iCloud Backup Failed | iPhone Not Backing Up to iCloud (12 Fixes)

Brandon Wood
Aug 29, 2023

"Hello, I recently upgraded to iPhone 13. Since I installed the new iOS, I have noticed that I keep having a notification that my iCloud is full and the backup failed. I have the latest iOS 15.3.1 and iCloud+ (50GB). The backup size is about 20GB, so I have 30GB free on iCloud. I have tried exiting iCloud and signing in again. Also, deleted the old backup and tried to make a new one. I can't seem to understand what I am doing wrong. Also did not have this issue in my previous phone, and my wife's iPhone 12 Pro (latest iOS & not iCloud+) has the same issue. Is it possible that is an iOS bug?"

- Apple Support Community

"iCloud backup failed, but I have space." Many iPhone users had reported the same issue these days, especially when they updated to the latest iOS version. Don't worry if you have encountered the same error. Read the tutorial carefully to find out the most appropriate way to fix your iPhone's iCloud backup not working issue.

icloud backup failed

Part 1. FAQs about iCloud Backup
Part 2. What to Do when iCloud Backup Fails?

Part 1. FAQs about iCloud Backup

Before proceeding to specific solutions to fix the iCloud backup taking forever or not working, you may also want to figure out the following questions.

1. What's Included in the iCloud Backup?

iCloud will only back up the information and settings saved on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, not including information in iCloud, like contacts, notes, bookmarks, calendars, messages, voice memos, iCloud photos & shared photos.

2. How Long Should iCloud Backup Take?

There is no standard time for an iCloud backup, depending on your data size, Wi-Fi condition, and device performance. But it normally takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to back up everything on your iDevice.

3. Why Won't My iCloud Back Up when I Have Enough Storage?

The most common reasons for iCloud backup not working lie in:

  • Poor network connectivity.
  • Disabled backups.
  • The iOS version needs updating.
  • The backups are corrupted or incompatible.
  • Low battery.
  • Something goes wrong with your iCloud settings.
  • Incorrect iPhone settings.
  • Issues with iCloud Sign-in.
  • You don't connect your iPhone to a power source.

Learn more: If iTunes is stuck on preparing iPhone for software update, you can fix it with these tricks.

Part 2. What to Do when iCloud Backup Fails?

Below are twelve practical solutions to troubleshoot the error "iCloud backup failed".

Solution 1. Check the Wi-Fi Signal and Connection

If the iCloud backup fails every time and shows you "The last backup could not be completed", there might be something wrong with your Wi-Fi connection. Therefore, ensure that your iPhone is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network and check if the Wi-Fi signal is strong. Note that iCloud backup cannot work with the cellular data network only. You can also reset the router before calling your Wi-Fi network provider for help.

Solution 2. Ensure the iPhone Screen Is Locked

As a matter of fact, your iPhone screen must be locked to perform the automatic iCloud backup. If you have turned off the Auto-Lock option, you may forget to lock your screen at night. To check whether you have enabled the Auto-Lock option on your iPhone:

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down to select the Display & Brightness option.
  • Click Auto-Lock and choose the lock frequency between 30 seconds and 5 minutes.

enable the auto lock feature to make icloud back up data

You might need: Searching for a practical contact backup app for iPhone? Maybe you can get some useful information from these options.

Solution 3. Clear the iCloud Storage

You will also encounter the iCloud backup failed issue when the iCloud storage is insufficient. To solve this,

  • Run the Settings app on your iPhone and tap your name on the top.
  • Select iCloud > Manage Storage to see how much storage is left and which app takes up the most space.
  • If the iCloud storage is insufficient, delete the unnecessary files on your iPhone or upgrade your iCloud+ plan.
  • To delete unwanted files, tap the file under the Manage Storage settings and hit the Delete or Turn Off option.

clear icloud storage if icloud fail to back up data

Once you have made room for more storage space, try backing up your iPhone to iCloud again.

See more:

Transfer Large Videos from iPhone to PC via 8 Powerful Methods

Easily Transfer Text Message Photos from iPhone to Computer [Proven]

Solution 4. Sign Out and In Your iCloud Account

Exiting the iCloud account on your iPhone will restart the iCloud backup, which may fix the minor system glitches or bugs that caused the iCloud backup not working issue. For that,

  • Run the iPhone's Settings app and tap your name on the top.
  • Scroll down to the bottom to tap the Sign Out option.
  • Later, click the Sign In button again when it shows up on the screen.
  • Enter your Apple ID and password and enable the auto-backup to iCloud again.

sign in the icloud account on iphone again to get icloud worked

Solution 5. Reset All Settings

Resetting all settings on your iPhone wipes out everything from your device and restores it to the factory status. And this way usually works for fixing various software errors, including the iCloud backup keeps failing.

