How to fix Apple iPhone XS Max iCloud backup that is not working after an update, cannot back up files to iCloud [Troubleshooting Guide]

Modern smartphones are meticulously schemed to become smart enough to secure different types of user data and to store huge files. But because smartphone’s built-in storage has limits, external storage media are created to offer additional storage space and allocate more files. And so, flash drives, SD cards, and other portable drives are offered. Nowadays, smartphone users are offered with a more convenient way of storing important files through cloud. Hence Google Driver, iCloud, OneDrive, Mega, Dropbox and other cloud storage platforms are offered.

Compared to other storage platforms, cloud storage offer more convenience as users would just set some options that would command their device to automatically save backup files to cloud storage. Nonetheless, using cloud storage isn’t always flawless given that there are a lot of factors that can trigger syncing errors to occur on the phone. And faulty updates are among the usual culprits. In case you will encounter some issues when attempting to use iCloud storage on your iPhone XS Max after updating, then you can refer to the workarounds outlined below. Feel free to refer to this troubleshooting guide whenever you need help.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max with iCloud backup that’s not working

Before troubleshooting, check and make sure that your iPhone has stable Wi-Fi internet connection. In order to back up files to iCloud, your device must have Wi-Fi access as it needs to access Apple’s iCloud server. If your phone is experiencing some Internet connection problems like slow browsing or intermittent Internet access, then you need to deal with that first. Otherwise, try any of these subsequent workarounds.

First solution: Check and manage iCloud storage.

One of the common reasons as to why iCloud backups would fail is due to insufficient storage. Your iCloud storage space may already be running low and therefore unable to accumulate new files. To make sure this isn’t the problem, check your iCloud storage and free up some space, if needed. Here’s how to get there:

  • From the Home screen, navigate to Settings-> [Your Name]-> iCloud menu then choose the option to Manage Storage or iCloud Storage.

If you’ve already used up the default 5GB free iCloud storage, then you need to free up some space by deleting unwanted contents or talk to your service provider to request for additional storage. If you need some help in clearing unwanted contents from your cloud storage, refer to the outlined steps below this page.

Second solution: Verify if iCloud backup is enabled then soft reset your iPhone.

Aside from storage space, also care to double check if iCloud Backup is enabled on your device. If this is the first time you attempt to use iCloud for your backup files, then you may haven’t turned on iCloud Backup on your iPhone XS Max yet. To check on this, simply refer to these steps:

  • Go to your iPhone Settings-> [Your Name]-> iCloud-> iCloud Backup menu. Check the switch next to iCloud Backup and see if it’s positioned to ON.

If it’s not, then you need to toggle the switch to enable iCloud Backup. Doing so will prompt your device to automatically sync and backup files to iCloud.

After confirming that iCloud Backup is enabled, perform a soft reset or reboot your iPhone to clear errant cached files from the internal memory and to refresh the operating system. For starters, performing a soft reset on the new iPhone XS Max is carried out this way:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Wait until the phone starts up and then try to use iCloud again to see if it’s already working.

Third solution: Delete old and unused iCloud backups.

Deleting old and unwanted contents is part of storage management. This will ensure that every amount of your iCloud storage is utilized efficiently. It’s also recommended to delete unwanted old backups to free up some space of your iCloud storage so as to allocate more new important backups. So if you haven’t already, follow these steps to delete all unnecessary iCloud backups on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Navigate to Settings-> [your name]-> iCloud menu.
  2. Tap to select your iPhone XS Max.
  3. Tap Delete Backup.
  4. Then tap Turn Off & Delete.

Deleting individual unwanted files from the iCloud Drive can also help if insufficient storage is the problem. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open iCloud Drive from your Home screen.
  2. Select the files that you want to delete.
  3. Delete and confirm selected files.

Deleted files from the iCloud Drive will also be removed across all devices that are set up to use the same iCloud account. You have 30 days to recover deleted files from After that, these files will be deleted permanently.

Fourth solution: Disable Restrictions on your iPhone settings.

Another possible reason as to why your iPhone may not be able to create iCloud backups is because automatic backups to iCloud are restricted. To make sure this isn’t the underlying cause of the problem, check and ensure that Restrictions is disabled on your device. Here’s how to access and configure this option on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Tap to open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions switch to turn it off.

This will remove restrictions and restore permissions for apps and services.

Fifth solution:  Sign out of iCloud and then sign in again.

Many people have found wonders by applying this workaround when they were having trouble using iCloud backup on their respective iOS devices. It turned out that by doing this, login sessions were refreshed and account-related glitches inflicting conflicts were cleared. Hence, it wouldn’t hurt if you’d give it a try on your end and see how it does.

  1. Navigate to Settings-> [your name].
  2. Tap Sign Out.
  3. Enter your Apple ID password to continue.
  4. Then tap Turn Off.
  5. Select to enable data that you want to keep a copy of on your device.
  6. Tap Sign Out twice to confirm that you want to sign out of iCloud.

Restart your iPhone to clear memory cache and then try signing into iCloud again.

Other options

Before you escalate the problem to Apple Support, you may consider resorting to any of these methods.

  • System resets. Performing system resets like network reset or all settings reset can be considered among other possible workarounds to try if none of the prior methods is able to solve the problem. Performing a network settings reset will help clear out network-related errors on the phone that might have halted network-related services like iCloud backups from getting completed.
  • Use iTunes instead. Backing up files to iCloud automatically is definitely better than manual methods but that is if and only if everything works as intended. However, things aren’t always working good as problems do occur unexpectedly. When this happens, switching to manual backup methods can be considered an option.

You can also report the problem to your service provider or Apple Support so that they can make some further assessments and determine whether or not the problem is on their end. Should the issue be tied to insufficient iCloud storage, then upgrading to a higher iCloud storage plan can be deemed among the next options.


I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!