How to fix an Apple iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud

One of the reasons why iPhones don’t have expandable memory is because Apple wants its users to use the cloud for their files and data but what would happen if your iPhone won’t backup to iCloud? Such is the problem with some owners and while many have reported they were able to fix the problem, it’s just very annoying as it often occurs or you may notice the problem when you’re about to create a copy of your files to the cloud.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud. We will consider every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can determine the problem and hopefully fix it. So, if you’re one of the users that’s having a hard time backing up to the cloud, continue reading as this post  may help you.

For iPhone owners who found our site while trying to find a solution, try to see if your phone is one of the devices we support. If it is, then visit the troubleshooting page for that device, browse through it to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. However, if you still need our help after that, then fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us..

Fixing an iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud

A faster way to backup iOS files is through iCloud. But what if for some reason, your iPhone just won’t backup to iCloud? If you’re reading this post, then most likely you’re facing this same problem and that you wanted some help fixing it. And to address your concern, I have mapped a number of possible solutions for you to try on. Read further and learn what to do if your iPhone won’t backup to iCloud. Before troubleshooting, do these things first…

  • Verify and ensure that your iCloud storage isn’t full already. Every Apple ID is granted with a 5GB free iCloud storage. If this storage is used up, you will need to purchase more storage to upgrade your iCloud storage capacity. Otherwise, you will need to delete unwanted backups to free up some space. If your iCloud storage is full, then you won’t be able to add new backups and so your iPhone won’t backup to iCloud.
  • Check your Internet connection. If your iPhone is experiencing any sort of Internet connectivity issues from slow browsing to intermittent or no Internet connection at all, you can use any of the given solutions to rule out network-related issues. Internet connectivity issues are among the usual barriers to iCloud backups.
  • Eliminate minor software errors. Random software glitches can also affect the phone’s cloud backing up system and thereby cause iCloud backup to fail. If the Internet is working fine but your iPhone still won’t backup to iCloud, use the subsequent solutions to rule out software-related factors.

Possible solutions for iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud

Whether you’re seeing a message prompt saying that the last backup could not be completed or just couldn’t get to backup your iPhone to iCloud, performing these subsequent solutions can help you sort things out.

First solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

Restarting doesn’t only give a quick breather to your device but more importantly, it clears out minor software glitches that inflict random issues including iCloud backup errors. Thus, consider this among the very first solution to try.

To soft reset or reboot an iPhone X or later, refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier variants, follow these steps instead:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

When your phone is finished rebooting, retry backing up data to iCloud and see if it goes through this time. If it still doesn’t, then you have to try other means to rule out other factors to fix the error.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that is not recognized in iTunes, error 0xE

Second solution: Refresh your Wi-Fi internet connection.

If the problem is due to your Internet connection that’s either slow or unstable, try refreshing then. There are various ways to refresh your Internet connection. The first and widely used procedure is to so-called power cycle on the wireless router or modem in use. This however is only applicable if you’re close to your router or modem. In case you are, here’s how to power cycle or network equipment:

  1. Turn off the equipment by flipping the power switch.
  2. While it’s turned off, unplug it from the power source.
  3. After 30 seconds or 1 minute, plug it back in and then turn it on again.
  4. Wait until the Wi-Fi signal has stabilized. Your iPhone should reconnect automatically if you’ve set it to auto-connect to your Wi-Fi network.

To refresh wireless features and relevant functions on your iPhone, you can use the Wi-Fi switch, Airplane mode toggle, or simply forget and re-add your Wi-Fi network on the phone. If you wonder how each of these is carried out, I’ve demonstrated the process.

  • To use the Wi-Fi toggle, go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu and then toggle the Wi-Fi switch off for a few seconds and then tap to turn it back on.
  • To use the Airplane mode toggle, go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and then toggle Airplane Mode switch on. The phone’s wireless radios are then disabled. While Airplane Mode is turned on, restart/soft reset your iPhone. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode and turn Airplane Mode off again.

If none of that works, then you can try to forget the Wi-Fi network from your phone and then reconnect. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu and make sure that the Wi-Fi switch is turned on.
  2. Select your Wi-Fi name (SSID) from the list of available networks.
  3. Tap the information (i) icon next to the name of the Wi-Fi network.
  4. Then tap Forget This Network.
  5. If prompted, tap to confirm that you want to forget the network.

