How to Use iCloud Backup with iPhone, iPad, or iPod

Introduction

iCloud safely stores and secures your photos, videos, documents, apps, and more - and keeps them updated across all your devices. This means you can access what you want, whenever you want it.

iOS and Mac Devices.

To use iCloud, you need one of the following Apple products:

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th generation or later)
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch (5th generation or later)

The device will also need to be running at least iOS 7 or later.

? Do you already have iCloud enabled?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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iCloud safely stores and secures your photos, videos, documents, apps, and more - and keeps them updated across all your devices. This means you can access what you want, whenever you want it.

iOS and Mac Devices.

To use iCloud, you need one of the following Apple products:

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th generation or later)
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch (5th generation or later)

The device will also need to be running at least iOS 7 or later.

Select a feature or function of iCloud to learn more about.
Various iCloud icons.

To enable and back up your device using iCloud Backup:

Before working with iCloud Backup, ensure that your iOS device is connected to Wi-Fi.

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS Settings menu highlighting the iCloud user button.
  3. Select iCloud.
    iOS iCloud user menu highlighting the iCloud option.
  4. Select iCloud Backup.
    iOS iCloud settings menu highlighting iCloud backup.
  5. Ensure iCloud Backup is turned on.
    iOS iCloud backup settings highlighting the on off toggle switch.
  6. Select Back Up Now.
    iOS iCloud backup settings highlighting the back up now option.

From now on, whenever your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and not in use (locked), it will automatically back itself up to iCloud.

Please select an option to proceed.

With Family Sharing, you can not only share all your iTunes and App Store purchases with your family, but you can set it so that parents require that younger children ask permission before purchasing content. You can then receive a request and either accept or deny it right from your own iPhone or iPad.
A Mac, iPad, and iPhone showing the Family Sharing page

To start a Family Group:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS Settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select Set Up Family Sharing.
    iOS Apple ID screen highlighting set up family sharing option.
  4. Select Get Started.
    iOS Family sharing welcome screen with get started button highlighted.
  5. Select a feature you would like to enable within Family Sharing.
    iOS Family sharing screen displaying available features.

To invite people to join your Family Sharing group:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS settings screen highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select Family Sharing.
    iOS Apple ID menu highlighting the family sharing option.
  4. Select Add Family Member.
    iOS Family Sharing menu highlighting the add family member option.
  5. Options for adding a new family member to family sharing will appear. Select an option to begin sending an invitation to join your family sharing group.
    Add family member popup displaying available options.
    • Invite via iMessage: This will allow you to send an iMessage invitation from your iOS device to one of your contacts.
    • Invite in Person: This will allow you to send a Family Sharing invite via Email address, iOS Game Center ID, or will allow you to select someone from your contact list who may not use iMessage.
    • Create a Child Account: This will allow you to create an iCloud account for a minor child which will be tied to your Family Sharing account. Parental Controls and other permission-based features can be enforced on a Child Account. This is great for minor children in your home who may also use iOS devices.

To accept a Family Sharing invitation:

If you are invited to join a Family Sharing Group, your invitation may come in one of two forms:
  • Invitation via Email:
    Family Sharing email invitation.
    • Select Get Started to proceed with accepting your Family Sharing invite.
  • Invitation via iMessage:
    Family sharing iMessage invitation.
    • Select Tap to View Invitation to proceed with accepting your Family Sharing invite.

Find My iPhone isn't just handy for locating a missing iOS device it can also be used to lock or erase a device in a worst case scenario.

To enable Find My iPhone:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.

  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS Settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.

  3. Select iCloud.
    iOS Apple ID settings with icloud selected

  4. Select Find My iPhone.
    iCloud settings highlighting the Find My iPhone option.

  5. Ensure that both Find My iPhone and Send Last Location are on.
    Find my iPhone settings highlighting both toggle switches.

If your device is not connected to an iCloud account, it will need to be signed into one in order for this feature to be available.

Once enabled, there are two ways you can remotely use Find My iPhone:

  • Using the Find My iPhone app on another mobile device.
  • Using the Apple iCloud website: https://www.icloud.com/

Find My iPhone will only work on an iPad if it is connected to a cellular network or Wi-Fi. If the iPad does not have connectivity, Find My iPhone will not be able to communicate with the device.

iCloud Keychain is a great program for creating, storing, and accessing your complex passwords. It's already built into your iPhone, iPad, and Mac so you've always got your passwords and credit card details at your fingertips.

Enable Keychain:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select iCloud.
    Apple ID menu with iCloud option highlighted.
  4. Scroll down and select Keychain.
    iCloud settings menu with keychain option highlighted.
  5. Toggle the iCloud Keychain switch on.
    iCloud keychain menu highlighting the keychain toggle switch.
  6. Enter your Apple ID password if prompted.

Once Enabled, Keychain will record any passwords you use on your device. It will also keep your credit card information up to date.

