How to: Fine-tune iCloud back­ups


1 Delete old back­ups

In the iCloud pane of Sys­tem Pref­er­ences, click Man­age and then Back­ups. Your iCloud back­ups will be listed. If you no longer need one, you can se­lect and delete it to free up space. How­ever, it’s smart to back up the rel­e­vant de­vice to iTunes first…

2 Back up to iTunes

Con­nect your de­vice to your Mac via USB (un­less you’ve pre­vi­ously en­abled Wi-Fi sync). Se­lect the de­vice in the tool­bar un­der the play­back con­trols, and then se­lect Sum­mary from the side­bar. Click Back Up Now to cre­ate a lo­cal backup on your Mac.

3 View on iOS

On your de­vice, open the Set­tings app, and go to Gen­eral > Stor­age & iCloud Us­age. Tap Man­age Stor­age un­der the iCloud head­ing. You’ll see your cur­rent plan, along with the same backup de­tails dis­played in the pre­vi­ous step when us­ing your Mac. 4 Ex­plore a backup

5 Tog­gle backup switches

On iOS, you can hand­ily delve into the cur­rent de­vice’s backup by tap­ping it. Un­der ‘Choose data to back up’, the data be­ing backed up is listed by app. Note that fully dis­play­ing this and the Next Backup Size value can take a minute or so. Tap Show All Apps and every­thing that’s be­ing backed up can be viewed. You can use the switches to turn iCloud backup on and off for spe­cific apps. In most cases, the val­ues won’t make much dif­fer­ence, but some apps re­quire hun­dreds of GB or more.

6 Keep data safe

If you de­cide to turn off iCloud backup for some apps, keep your data safe in other ways. With Photo Li­brary, use Photos for Mac to pe­ri­od­i­cally save new photos and videos. Else­where, iTunes File Shar­ing may en­able you to save files from other apps.

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