October 2012 – Tip of the Month

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories

Selective iCloud backup of your iOS devices and data.

The below tip is demonstrated on an iPhone but will work all iOS devices.


You have a current back up of your iOS device correct?

Well if you dont, then you really should!!

Not only is a backup of your iOS device the only way to recover information and application data that lives solitarily on that device but it’s actually very easy to set up. Furthermore, thanks to Apple’s iCloud, you don’t have to connect directly to a computer to do it either however its probably not necessary to have everything backed up in the cloud.

Following the steps below not only will you be able to manage what does and does not get backed up on the device you’re on but get an idea what other devices are taking also. You can manage them too but only directly on that device.

If you dont have an iCloud account, then click here learn how to set one up…


You can do this all on your device either when you first set it up or when convenient.

To enable iCloud tap Settings, the iCloud and enter your Apple ID.

From here the first thing to do is to check what services are enabled for iCloud eg Mail, Contacts, Calendars etc. It is preference have this data backed up somewhere. If you’re using IMAP or a similar mail service then your Mail is safe on the mail server. POP is not one of these safe options.

You may even sync your contacts with your Mac, in which case they’re on the two devices, however a cloud based option for such data is the preference again.

However, particular Application data such as your Angry Birds high score, or more important data such as notes and memos aren’t brought up to the cloud until one turns on the back up as per the below instructions.

On your iOS device go to Settings, then iCloud, scroll down and select Storage and Backup.



From here you can see details on your account, manage your storage, and Enable or Disable the iCloud Backup.


After turning the iCloud Backup on, it may think for a while.

I ran into a wall with my first backup as, surprise surprise, my 5GB account wasn’t able to house all my phones data. If you want to have more storage then click the Change Storage Plan and explore the options.

If you get the above message, click on Settings or otherwise click on Manage Storage as shown below to see the list of devices on your iCloud account, their respective data usage and other such documents and data below that.


Clicking the Device brings you to the info screen for that device, confirms when the latest backup occurred and the Backup size. Below this is you where you can select which apps do and do not back up to iCloud and easily reduce the size of the overall backup.

Some judgement is required as to what not to include, for example I turned off Evernote and Dropbox as they are both online services and will sync with their respective servers to regain lost data. Likewise with Mail and Calendars- I’m using IMAP so all is well but if you are using POP you should backup.

My viewing history on the TED app? Who cares.

However photos, notes, and other misc application data (ie my Angry Birds high scores) all represent high value and not all that much sizable data so they remain on and secure in the cloud.


Your iOS device will then automatically backup this data and settings when it is plugged in, locked and connected to Wi-Fi.


You check the date of your latest backup when convenient within the Manage Storage page as demonstrated above.

For more info, read Apple’s iCloud set up guide for all devices.