How to Turn Off iCloud Backup on iPhone or iPad


Maybe you’ve run out of storage space in iCloud and are tired of getting the notification that a new backup can’t be created. Maybe you’re worried that your iCloud account has been hacked. Or you may only be operating on a data plan and you don’t want to incur the charges. No matter what your reason is, if you need to turn off your iCloud backup Apple makes it fairly easy to do.

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Steps to Turn Off iCloud Backup on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the “Settings” app, and then tap your name at the top of the menu.
  2. Tap “iCloud.”
  1. Scroll down this screen and then tap “iCloud Backup.”
  1. Tap the toggle next to “iCloud Backup” to turn it off. Any previous iCloud backups will still exist, but no new iPhone or iPad iCloud backups will be created.

Reasons to Turn Off iCloud Backup on iPhone or iPad

1. Storage Limits

Apple’s iCloud offers 5GB free storage. But this limit can be quickly exhausted, especially when backing up high-volume data like photos and videos. It can be even more challenging when you’re syncing multiple devices. Turning off iCloud backups can be a practical step towards managing this storage crunch. Even though this move compromises automatic backups, it ensures that the precious iCloud storage isn’t consumed by large backup files.

2. Cost Implications

Every additional chunk of iCloud storage space comes with a recurring cost. These fees, paid monthly, can add up over time, especially for users who need extensive storage. For some, the cost may be prohibitive. Turning off iCloud backups could be a cost-saving measure in such cases. However, it is important to remember that without a backup, recovering data in case of device failure or loss can be quite difficult.

3. Privacy Concerns

Data security is a major concern in the digital age. iCloud stores data in the cloud, and despite Apple’s strong encryption, some people may still have concerns. They might be uncomfortable with personal data stored off-device, even if it is secure. Turning off iCloud backups can offer these privacy-conscious users peace of mind. It’s a way to retain complete control over personal data, avoiding potential data breaches that could occur in the cloud.

4. Using Another Backup Method

For some users, alternative backup methods may be more appealing. This can include local backups via Finder (previously iTunes) or third-party cloud backup solutions. In these situations, iCloud backups may be unnecessary and can be disabled. This reduces redundancy and saves iCloud storage space for other uses. Note that using other backup methods should always provide reliable data recovery in case of loss.

5. Data Usage

iCloud backups can consume a significant chunk of your data plan. For those on restricted or costly data plans, this could lead to excessive data usage, potentially resulting in additional charges. Turning off iCloud backups can be a simple way to manage data usage more efficiently. However, users need to be aware that this action could jeopardize data recovery if there’s no alternative backup plan in place.

6. Speed Considerations

A slow internet connection can cause iCloud backups to take a considerable amount of time. This process can also bog down other online activities, causing frustration. Turning off iCloud backups can mitigate these issues, speeding up other online tasks. However, users need to remember that other backup methods should be employed to ensure data safety.

7. Limited Control Over Individual Backups

iCloud’s backup mechanism is comprehensive but offers limited control over what data is backed up. Users may desire more granular control over the backup process, such as choosing individual apps or data types. Disabling iCloud backups can allow for this level of control using alternative backup options. Still, it’s crucial to ensure these alternatives provide a reliable solution for data recovery.

8. Device Performance

In rare cases, iCloud backups could potentially impact device performance. If a user experiences persistent device issues and has ruled out other causes, disabling iCloud backups could be worth considering. However, it’s vital to recognize the importance of backups for data protection, and an alternative backup method should be sought.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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