There's no doubt that storing backups in iCloud is useful, especially if your device is resetting for some reason. Backups ensure that you don't lose any important files such as documents, photos, apps, etc.
However, there are times when iCloud storage needs to be managed due to space issues, especially if you are on an iPhone's 5GB plan. Luckily, it's possible to delete old iCloud backups so that no unnecessary data clogs up your storage.
This article will walk you through the steps to delete iCloud backups on a range of devices.
How to Delete iCloud Backups from a Mac
If you have an Apple device, you will notice that iCloud backs up all of your device data on a daily basis. But only if your device is turned on and connected to a working Wi-Fi connection.
If your iCloud storage becomes too full, your Mac may suffer. This could significantly slow down your computer and lead to an unwanted crash.
To get rid of unwanted iCloud backups from your Mac, follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple menu by pressing the Apple icon in the left corner of the screen.
- Select "System Preferences".
- Access your Apple ID. Log in if you haven't already.
- Next, tap "Manage" in the lower right corner.
- Choose “Backups”.
- Choose the backup you want to delete, then select the "Delete" icon (it looks like a minus).
- Click "Delete" in the pop-up window that appears.
- Tap "Done". Repeat the steps to delete other backups.
How to Delete iCloud Backups from Windows PC
On a Windows PC, you can use the iCloud for Windows app to delete all unwanted backups. If you don't already have it installed, you can do so by visiting the Apple website or the Microsoft store.
Once you've downloaded iCloud to your Windows PC, here's how to get rid of some backups to free up space:
- On the taskbar, select the iCloud icon, then click "Open iCloud Settings".
- Next to the bar showing your amount of storage, tap the "Storage" button.
- Next, select "Backups" from the side tab that appears.
- In the list that appears, choose the backup you want to delete and press the "Delete" button.
- A confirmation pop-up window will appear. Click "Delete" again.
- Repeat the following steps to delete even more backups in your iCloud to free up space.
How to Delete iCloud Backups from iPhone
Apple's iCloud is the most widely used cloud service, with most people using it for music. As a result, many tend to manage their iCloud storage directly from their iPhone.
You can easily delete all unwanted backups on any of your devices through your iPhone settings.
- From your homepage, go to "Settings".
- Tap your Apple ID profile at the top of the page.
- On the next screen, select iCloud from the list of options.
- Under the iCloud storage indicator, tap "Manage Storage".
- Next, tap on “Backups”.
- Choose the backup you want to delete.
- Tap "Delete Backup".
- To confirm your action, choose "Disable and Delete" in the pop-up window that appears.
- Follow these steps again for any other backups you want to delete.
How to Delete iCloud Backups from iPad
iPads are great for storing data. They're small enough to use on the go, but big enough to see what you're looking at or typing clearly. If you've ever deleted iCloud backups on an iPhone, doing so on an iPad will be a walk in the park.
- Navigate to "Settings" from your home page.
- At the top of the page, select your Apple ID (your photo is next to it.)
- Under the storage bar, tap "Manage storage".
- From the list of options, choose "Backups".
- Find the backup you want to delete.
- Once you have selected the backup, tap "Delete Backup".
- Confirm your action in the pop-up window that appears.
- Repeat these steps to free up more space in your iCloud storage.
How do I check the contents of my iCloud storage?
From your iPhone or iPad:
1. Open "Settings" from your home page.
2. Tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen.
3. Select iCloud.
4. You will notice the storage bar highlighting how much storage you are using.
5. Below the graph, you will notice a list of apps and features with descriptions of how much storage they use next to them.
From your Mac:
1. Head to "System Preferences" in the Apple menu.
2. Click on your Apple ID, then on “iCloud”.
3. Select "Manage" to view your iCloud storage details.
From your Windows PC:
1. Open iCloud for Windows.
2. You will see the bar detailing the amount of storage used.
3. Select "Storage" for details on individual apps.
How to delete photos from your iPhone without deleting them from iCloud?
The easiest way to do this is to turn off your iCloud backup in your settings. Here's how:
1. From your iPhone, go to "Settings".
2. Tap your Apple ID located at the top of the page.
3. Select "iCloud" (it should be the first subtitle under your name).
4. Open "Pictures".
5. Turn off the toggle next to "iCloud Photos" so it's no longer green.
6. Your iCloud album will now be deleted from your iPhone.
What is the difference between iCloud storage and iCloud Drive?
iCloud Storage and iCloud Drive are cloud services offered by Apple. iCloud is a storage service used for various services, while iCloud Drive works more like Apple's answer to Dropbox.
Do you need to keep paying for iCloud storage?
Everyone gets 5GB of free iCloud storage when they start using the Cloud. For a small fee, it is possible to upgrade to 50 GB, 200 GB or 1 TB (1 terabyte equals 1 gigabytes). However, by regularly managing your storage, these upgrades will not be necessary.
How long does the information remain in iCloud if you cancel the backup?
If you turn off an iCloud backup on the device of your choice, your latest backup will be stored for up to 180 days.
Keeping iCloud backups means you're not tied to a single device. As long as you can log into your iCloud account, you will be able to access data from anywhere.
However, managing your storage is crucial. By deleting unnecessary backups, you have more space for the documents you want to keep. One of the best ways to manage storage is to make sure unwanted photos are deleted regularly.
We hope this article has helped you better understand how to delete unwanted backups from various iCloud-enabled devices.
Have you tried deleting an iCloud backup? If so, how did you find the process? Let us know in the comments below.