How to Enable Automatic iCloud Backups

Let your iPhone, iPad, or iOS device backup for you.
1 minute

When it comes to backing up your iPhone, I always recommend automatic backups. They are the most convenient backup option available to iPhone, iOS, and iPad users, they take zero of the user's time or effort, and they ensure you have daily, relevant backups.

The truth is: humans are busy and forget. So, manual backups using iTunes and a PC or Mac become time-consuming or inconvenient. Also, you always run the risk of losing that backup if your computer is damaged, stolen, or has a major technical issue. Also, manual backups to iCloud seem pretty silly when you consider that they take several hours and can be done, instead, while you are sleeping.

In this guide, I show you how to enable automatic backups on your iOS it iPadOS devices. While the automatic backup process takes none of your time or energy, there are a few things to keep in mind before going forward:

  1. Make sure you have enough iCloud storage space on your product. You need to have enough room for the data taking up storage space on your iPhone or iOS product.
  2. Make sure you are signed in to iCloud by going to settings > your name. If there is no prompt to sign in, and you see your name, you are good to go!

Now, let's get started.

Note: Macs do not backup to iCloud. While they can sync certain data, they do not perform full backups to iCloud. So, I would recommend using Time Machine, which is also an automatic process.

iPhone 11 (256GB + Green)iPhone 11 (256GB + Green) ×1

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Open Settings

Open the Settings app. This can often be found in the utilities folder on your home screen.

Click Your Name

Click on your name at the very top of the settings page.

Click "iCloud"

Click "iCloud" so that we can view your iCloud features and settings.

Click "iCloud Backup"

Scroll down, then click "iCloud backup." You will notice it will say "on" or "off" to the right. If yours is already on, you may already be backing up and didn't even realize it! If that's the case, skip to step six in this guide.

Otherwise, continue with step five, so we can turn this feature on.

Turn On iCloud Backup

Turn on iCloud backup by clicking the toggle to the right of "iCloud backup." In the middle of the screen, you will be "turning on backup" briefly.

Check Last Successful Backups

Now that your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS product is backing up automatically, it's good to check every once in a while that your backups are completing. To do this, you will follow the steps below:

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click your name.
  3. Select "iCloud."
  4. Click "iCloud backup."
  5. Look under "backup now." There will be gray text telling you when the last completed backup was.

Backups are down every 24 hours (only once), while the device is plugged into the charger, on the lock screen, and connected to Wi-Fi. If these things do not occur at the same time, your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS product will not backup.

However, if your iPhone goes too long without being backed up, your iPhone will alert you on the main settings page right under your name, and it may even provide a notification or pop-up alerting you to why your product isn't backing up. Don't neglect the notifications. If you follow their instructions, they will ensure you don't go without consistent backups.

Upgrade your Mac for Apple's latest software!
2 hours

Mac users are often intimidated by large upgrades, scared that they might lose data or end up dealing with installation errors that take up more time and energy than they anticipated, but the truth about upgrading is that it's actually relatively simple and easy. Even though upgrading your Mac can be intimidating, it's really about following the steps and waiting it out. Yes, it takes some time to upgrade your Mac, but you aren't obligated to sit and stare at your Mac's progress during that time. Actually, it is better to go through the steps and let your Mac upgrade seamlessly on its own as it's designed to. In fact, most upgrade errors that occur are actually caused by user error, when users get impatient with the speeds of the upgrade process or try to use it while the upgrade is downloading and before the steps are complete. Before upgrading, it is important to follow a few steps to simplify the process and avoid complications. Before upgrading: Set aside the time to upgrade- As I mentioned above, expect to be near your computer, even if you are just in the other room watching television or cooking dinner. Don't try to upgrade when you only have an hour until work, or will not be near your computer to finish the job! Check your storage- Your Mac needs to have plenty of space to accommodate the upgrade. Before beginning, check your Mac's storage to make sure it has enough space. Generally, an upgrade is around 13 GB, but your Mac also needs space to do all that it does in a day. So, avoid upgrading unless you have at least 20 GB of free space on your Mac. If you don't, consider clearing up some space. Consider your internet and location- What you are about to do requires a flat surface that will not absorb heat and that is close to your router. Don't upgrade your Mac on your bed. Find a flat surface that will allow the needed ventilation. Also, If you are far from your router, move closer. If there is a fridge, microwave, and other possible causes of Wi-Fi interference, change your Mac's location, so that you are getting the best internet speeds possible. If able, I recommend using an Ethernet cord so that you have the fastest speeds possible instead of Wi-Fi, though if you have good Wi-Fi and are within the range needed with your internet plan, don't worry about connecting directly to the router! Back up your Mac- Make sure all your data is safe and sound, and follow along with me as I upgrade from MacOS Big Sur to MacOS Monterey. While date loss when upgrading isn't incredibly common, it can and does happen. So, backup your data. Don't skip this step before following along! Plug in your Mac- If you don't plug in your Mac, you won't be able to upgrade (depending on which MacOS you currently have). The software will otherwise automatically prompt you to plug in your Mac. To make your life easier, you can also set up automatic updates. Now, let's get started! Follow along with me as I upgrade from MacOS Big Sur to MacOS Monterey! Note: Some of these steps may vary depending on the version of MacOS you have and are upgrading to.