before the invention of iCloud, the only way to make sure your precious details were backed up was to plug in your iPhone or iPad manually and back up with iTunes.
iCloud Backup is phenomenally better, and a much more convenient way of backing up your details. iCloud takes the hassle and the thinking out of backing up.
We now have iCloud for items such as photos, music, calendars and contacts (we have a dedicated page showing you everything you need to know about iCloud here). Additionally we have the fabulous addition of iCloud Drive, which backs up and syncs all of your documents and data (and we also have a dedicated page telling you all about iCloud Drive here). But with the difficulty with both of these is that we have extremely limited free storage options. Apple only gives us a total of 5GB across all devices, which can be used up surprisingly easily with all the app data and with pictures on top. So we’ll show you how to make the most of the free storage, and give you some other options too.
Why it’s Important to Backup with iCloud
If you don’t backup your device, you will lose all of your contacts, photo’s, videos, notes, calendar items, reminders and alarms. Using iCloud to back up is really very easy, but it does require you to first think about what things are most important to you, then tell iCloud to make sure those things are backed up. This way if your device is lost, stolen, or broken, you won’t lose all your content. You will still have access to it via the online iCloud control panel.
How to Back Up with iCloud
iCloud Backup is automatic, and your data will be backed up any time you are connected to WiFi, as long as you have set up that data to be backed up to iCloud. You can only do that from within your device or within your Mac.
Within your Device:
Go to Settings>iCloud and swipe on or off the things which are most important to you from the available options (we’d recommend you keep photos, contacts, calendars, and reminders set to iCloud backup at the very least).
Within your Mac:
Backing up to iCloud from your Mac is also pretty simple. Go to the Apple Menu>System Preferences
Select the iCloud icon (on the left hand side). Then from within the iCloud panel, choose what applications and information you want to be backed up. It is important that you have selected “Find My Mac” in this section, so if that isn’t already set up, you might want to sort that out now. This feature enables you to log in to the online iCloud control panel if your Mac is lost or stolen and you will be able to use GPS tracking to locate its exact location. It’s very useful for tracking down thieves, and can help the police to locate your stolen device or computer.
If you select iCloud Drive from here, you will also be able to choose which specific document files will be backed up from your devices.
How to Make the Most of Your Free 5GB Storage
On your device you can manage your iCloud storage settings (i.e choose which items are being backed up and which aren’t). If you want to save yourself a monthly spend, then you may need to be ruthless with the things you choose to back up using iCloud.
- On your device go to Settings>iCloud and use the slider to switch on and off the apps and options you want to be backing up to iCloud.
For more options on what you can do to avoid paying iCloud’s somewhat more expensive options to increase your backup, click here to see our iCloud Storage page where we cover all sorts of tips and tricks for utilising free storage options instead of paying extra. Obviously it is a whole lot easier if money isn’t an issue for you to just pay for additional storage in iCloud, but we do think it’s worth learning how to improve your management of files, apps and documents to reduce your need for copious amounts of iCloud backup storage space.