How to keep your iPhone or iPad from backing up with iCloud

By , Aug 23, 2016


iCloud is a useful tool, especially if you’re not around a computer all the time. One of the things Apple has available in its iCloud service is the ability to have your iOS devices automatically back up their data into iCloud so that restoring from a backup is made super easy.

On the other hand, not everyone wants their data backed up in the cloud, and that’s why we’ll be showing you how to keep your iPhone or iPad from automatically backing up with iCloud in this tutorial.

Why to disable automatic iCloud backup

There are a number of reasons why you may want to disable automatic iCloud backup, such as:

  • Having a security fear of iCloud being hacked
  • Having a slow Wi-Fi connection at home
  • Having a capped data Wi-Fi plan from your ISP
  • Not having enough room in your iCloud storage

The main reason to disable iCloud backup comes in the form of security. Your backup says a lot about you, including the settings you put on your iOS devices, as well as the files that you allow to be uploaded so that when you restore your device, they return to your device when you use the backup to return all your files and data.

Among some of the information that gets stored in these backups are login information, photos and videos, and even personally-identifiable information that you’ve put in your device in the past. Since iCloud is basically a remote server, it runs the risk of getting hacked and your information could fall into the wrong hands.

Of course, security isn’t the only reason you might want to keep your device from backing up to iCloud, but whatever the case, everyone who falls into this category has something in common: they need to disable the feature.

Chalking it up, iCloud backups are convenient for most people, but not all. So in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to keep your iPhone or iPad from backing up automatically to iCloud.

How to do it

To keep your iPhone or iPad from backing up to iCloud automatically when you connect to a Wi-Fi network, you’ll follow these steps:

1) Open the Settings app and go to the iCloud preferences pane.

Disable iCloud Backup

2) Next, tap on the Backup settings cell.

3) Finally, turn the iCloud Backup switch to the off position.

And that’s all there is to it!

What happens now?

Now that you’ve disabled automatic back-ups to iCloud, the only time your device will be able to back up is when you plug it into your computer and open iTunes. For a lot of people, this might mean never, because I know plenty of friends who don’t even plug their devices into their computers anymore.

Of course, if you don’t want to back up your data to your computer either, then you may be interested in another of our tutorials for how to disable automatic backup to iTunes when you plug your iOS device into your computer.

Keep in mind that keeping backups is a good idea because when things go wrong, you can always restore your iOS device back to how it was before the problem arose. On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice not to clutter your computer, or iCloud, with data that you may never use and have the security of knowing that all your important personal data isn’t being uploaded to Apple’s servers.

Wrapping up

Now that you’ve disabled iCloud backup, you should not have to worry about where your information is being stored and whether or not you’re causing drama for your Wi-Fi network at home. Although most people benefit from the iCloud Backup feature, not everyone uses their devices in the same way and that’s why it’s great to have the option to disable it.

If you found this tutorial useful, let us know in the comments below.

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  • Martynet

    I learned that most people never connect their iPhones to a computer. So I would reccomend leaving the icloud backup on. 🙂

  • diggitydang

    I have the opposite problem. I purchased additional iCloud storage to backup and it never backs up. Every time I use “Back Up Now”, it doesn’t work (no error message) and just shows the last backup from a month ago.

    Also, it’s stupid that Apple doesn’t let families share iCloud storage. They let you with purchases and music, but not with backup storage.

    • Delete that older Icloud backup, then try again. That’s the most common ‘solution’ I found for this kind of problem. Good luck

  • Leslie B

    The security risk with iCloud backups is that Apple doesn’t encrypt them. Of course Apple could encrypt them if they wanted to, but apparently they don’t want to. So much for Apple’s supposed devotion to security. So whenever a 3-letter government agency comes knocking at Apple’s door, Apple is only too happy to turn over everything they know about you, and without you ever becoming aware of it.