From Long Beach to Pacific Palisades, I get clients tearing their hair out over messages on their iPhones and iPads stating their device “could not be backed up because there is not enough iCloud storage available.”

iCloud Not Enough Storage Message

They bought the phone with the most memory… so what’s the problem?

What Is The Problem?iCloud App Icon

This message has nothing to do with the storage capacity of your iPhone or iPad. 16, 32, 64 or 128GB… it doesn’t matter.

This is about the amount of storage space you have available on the iCloud.

Apple give you 5GB of iCloud storage space free. Alas… if you need more you have to buy it.

What The Message Means

The message means 2 things:

  1. You have iCloud Backup turned on.
  2. The size of the backup exceeds your available iCloud storage space.

Lets look at each of these individually.

iCloud Backup Turned On

Turn iCloud Backup on or off as follows:

  • On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch tap Settings.
  • Tap iCloud.

iCloud Backup On The iPhone

  • Scroll down and tap Backup.
  • Toggle the switch to off or on.

Turning iCloud Backup On and Off On The iPhone

iCloud Backup is a service that backs up your device information, photos, videos, purchase history, app data, text, voicemail and health data.

Backup of your devices occurs over Wi-Fi every day when they are turned on, locked, and connected to a power source.

With device backups you only have 3 options:

  • iCloud Backup
  • Backup to A Mac – Plug your device directly into your Mac and backup using iTunes.
  • No Backup – If you don’t care about your device data. If so, turn iCloud Backup off.

iCloud Backup is the perfect way to safeguard data if you’re forgetful or don’t want to keep plugging your device into your Mac.

The only downside is that your device needs to be turned on, locked, connected to power and on a Wi-Fi network.

And of course… you need enough iCloud storage space to do it.

iCloud Storage Space

As mentioned above, Apple give you 5GB of iCloud storage space free.

In iOS8 to view and manage your iCloud space:

  • On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch tap Settings.
  • Tap iCloud.

Managing iCloud Storage on The iPhone

  • Tap Storage.
  • Tap Manage Storage.
  • Here, you’ll find a breakdown of all the Apps using iCloud storage. Your list will almost certainly include backups. The illustration below doesn’t show any backups, because I don’t backup to the iCloud.

iCloud Storage Detail On The iPhone

To delete any item including old backups you no longer need:

  • Tap the item.
  • Tap the Edit button in the top right-hand corner.
  • Tap the delete icon and then tap Delete.

Deleting iCloud Backup Data

You’ll probably find that with Mail and App data, the 5GB of storage from Apple disappears pretty fast.

If you don’t want to delete items, the solution is to buy more space.

Buying iCloud Storage Space

The good news is that since Apple released the new Photos App the price of iCloud storage has dropped dramatically.

  • 20GB is $.99 a month – $11.88 a year.
  • 200GB is $3.99 a month – $47.88 a year.
  • 500GB is $9.99 a month – $119.88 a year.
  • 1TB is $19.99 a month – $239.88 a year.

To upgrade or downgrade you iCloud storage plan:

  • On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch tap Settings.
  • Tap iCloud.
  • Tap Storage.
  • Tap Change Storage Plan

Changing iCloud Storage plan on the iPhone

What About iCloud Storage Space Used By My Mac?

Although your Mac cannot be backed up to the iCloud it may use iCloud storage space for Photos, Mail and App data.

To manage iCloud settings on your Mac:

  • Click the black Apple in the top left-hand corner and choose System Preferences.
  • Click iCloud.
  • Click the Manage… button in the bottom right-hand corner.
  • In this area you can view and manage the current space being used.
  • If you wish to change your plan, click the Buy More Storage… button in the top right-hand corner.

Managing iCloud Storage on The Macintosh

That’s it for this week.

If you’ve questions or comments, please leave them below.

Hope you found this useful. Have a great weekend.

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Live in Los Angeles County and need Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or Apple Watch support or personal training?

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