iCloud is a cloud service from Apple which automatically and seamlessly backs up your iPhone, iPod and iPad data to the Apple Data Center. Not only does it backup your data, it also syncs one iDevice’s data with all your other iDevices including Photos, music, videos and even your app purchases! Isn’t that awesome? It is really awesome and one of the feature we always wanted to have. Though it is magical, but it is not free! Yes, Apple offers you 5 GB of free space with your iCloud Account, but this is just not enough to take continuous backups for long resulting in either stopping you from taking further backups or forcing you to buy more space – which is not free.
But fear not, as always, your “iFriend” is here with a few great tips you might have not known to help you manage your iCloud efficiently and save more space. All of you might be aware of a few common things you can do to get some MB back from your almost filled up iCloud like deleting emails with huge attachments and deleting large documents, but there is more to this: You can also remove old backups from the devices that you don’t need or own any more and you can control what gets backed up to your iCloud account. Say for instance, your contacts are really important but might be you don’t want to sync your camera roll, you can configure that, which really saves a lot of space. Let’s understand everything in detail after the following jump.
Delete Old iCloud Backups
So you have used a lot of iDevices in past which in present either you have lost, sold, upgraded or replaced? or Do you sync your current device regularly with iCloud? If all these devices were/are linked with your current Apple account, then they shared the same 5 GB space you get free with your account. One thumb rule to save disk space is – keep maximum of last two latest backups. This pumps in fresh air to your iCloud account almost instantly because older backups are huge memory monsters. Just follow these steps:
- Launch Settings App
- Tap on iCloud
- Scroll to bottom and Tap on Storage and Backup
- Tap on Manage Storage
- Under Backups you’ll find all your backups from different devices.
6) Tap on the Backup you think is quite old or from the device which you don’t use now or you simply want to remove.
7) You’ll find the date for reference. To remove Tap on Delete Backup
8) Tap on Turn off and Delete, which will not only remove the backup from iCloud but will also turn off automatic backups from that device.
Done, you have successfully cleaned a lot of space 🙂
Manage what get’s backed up by iCloud
As we discussed already, some things are not important as others and can be ignored in terms of taking Backup. I don’t know if you are aware of a great feature that came as part of iOS 5 or not, but it’s super useful in saving your disk space. I am talking about “Photo Stream”! You might not be a photographer by heart but you still love to take your portable camera everywhere and take photos when possible, We all do that with our iPhones or iPod touch. But did you know all your photos also get’s backed up, this hurts when each photo averages to almost a MB. See it this way – if you have 500 photos (which is an obvious number) taken with your iPhone and live in your camera roll, you are eating up 500 MB of your iCloud account. But instead of backing up all these 500 or more photos to your iCloud, better use Photostream: which copies all your photos instantly to all other iDevices owned by you! This not only backups the photos to an external source, but if you have 3 iDevices viz an iPhone, an iPod and an iPad then you have 3 copies of same photo – far better than 1 backup 😉
Again it’s easy to do, just follow these steps:
1) Tap Settings App
2) Tap iCloud
3) Scroll down to bottom and click Storage and Backup
4) Tap Manage Storage
5) A list of all devices linked with your iCloud account will be displayed, Tap the one for which you want to manage
6) You will be presented with a list of Apps being backed up. Only those Apps will be shown which occupy largest space in descending order, to see all Apps just Tap on ‘Show All Apps‘.
7) Switch toggle to off for all those Apps which you think are not important to you including your Camera Roll.
Done, you have saved a lot of space till now!
We have saved a good amount of space till now but I’ll give you a bonus tip to save some money as well, if you have already spent some on buying more space.
Apple charges you on yearly basis if you buy extra space from them, so you can not get that money back! But for sure you can save it on your next bill cycle.. how? After reading this article and following the steps above, you should be able to save a lot of space, if you do and you think now you can keep up your disk usage below 5 GB then you can downgrade your disk space plan back to free 5 GB one.
1) Go back to Storage and Backup
2) Tap on “Buy More Storage”
3) Scroll down to bottom and tap on Downgrade Options
4) Choose your Free Plan with 5 GB space or at least downgrade to a cheaper plan if you are on a plan offering more than 10 GB.
Downgrade will not take effect instantly, but after completion of your 1 year bill cycle.
I know what you are thinking now, why did I not write this post before you purchased extra space. But it’s never too late 🙂 From now on perform regular backup clean up and keep coming to Techbu for more great iDevice articles.
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