Backup Essentials: How Much iCloud Storage Is Needed for a Backup?


How much storage do I need to back up my iPhone? In the era of smartphones and digital devices, ensuring the safety of our data has become paramount. Apple's iCloud offers a convenient solution for users to back up their devices, safeguarding essential data such as photos, videos, documents, and app data. However, understanding how much iCloud storage is needed for a backup can be a common question among users. In this article, we will explore the factors that influence iCloud storage needs and provide guidance on choosing the right storage plan.


Part 1. All You Need to Know About iCloud Storage

1.1 What Is iCloud Storage?

iCloud Storage is a cloud-based storage service provided by Apple Inc. It is designed to store and synchronize various types of data across Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Windows computers. iCloud Storage allows users to store a variety of data, including photos, videos, documents, app data, and more, in the cloud.

Key features of iCloud Storage:

  • Storage Space: Users are provided with a certain amount of free storage space (usually 5 GB) when they create an Apple ID. Additional storage space can be purchased on a monthly subscription basis if more capacity is needed.
  • Backup: iCloud enables automatic backup of your device, including settings, app data, and other content. This is useful for restoring your device if it is lost, damaged, or replaced.
  • Photos and Videos: iCloud Photo Library allows users to store their photos and videos in the cloud, making them accessible from any Apple device. The "Optimize iPhone Storage" option helps manage local storage by keeping only smaller versions on the device.
  • Documents and Files: iCloud Drive allows users to store documents and files in the cloud, making them accessible from any device with iCloud access. This is particularly useful for collaboration and accessing files across different platforms.
  • App Data and Settings: Some apps use iCloud to store app-specific data and settings, allowing for seamless synchronization across multiple devices.
  • Find My: iCloud includes a feature called "Find My" that helps locate and remotely manage Apple devices. This feature is useful for tracking down lost or stolen devices.

1.2 Factors Influencing iCloud Storage Requirements

1. Device Storage:

The storage capacity of your iPhone or iPad is a primary determinant of your iCloud storage needs. Larger storage capacities mean more apps, photos, videos, and documents to be backed up. If you have a device with higher storage, you'll likely need more iCloud space.

2. App Data:

Different apps consume varying amounts of storage for their data. Apps like video editing or gaming apps often accumulate large amounts of data that contribute to your overall iCloud backup size.

3. Photos and Videos:

High-resolution photos and 4K videos can quickly eat up storage space. iCloud offers the option to store your photos and videos in their original quality, which may require more space than the optimized versions.

4. Messages and Attachments:

iMessage conversations, especially those with numerous photos and attachments, can contribute significantly to your iCloud storage usage. If you frequently exchange media-rich messages, you might need more storage.

5. Device Settings and Home Screen Layout:

iCloud Backup includes device settings and the arrangement of your home screen. While these components don't consume a substantial amount of space individually, they contribute to the overall storage requirements.

1.3 Available iCloud Storage Plan

Apple offers several iCloud storage plans to accommodate different needs. The right plan for you depends on your specific usage and how much data you want to store in the cloud.

  • 5GB (Free): Suitable for users with minimal data and basic backup needs. This might fill up quickly, especially if you have a device with a larger storage capacity.
  • 50GB: A reasonable choice for individuals with average usage. It provides ample space for backups, photos, and app data without breaking the bank.
  • 200GB: Ideal for users with larger app libraries, extensive photo and video collections, and a need for more comprehensive iCloud storage.
  • 2TB: Best suited for power users, families, or individuals with extensive media collections and multiple devices. This plan offers abundant space for backups and seamless data management across devices.

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Part 2. How Much iCloud Storage Is Needed for a Backup?

Before delving into how much storage do you need to back up iPhone, it's essential to have a clear understanding of how much storage your iPhone and iCloud backup is currently utilizing.

2.1 How Much Storage Space You Have Used on Your iPhone

To assess the space you've already used on your iPhone, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1. Open the "Settings" app on your iPhone.

Step 2. Scroll down and tap on the "General" option.

Step 3. Within the General settings, select "iPhone Storage". Here, you'll find a breakdown of your storage usage, detailing which apps and types of content are consuming the most space.

check storage on iphone

2.2 How Much iCloud Storage Space You Have

Knowing your current iCloud storage capacity is a crucial step in answering how much storage is needed to back up iPhone. To determine your current iCloud storage status:

Step 1. Open the "Settings" app on your iPhone.

Step 2. At the top of the Settings screen, you'll find your Apple ID. Tap on it to access your Apple ID settings.