Apple provides a cloud-based storage service, called iCloud, that makes it possible for us to sync our documents and files across all of our iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. The app used to access the files stored within your iCloud Drive is called Files. The following steps will show you how to enable iCloud Drive and access your iCloud Drive files using the Files App.

To enable iCloud Drive:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS Settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select iCloud.
    Apple ID menu highlighting the iCloud option.
  4. Ensure the toggle switch next to iCloud Drive is on.
    iCloud settings menu highlighting iCloud drive toggle switch.

To allow or deny apps access to iCloud:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select iCloud.
    Apple ID menu highlighting the iCloud option.
  4. An expansive list of every app that uses iCloud will be present. If you wish to disallow any app from using iCloud, its switch can be toggled here.
    iCloud settings screen highlighting toggle switches for multiple apps.

To access your iCloud Drive data using the Files App:

  1. Select Files.
    iOS Files app.
  2. Select iCloud Drive.
    Files app highlighting the iCloud drive option.
  3. You will be shown the contents of your iCloud drive. You can browse and access your files from here.
    Files app browsing the contents of the iCloud drive.

iTunes in the Cloud isn't so much an app as it is just the way iTunes and iCloud behave. As long as your purchases are made from the same Apple ID they will be saved within the Cloud. This lets you re-download previous purchases on your iOS device, as well as Macs or Windows PCs through iTunes. All of your content is also available on the Apple TV, making it easy to access no matter what screen you're using.

Enable automatic downloads in the iTunes Store for iOS:

If you have multiple Apple devices, iOS can be configured so that when content is purchased from one device, it will automatically be downloaded to your other iOS devices.

  1. Launch Settings on the device(s) you want to automatically download content to.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select iTunes and App Store.
    iOS Settings highlighting the iTunes and app store option.
  3. Toggle the switches for Music, Apps, Books & Audiobooks, and/or Updates to on.
    iTunes and app store settings highlighting the toggle switches within.

To view and re-download past purchases in the iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the iTunes Store.
    iOS iTunes store.
  2. Select the More button from the bottom right of the app.
    iTunes app highlighting the More button.
  3. Select Purchased.
    iTunes more screen highlighting the purchased option.
  4. From here, you can select the MusicMovies, or TV Shows categories to browse previously purchased content you have access to.
    iTunes purchased menu displaying media categories.
  5. Select a song, movie, or TV show you would like to re-download.
    iTunes displaying previously purchased media.
  6. The item's iTunes Store page will be displayed. Select the iCloud Download button to re-download the item to your device.
    iTunes store page highlighting the iCloud download button.

iCloud Photo Library will save photos, videos, GIFs, screenshots, and more — and even better, when you enable it, you can use Optimize Storage to send your files immediately to iCloud and keep them from cluttering up your iPhone's local storage space.

To Enable iCloud Photo Library:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS Settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select iCloud.
    Apple ID menu highlighting the iCloud option.
  4. Select Photos.
    iCloud settings menu with photos option highlighted.
  5. Toggle iCloud Library on.
    iCloud photos menu with the toggle switch highlighted.

To enable iCloud Photo Sharing:

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS Settings menu highlighting the Apple ID button.
  3. Select iCloud.
    Apple ID menu highlighting the iCloud option.
  4. Select Photos.
    iCloud settings menu highlighting the photos option.
  5. Set the toggle switch for iCloud Photo Sharing to the on position.
    iCloud photos settings highlighting the icloud photo sharing toggle switch.

To Share Photos and Videos:

  1. Open the Photos app.
    iOS Photos app.
  2. Select the Shared tab from the bottom of the Photos app.
    iOS Photos app highlighting the shared button.
  3. Select Add Photos or Videos...
    Photos app highlighting the add photos or videos option.
  4. From here, your photo and video library will be displayed. You can browse your library just like you normally would, and begin adding the photos and videos you would like to share over iCloud to this "Shared" album.
    Photos app displaying photo library items to be added to a shared album.

To manage storage space for iCloud:

  1. Go to Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID.
    iOS settings showing the Apple ID selected
  3. Select iCloud.
    iOS showing Apple ID settings with iCloud selected
  4. You should see an overview of your current iCloud storage. Select Manage Storage to proceed.
    iOS icloud stroage settings showing manage storage selected
  5. A similar overview of iCloud storage will appear. Underneath this overview will be a list of apps that are consuming the greatest amount of storage space on your device. You can select one of these apps to manage data as you see fit.
    iOS icloud storage settings
  6. If after evaluating your device's storage usage, you feel that upgrading your iCloud Drive's storage capacity would be best, select Change Storage Plan to explore additional storage options.
    iOS icloud change storage plan
  7. Select a Storage Plan that works best for you and your devices. It can be purchased directly from your device and will immediately expand your iCloud Drive's storage capacity.
    iOS icloud storage plans
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