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Home > Tips > How to Backup When iCloud Is Full (without Buying Storage)

How to Backup When iCloud Is Full (without Buying Storage)

iCloud is very convenient to backup your iPhone/iPad online, but the storage is limited. How to backup when iCloud is full? Read on to find out.

Updated Mar 30,2018 | by Cody

To protect your iPhone and iPad no matter what happens, you need to have a good backup strategy. Fortunately, your iPhone and iPad are automatically backed up in iCloud. However, you may get notification telling you that your iCloud storage is full after using for a while.

How to backup when iCloud is full? Actually, you do not need to pay for an upgrade to get more iCloud storage space in order to keep your iOS devices backed up. You can free up a considerable amount of storage space while keeping your data secure.

Free up iCloud storage space while keeping all data backed up

If you turn on iCloud and leave the iCloud settings to default, iCloud will backup your photos, videos, contact list, text messages, applications data, and settings from your iPhone. Which of these is eating up the storage space out of your iCloud?

You can go to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage to check it out. In most of the cases, Photo Library and iPhone backup consume way more space than others.

Photos are big files. Nowadays, photos and videos are taken with high quality, so they take more storage than ever before. A few hundred photos may eat up your 5GB of free iCloud Storage.

Therefore, you should turn off Photo Library in iCloud Backup. Instead, you can use My Photo Steam to backup your photos.

Turn off Photo Library

1.       Go to Settings > iCloud > Storage >Manage Storage

2.       Switch off Photo Library from the iCloud Backup.

3.       Tap on Turn Off & Delete when you see the warning that if you want to turn off Photo Library backups and delete the backup data from iCloud.


Your photos will not get removed from your iPhone.

Turn on My Photo Stream

You can just Go to Settings -> iCloud -> Photos and tap the switch to turn on My Photo Stream. Then, your photos will automatically upload to My Photo Stream and you can access them with your Apple devices. You should also turn on My Photo Stream on your PC or Mac.

Turn on My Photo Stream

As you may know, My Photo Stream only save photos for 30 days. Don’t worry, your photos will automatically download on your PC or Mac once they are uploaded to My Photo Stream.

 In this way, your iCloud will have enough space for you to choose what to backup. More importantly, all your data are backed up. Besides My Photo Stream, you can also choose another online backup storage to backup your photos. For example, you can also backup iPhone photos to Google Drive.

 Backup to computer hard drive

Surely, iCloud Storage is secure. However, should you only rely on iCloud to backup all your data? Probably not. You may have difficulty accessing your own photos on iCloud due to issues with password and username.

Therefore, you may also consider backing up your iPhone data to PC hard drive besides iCloud. IOTransfer is a reliable iPhone/iPad backup software that can help you backup photos, music, videos, contacts, books and others from iPhone/iPad/iPod to computer in one click.

Let’s see how it works.

    1. Free download IOTransfer and install on your computer.

    2.  Launch this software and connect your iOS device to your computer. The program will scan your iPhone/iPad and list all your files for your review.

    Backup to PC

    3. Just click the button Transfer to PC to backup all these data to your computer.

    By default, the program will select all the listed files, you can click to exclude or include to the backup. You can also change the default location to save the iPhone/iPad backup on your computer hard drive.

    If you need a more flexible to backup iOS device to your PC, you can click on MANAGE to have a clearer view of all your iPhone data. You can select files separately to backup to your computer. Besides, you can also transfer files from computer to iPhone.

    Backup Photos to PC

    In conclusion, when iCloud is full, you can turn off Photo Library in iCloud and instead automatically upload photos to My Photo Stream, which does not consume iCloud space, or backup iPhone to your PC. You can choose either to backup when iCloud is full.

    You May Also Like:

    iCloud Storage is Full - How to Free Up iCloud Storage Space

    How to Backup Your iPhone/iPad: iTunes, iCloud or Other Alternatives? 

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