Step 3. In the Apple ID settings, choose "iCloud". Here, you'll see an overview of your iCloud settings, including your current storage usage and available space.

check icloud storage on iphone

If you find your iCloud storage is not enough, the optimal solution is to buy additional storage. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Navigate to "Settings", select [your name], tap on "iCloud", and then choose "Manage Storage".

Step 2. Click on "Change Storage Plan". Select the plan that suits your needs.

upgrade icloud storage

Further Reading:

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Part 3. How to Manage Your iCloud Storage

Once we know how much storage do you need to back up an iPhone, how to manage the iCloud storage to access more storage space?

3.1 Delete Unnecessary Data

One of the key steps in optimizing your iCloud storage is decluttering unnecessary data. Follow these simple steps to identify and delete files, photos, and documents, freeing up valuable space and ensuring your iCloud storage is used efficiently.

Step 1. On your iOS device, go to "Settings", tap on your name at the top of the screen, select "iCloud", and then "Manage Storage".

Step 2. Review each category to identify files or apps you no longer need.

Step 3. Tap on the specific category (e.g., Photos, Documents), select the files you want to delete, and tap "Delete" or "Remove". For photos, remember to check the "Recently Deleted" folder in the Photos app.

3.2 Delete Old Backups

Managing old backups is crucial to maintaining an organized and optimized iCloud storage. Follow these steps to identify and delete outdated backups, ensuring that your storage space is prioritized for the most recent data.

Step 1. In "Settings", go to your name and select "iCloud".

Step 2. Tap on "Manage Storage" and then "Backups".

Step 3. Review the list of backups to identify older ones and check the date of each backup to determine its relevance.

Step 4. Tap on the backup you want to delete. Confirm your decision by selecting "Delete Backup".

delete old icloud backups on iphone

To prevent unnecessary backups, go to "Settings", tap your name, select "iCloud", and then "iCloud Backup". Toggle off apps or data categories you don't need to back up.

Learn More:

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3.3 Use Optimize iPhone Storage

The "Optimize iPhone Storage" feature is a smart way to manage your photo and video storage, ensuring that your device doesn't become bogged down with large media files. Follow these steps to enable and benefit from this space-saving feature.

Step 1. In "Settings", tap on your name, select "iCloud", and then "Photos", and toggle on "iCloud Photos".

Step 2. Still in the "Photos" settings, select "Optimize iPhone Storage". This feature automatically stores full-resolution photos and videos in iCloud while keeping a smaller version on your device.

choose optimize iphone storage

Part 4. The Best Alternative Way to Back Up Your iPhone

The best way to back up your iOS devices is by using the Coolmuster iOS Assistant application. With this tool, there is no need to be concerned about how much space does an iPhone backup take. It enables you to back up various data types from your iOS devices, such as contacts, messages, photos, music, videos, notes, books and so on.

Another notable feature is its capability to manage iTunes backup files and iOS data directly on a computer, offering greater control and flexibility. Users can edit, add, or delete data information directly from their PC or Mac, streamlining the management of their iOS content.

Key Features:

  • Back up and restore your entire iPhone/iPad/iPod with just one click.
  • Effortlessly transfer iOS files after previewing and selecting them.
  • Completely manage iTunes backup files and iOS data on your computer.
  • Edit, add, or delete data information directly on your iOS device using your PC/Mac.
  • Support for the latest iOS 17 is included.

Here is how to use it to back up your iPhone to your computer:

01Download, install, and launch Coolmuster iOS Assistant on your computer.

02Connect your device to the computer using a USB cord as instructed. Once this software detects your device, the main interface will appear, as shown below.

connect your ios devices to computer

03From the left panel, choose the data type you want to back up, select the files, and then click the "Export" button.

back up your data using coolmuster ios assistant

The Bottom Line

Determining how much iCloud storage is needed for a backup involves assessing your device usage and storage requirements. By understanding the factors that contribute to your iCloud storage usage, you can choose the right storage plan and optimize your backup strategy. Regularly review and manage your iCloud storage to ensure that it continues to meet your evolving digital needs.

What's more, you can give Coolmuster iOS Assistant a chance. With this application, you will never worry about how much space do you need to back up iPhone because it allows users to back up their iOS devices without utilizing any of your iCloud storage capacity. So, please give it a try.

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iOS Assistant
Back up and restore everything on iPhone/iPad/iPod with one click.
Freely manage iOS data and iTunes backup files on the computer.
Preview and selectively transfer files between iDevice and computer.
Widely support contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, notes, etc.
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