To reset all settings on your iPhone:

  • Open iPhone's Settings > tap General.
  • Choose the Transfer Or Reset iPhone option > Reset.
  • Select the Reset All Settings and tap the Reset All Settings again to confirm the operation.
  • Your iPhone will shut down, reset, and turn on.
  • After turning it on, you will need to reconfigure all device settings, like Wi-Fi passwords, Bluetooth, etc.

reset all settings on iphone when icloud does not back up data

Solution 6. Change the iCloud Storage Plan

As you know, 5GB of free storage is far more than enough for backing up an iPhone for ages. Thus, you can upgrade the iCloud+ plan for your device according to your needs.

  • Run Settings > tap your name > choose iCloud.
  • Tap Manage Storage or iCloud Storage.
  • Click the Buy More Storage or Change Storage Plan option.
  • Select a plan, tap Buy, and follow the on-screen prompts.

change the icloud storage plan on iphone when icloud backup is not working

Solution 7. Redownload Grayed-out Apps

iCloud backup failed problem may also result from hanging-up apps, indicated by a grayed-out icon. If you suspect that the iCloud backup problem has something to do with a slow-loading app, ensure that the Wi-Fi network you're connecting to is reliable and speedy. If the Wi-Fi network is fine, but the problem exists, pause the backup for a while and restart it later.

Or, you can delete the app from your iPhone and download it from the App Store again.

Solution 8. Hard Reset Your iPhone

If the iPhone/iCloud backup keeps failing, try hard resetting your iPhone to fix the issue.

Hard reset iPhone with Face ID:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Hard reset iPhone 8 or iPhone SE (2nd generation and higher):

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo displays on the screen.

hard reset iphone if icloud does not work

Hard reset iPhone 7:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down + Sleep/Wake buttons together.
  • When the Apple logo turns up on the screen, release both buttons.

reset iphone if icloud fail to back up data

Hard reset iPhone 6s or iPhone SE (1st generation):

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake + Home buttons simultaneously.
  • Release both buttons when the Apple logo pops up on the screen.

Solution 9. Back Up Your iPhone with iTunes/Finder

What if the iCloud backup fails every time? Instead of backing up your iPhone to iCloud, you can try iTunes or Finder to back up your iPhone to a Windows PC or Mac.

Using iTunes:

  • Plug your iPhone into your computer via a USB cable and run the latest version of iTunes.
  • Tap the iPhone icon when it appears in the iTunes window and select This computer under Summary > Backups.
  • Tap Back Up Now to back up your iPhone to the computer.

back up iphone with itunes on pc instead of icloud

Using Finder:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable and open Finder.
  • Choose your iPhone when it shows up under Locations in the Finder window and select the Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac option.
  • Hit Back Up Now.

Solution 10. Restore Your iPhone in DFU Mode

Another way to fix the iCloud backup failed issue is by restoring your iPhone in DFU mode. You can check here to learn how to put an iPhone in DFU mode.

Solution 11. Back Up Your iPhone to a Computer (Recommended)

Suppose the above tricks still cannot resolve the iCloud backup problem. In that case, you can back up your iPhone to a computer with the alternative app Coolmuster iOS Assistant. It is better to use than iCloud backup and backs up everything from your iPhone to a computer without iTunes, iCloud, or network consumption.

Key features of Coolmuster iOS Assistant:

* One-click to back up iPhone data to a PC or Mac.

* Restore computer backups to your new iPhone/iPad/iPod.

* Selectively export iPhone data to a computer.

* Selectively import backups from the computer to your iPhone.

* User-friendly and secure.

* Consume no network during backup.

* Widely compatible with all iPhone models (iOS 16 supported), such as iPhone 14/SE (3rd generation)/13 Pro Max/13 Pro/13/13 mini/12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12/12 mini/SE/11 Pro Max/11 Pro/11/XS Max/XS/XR/X/8/8 Plus/7 Plus/7, etc.

coolmuster ios assistant windows versioncoolmuster ios assistant mac version

How to back up an iPhone to a computer?

1. Install and open Coolmuster iOS Assistant on your computer.

2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable and trust the computer if asked. Once connected, you will see the home interface below.

connect your iphone to the computer

3. Click the Super Toolkit section on the top and choose iTunes Backup & Restore. After that, tap Backup > select your iPhone from the list > define a location to store your data. Finally, hit OK to start the backup process.

how to back up iphone to a computer when icloud backup failed

Further reading:

How to Back Up iPhone with Broken Screen? (4 Possible Ways)

How to Back Up Locked or Disabled iPhone? (Best Way in 2023)

Solution 12. Contact Apple Support

The last resort to fixing the iCloud backup failed issue is reaching out to the Apple Support team. It's not bad to contact the Apple's technical department, and you get two ways to do so:

  • Make a toll-free telephone call at 800 915 904 between 8:00 and 19:45.
  • Submit an appointment online under Support > Contact Support > Talk to us on apple.com.

Final Verdict

I have to remind you that not all methods above work 100% for resolving the iCloud backup failed problem. Assume you want to fix the iCloud backup problem without failure. You'd better choose the alternative app Coolmuster iOS Assistant to back up your iPhone to a computer or contact Apple Support. They are reliable and have a higher success rate.

If you think this tutorial is helpful, please share it with more Apple users.

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