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Can’t Backup to iCloud – Not Enough Storage

iphone won't backup to icloud

Having problems with your iCloud backup? Keep seeing “The last backup could not be completed” message? Try these tips below to fix your iCloud backup problem.

My iPad / iPhone won’t backup to iCloud

Ordinarily, iCloud backups are automatic. If you have signed up to iCloud, your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is supposed to complete and iCloud backup when connected to Wi-Fi. Or you can manually complete iCloud backups at any time in your Settings. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t all go to plan and you see the message “The last backup could not be completed.” Keep reading to find a solution to this iCloud backup problem.

Why is this happening?

You may be trying to backup too many things. If you’re on one of the lower iCloud storage plans, 5GB free or 10GB a year (paid), there’s a good chance you won’t be able to back up everything anyway. If you have a 64GB iPhone and you’re backing up to a 10GB iCloud space or a 16GB phone to a 5GB storage option, it just won’t back everything up.

But I do have enough space!

If there is enough storage space to back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud, it may be another issue. After the iOS 9 update, the number of iPhone, iPad users unable to backup to iCloud rose by a sufficient amount. Why was this? Well within various iOS forums, users were suggesting that it was the OS taking up the extra storage space when creating an iCloud backup.

See if you can fix your iCloud backup problem here, without having to pay more for your iCloud storage! Read on.

Using iCloud to backup your device

iCloud backups are a fantastic feature. There is the convenience of just needing a Wi-Fi connection to create one. Also, the ability to always encrypt your backup. And now the latest iOS rumours insist that iCloud backups will soon be made safer and more secure than ever.

Fix the iCloud Backup Problem

The tips below will work for iPad and iPod touch too!

Deselect any apps you don’t need

Make sure that you are only backing up the data you need.
Go to Settings > iCloud > Deselect all the apps you don’t need to backup.

icloud backup failed

Backup to iTunes instead

Is there a downside to choosing an iCloud or iTunes backup? Find out which backup method is best for you here. Creating an iTunes backup of your iPhone or iPad will save a copy of your device’s database (including certain settings). This backup can be restored back to your phone at any point. If your phone is ever lost, stolen or replaced, you will be able to get data back from your backup files.

Open iTunes on your PC > Connect your device to the computer (using USB cable) > Click on the device icon (top left) > Select ‘This Computer’ and ‘Back Up Now’.

itunes backup iphone

If any options appear to save purchases from the iTunes Store, select yes if this is something you’d like to do.

Turn on Photo Stream/Turn off Photo backup

Realistically, the iCloud backup problem may tempt you to paying more for the extra 10-20GB of space. Or maybe you’re thinking of switching to Google’s paid storage plan, after all it works our better than Apple’s. Just before we get to that stage, there are a few more tips you can try if the suggestions above have not worked.

One of the main storage fillers on your iPhone or iPad will be your Photos. Try turning off your Photo Library backup in iCloud and turn on your Photo Stream instead. This may fix any iCloud storage problems you may be having, and enable you to create a backup. (Please note Photo Stream does not backup your videos)

  1. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable
  2. Transfer photos to computer
  3. Turn off Photo Library as part of iCloud backup:
    Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage > This iPhone > Tap Photo Library switch > Turn off & Delete (nothing will be erased)
  4. Turn off iCloud Photo Library
    Settings > iCloud > Photos > Switch off iCloud Photo Library
  5. Turn on my Photo Stream on your iPhone
    Settings > iCloud > Photos > Tap My Photo Stream on
  6. Turn on My Photo Stream on computer:
    Instructions for Mac
    Instructions for Windows

Perform a backup without iCloud or iTunes

Is it possible to backup your iPhone or iPad without iTunes or iCloud? Yes! You can backup your iPhone or iPad’s internal database without iCloud or iTunes. By using a third party software such as Enigma Recovery, you can create a backup of the data on your device.

Enigma Recovery can backup your:

  • Text Messages
  • Photos
  • iMessages
  • Videos
  • WhatsApp messages and attachments
  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Call history
  • Calendar events

Here’s how to create an iPhone backup using Enigma Recovery:

  1. Download Enigma Recovery to your PC
  2. Select iOS Device
  3. Connect iPhone to PC
  4. Open software and select ‘Start scan’
  5. Export data to your computer

Even transferring your photos to the computer and deleting them from your device could make a huge difference in storage availability if you’d still like to create an iCloud backup. Try Enigma Recovery today to backup iOS data.

Save your iPhone data!

Downloading Enigma Recovery acts as an insurance policy for your iPhone data. As well as creating iPhone and iPad backups, the software is able to recover deleted messages, contacts, WhatsApp history and more. Deleted data from your device is found during a scan of the database. The software is able to make a copy of your iPhone or iPad database and display data on your PC (including photos and videos).

iPhone data recovery

When something is deleted from your device, it will remain on your iPhone or iPad database until the data is overwritten. This happens overtime as you use your device to create new data.

Hopefully this tutorial helped you! Do you have any more tips to add? Comment below:

About the Author

Sarah McGregor joined the Enigma Recovery Team in June 2014. As Digital and Content Marketing Executive she writes help blogs and ‘How to’ articles for the website. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys connecting with our customers through social media and email.

3 thoughts on “Can’t Backup to iCloud – Not Enough Storage

  1. I am getting a message while trying to back up my iPhone that says “this iPhone can’t be back-up because there is not enough space on this computer.” This would be easy to fix if it were true and it isn’t. I have 255 gigs of free space on this computer. I then tried backing up to the cloud and still got the same message. Any thoughts on this?

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