iCloud backup is one of the great things about getting an iPhone/iPad. Regardless of what happens to your device, you can still access your important data without any hassle. We are talking about almost all things, including your files, call logs, app data, messages, photos, videos, etc.
If you lose data or something happens to the device, you can restore this information directly from iCloud. It also comes in handy when you purchase a new iPhone and want to skip the process of manually moving the data from your old iPhone.
However, many people who are new to iPhone and iOS ask this question: how long does it take to back up iCloud? The problem here is that we cannot give you a simple answer here. Since so many things are involved in the iCloud backup process, we have to acknowledge them all.
In this article, we have talked about almost everything you should know about iCloud backup and — probably most importantly —, how long does it take to back up your iPhone to iCloud. We have also thrown in some tips you can follow to take a quicker and better-effective backup of your device.
Also Read: How to Download iCloud Backup to PC
How Long Does It Take for iCloud to Back up?
Apple uses one of the best backup and sync technologies for iPhones and iOS devices. All Apple users, both premium and non-premium, get the power of Apple’s powerful servers and bandwidth. So, in a situation like this, two factors affect the speed of your iCloud backup process.
- The size of your iCloud backup: As said, the iCloud backup may contain your files, photos, call logs, and other app data. If you choose to back up data big in size, the size of the backup file will be bigger. If you have so many videos and documents inside, for instance, the backup would be relatively big.
- Your internet connection speed: iOS uses your Wi-Fi connection to upload the backup files to Apple’s servers. So, if you have a faster internet connection (around 200Mbps), you can back up even huge files without any trouble.
Therefore, ideally, if you have a small backup file and a fast internet connection, it will not take long for you back up your iPhone to iCloud. For instance, let’s say that you recently bought your new iPhone. You did capture some photos and added some contacts. You also installed and used a few apps.
In this case, the backup file size will not be more than 1GB or 2GB. In this case, the backup process will not take more than a few minutes. On the other hand, if you have stored too many photos/documents on your iPhone, you may need up to a few hours to finish the backup process, even if you have a faster connection.
Conclusively, it may take anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours to back up your iPhone to iCloud. Also, you should keep in mind that the first backup takes more time than the subsequent ones. Because iCloud uses the incremental backup method, it would update only the recent changes in the later backups.
How to Turn on iCloud Backup?
If you are new to iPhone and iOS, you may not know how to turn on iCloud backup. In some cases, this comes in a pre-enabled state, but, in others, it does not. So, you should know how you can turn on iCloud backup. Like most things in iOS, this process is simple.
- Open Settings and click on the banner that shows your name and photo.
- In the upcoming screen, scroll down and pick the iPhone you want to turn on iCloud backup.
- You should be able to see the summary of your device. From the options on the menu, you will have to choose iCloud Backup.
- Now, make sure that the switch for iCloud Backup is turned on. If it’s not, you can turn it on.
Voila, you have successfully turned on the iCloud backup for your iPhone. As you can see, you can either wait till the automatic iCloud backup cycle or choose to back up regularly. Usually, though, the backup occurs when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network and charging.
Here’s the catch, though. When you sign up for iCloud, Apple gives you 5GB of free storage. If you take a lot of photos, though, this is a meager figure. In that case, you can purchase extra storage from Apple by paying $0.99 per month (for 50GB) or higher.
Why Is iCloud Backup Taking So Long?
You may find that your iPhone/iPad is taking too much time to perform data backups. This may happen due to a variety of reasons. Some of them are:
- You are trying to back up a vast amount of data to the iCloud. This may happen because you selected data from so many apps as the source of backup. For instance, if you have enabled iCloud backup for Books and have a few GBs of eBooks on the app, the backup size would be bigger.
- The second culprit could be your internet connection. If your Wi-Fi connection does not have a good upload speed, iCloud backups will take time. So that you know, some connections put a cap on upload speed even when giving you good downlink speeds.
- Some internal issues with your iPhone may also cause the iCloud backups to become slower. In this case, you will have to fix the problem by probably connecting your device to iTunes. You may also make use of some third-party backup solutions for iOS.
Based on these points, you can try a few methods to solve the iCloud backup taking so long problem.
Method 1. Check the Connection
First, you should check the speed of your Wi-Fi connection. At least during the first backup from the device, you should have a faster internet connection with good upload speeds. You should also check if your ISP has put some restrictions on using extra bandwidth during night-time.
Also, you have to make sure that you don’t disable Wi-Fi on your iPhone when you put it for charging. As we said, the backup would work only when Wi-Fi and power are connected to the device. Similarly, you’ve to keep the Wi-Fi network active all the time.
Method 2. Choose what You Backup
iOS gives you an option to control what you back up. That is, you can control which apps’ data are stored in an iCloud backup. To do this,
Step 1. Open Settings and tap on your Name and Photo.
Step 2. Choose iCloud from the upcoming menu.
Step 3. Tap on the Manage Storage button.
Step 4. On the next screen, you have to pick Backups.
Step 5. From the list of devices, choose your iPhone.
Step 6. You can now see a summary of the backup and the data you have selected for backup.
You can make the iOS show all the applications and disable whichever one you want. Ensure that you’ve not selected any app that contributes so much to the backup’s size. When you unselect an app, iCloud would turn off the backup and delete existing backup data from the cloud.
That’s how you control the backup file size, which will determine how long should it take to backup iPhone to iCloud.
You can improve the speed of your iCloud backup using these two methods. If these methods don’t help you with the problem, your iPhone may have some internal issues. In this case, you have to contact the official support channels from Apple/iCloud.
Bonus Tip: Best Way to Back up iPhone
As you can see, iCloud is not the best way to back up data from your iPhone. The process consumes a vast amount of time and gives you little options for customization. However, as we said, you can use third-party solutions to back up your data from iPhones. Here, we’d like to recommend one: Tenorshare iCareFone.
Tenorshare iCareFone is an all-in-one data management software for iOS devices. Unlike iCloud and iTunes, it offers you the power of flexibility. For instance, you can quickly transfer, delete, add, and de-duplicate backup data such as contacts, call logs, music, videos, books, etc.
Selective transfer and one-click syncing are worth-having features as well. It even goes to the extent of data backup for apps like WhatsApp and uncommon file formats. Also, since Tenorshare iCareFone uses USB for connection, the entire backup process won’t take long.
Long story short, Tenorshare iCareFone is the easiest and control-friendly way to back up iPhone data. You should also keep in mind that you don’t have to keep paying Apple for extra storage. As long as you’ve free space on your computer, you are good to go. Read Tenorshare iCareFone Review here.
The Bottom Line
We hope you understood how long does it take for iCloud to backup and how you can improve the speeds. Even if the methods we have given fail, you have a better option like Tenorshare iCareFone. Having said so, we think a good internet connection and proper selection of backup data can make things easier than ever.