How to manually select what apps can be backed up in iCloud

If you use iCloud for backing up your iOS device, then almost all apps you install will have their settings automatically backed up in iCloud on a regular basis. This can be pretty handy in case you restore your iPhone or iPad from a backup because you won’t have to set up all your app preferences again.

But what if you don’t want certain apps to be backed up in iCloud automatically? As it turns out, it’s pretty simple to handpick what apps can or cannot be backed up in iCloud. We will show you how.

Select which apps to back up to iCloud on iPhone

Why stop some apps from backing to iCloud?

I can think of several reasons why you wouldn’t want to back up the data of certain apps. Security is one of them.

Saving storage space is probably an even more obvious reason. By handpicking what apps can back up to iCloud, you have more control over how much storage space can be used, and if you are on the free 5 GB plan, then every MB counts.

Related: 8 effective ways to free up iCloud storage on iPhone and Mac

Finally, a small backup file ensures that you can restore it quickly when needed. Plus, having apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and such to back up to iCloud doesn’t make much sense as these apps already store everything on their servers. So, after you set up your device, you can just download these apps and log in with your account details. There isn’t any need to back up such apps to iCloud and unnecessarily increase the backup size.

How to select apps that can be backed up in iCloud

By default, all installed apps are part of your iCloud backup file. Follow these steps to control which apps are permitted to back up to iCloud and which ones aren’t:

1) On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings and tap your name from the top.

2) Tap iCloud.

3) Pick iCloud Backup.

Access iCloud Backup on your iPhone

4) Under All Device Backups, choose the device backup.

5) You will now see backup information for your device. Among other details, you will see when the latest backup was made and its size. To start handpicking apps, select Show All Apps.

6) From there, start toggling off apps you don’t want to back up in iCloud. Once you turn off backups for certain apps, you will be asked to confirm you indeed want to turn off backups and delete the data that is currently in iCloud. Tap Turn Off.

Pick which apps should back up to iCloud and which ones should not

Note that apps are sorted by storage used, with the ones using the most storage at the top. iOS also notes how much data is backed up for each app, which gives you a good idea of how much space you can save.

Typically, your photo library is among the apps that use the most storage. Turning off backup for your photo library is an easy way to regain tons of iCloud storage space. But if you do so, remember to back up your photos somewhere else, be it on a different online storage service or maybe locally on your computer.

If you have multiple iPhones or iPads, you’ll have to follow the above steps on each.

Further note that any new app you download will, by default, be a part of the next iCloud backup. So, make sure you follow the above steps periodically to prevent newly downloaded apps from backing up.

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