If you see any other Wi-Fi networks in the list, follow the same steps to forget them all. Doing so will prevent any of them from causing conflict to the Wi-Fi network you’re currently using. If  your iPhone still won’t backup to iCloud, then move on to the next procedure.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XR App Store app won’t install update issue

Third solution: Delete old or unused iCloud backups then retry.

Old and unused backups are supposed to be deleted from your iCloud storage. Not only that they used up space, they can also trigger new problems to arise especially when they become corrupt. That said, delete old and unused iCloud backups and then try to create the most recent backup of your iPhone to iCloud. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB/Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on the computer and wait for it to recognize your iPhone and then wait for them to sync.
  3. backup your iPhone locally to that computer using iTunes.
  4. Once the backup is finished, go back to your iPhone then go to Settings-> iCloud-> Storage menu and then select the option to Manage Storage.
  5. Find your old iCloud backup and then delete it from iCloud.
  6. Disconnect then reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.
  7. Once you’re connected, go back to Settings-> iCloud-> Backup menu and then select the option to backup Now.

If the backup process is successful, then you’re all good to go. Otherwise, you need to troubleshoot further and try other options.

Fourth solution: Update your iPhone software to the latest version.

Installing updates can also be the key to resolving the issue if software bugs and system errors are to blame. New updates also embed patch codes to fix and get rid of existing bug-inflicted errors on the phone. All you need to get started are stable Internet connection, sufficient memory space, and at least 50 percent battery life on your phone. If you’ve met all these requisites, then you may proceed with these steps to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version available:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Software Update.

Also check if there are new carrier updates that left uninstalled on your device.

  • To check on this, go to your iPhone Settings-> General-> About section.

If a carrier update is available, download and install it on your phone as it can help fix problems affecting network services.

After installing new updates for iOS and/or carrier settings, reboot/soft reset your iPhone to save the recent system changes and to refresh your phone’s network services.

Fifth solution: Log out and back into your iCloud account.

It is also possible that the recent backup won’t go through due to some problems with your iCloud account. To rule out account-related issues from the underlying cause, logging out from your iCloud account and then logging back in will likely fix them. So here’s what you should do next:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID header [Your Name] on the upper-left side of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  4. If prompted, enter your Apple ID password then tap Turn Off to proceed.
  5. If you wish to keep a copy of specific data on your device, just turn on the data to copy.
  6. Then tap Sign Out twice to confirm that you want to sign out of your iCloud account.

If you are using earlier iPhones that are running on iOS 10.2 or earlier versions, you can sign out of iCloud with these subsequent methods:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Then tap iCloud.
  3. Scroll down the bottom of the screen and then tap Sign Out.
  4. Tap Sign Out again then choose the option to Delete from My iPhone.
  5. Select Keep or Delete if you wish to keep or remove a copy of your iOS data such as iCloud calendars, reminders, contacts, and Safari data.
  6. Next, enter your Apple ID password when asked.
  7. Then tap Turn Off.

After signing out of iCloud, reboot your iPhone and then head back to your iPhone settings and sign into your iCloud account again. Be sure to enter the correct Apple ID and password this time.

ALSO READ: How to fix intermittent charging issue on your Apple iPhone XR, wireless charging interference

Sixth resort: Reset all settings on your phone.

The last things that might have hindered your iPhone from backing up to iCloud are invalid settings. This is usually the case if the problem started after customizing your iPhone settings. The same thing can happen after installing updates for apps and iOS that were programmed to override settings. To rule this out, resetting all settings is recommended. This reset wipes all customized settings including incorrect or misconfigured options. And here’s how you do it:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset all settings on the phone.

The phone will then start wiping all customized settings and then restores the default values and options. When the reset is finished, the phone restarts. By then you can start enabling features that are disabled by default so that you can use them again on your iPhone. And that includes your iPhone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions.

Does your iPhone still won’t backup to iCloud?

You may have to consider using alternative solutions if none of the prior methods is able to solve the problem. Among your next options include using iTunes or third-party iOS backup tools that’s compatible with your iPhone. Like iTunes, using other tools allow you to backup critical data from your iPhone to a computer storage. Just be sure to note the directory or folder where your recent backup is saved so that you won’t have a hard time finding it later.

For other options and official suggestions, you may contact your service provider/carrier or Apple Support for that matter. Just let them know about how you ended up facing this problem and what you’ve done so far, in an attempt to fix the problem on your end. You can also ask Apple Support to verify the current status of iCloud server on their system for it’s possible that the iCloud server is currently unavailable.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix your iPhone that won’t backup to iCloud. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!