What is iCloud?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “what is iCloud”? You’re in the right place. iCloud is Apple’s storage solution for all your data. While securing your data with 128-bit AES end-to-end encryption, iCloud currently stores over 8 million TB of iCloud Data, according to Apple’s reports.

With all that stored data, you’d like to think that all your iPhone data is on there, too – but what happens if it isn’t? Here’s everything you need to know about your iCloud backups.

What Happened To My iCloud Backup?

Did you accidentally delete your iCloud backup? Don’t worry, iCloud.com stores your deleted files for 30 days.  You can recover files from the recently deleted folder in your iCloud Drive or using the restore files functionality under the data recovery section of iCloud.com. You will need a backup copy of the files to restore permanently deleted files. If you permanently deleted the backup itself, you’ll have to contact a professional data recovery service to see what can be done. 

Did You Ever Test Your iCloud Backup?

On average, one person creates 146,880MB, or 146.88GB, of data every day. With the 5 gigabyte limit imposed on iCloud free plans, it’s possible that your backup never existed in the first place. Check the status of your backup by going to your Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup. For advanced users who are truly dedicated to employing data storage best practices you can even do a test run of what it’s like restoring the files on your iPhone from your latest backup. Fair warning, if you iCloud backup looks anything like the screenshots included below (where a phone with 100+ GB of storage has a 2.6 GB backup), you have not configured iCloud backups correctly, and doing a test run is likely to result in permanent data loss.

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Is There A Limit On Free iCloud Storage?

Yes, there is a limit to the amount of free storage you  get on iCloud. When you sign up, you automatically get 5GB of Free storage. iCloud seamlessly integrates with all Apple products, so you can access all your data so long as you sign in with the same Apple ID. iCloud also allows you to choose which apps and features you’d want with backup privileges.

How Much iCloud Storage is Free?

When you sign up, you automatically get 5GB of free storage on iCloud. This could store backup data, files, e-mail, and photos. With such an extensive list of data sources, this 5GB free allocation will easily fill up.

To figure out how much storage you’re currently using, go to Settings > [Your Apple ID] > iCloud. You should see a chart detailing how much of your storage space you’ve used. 

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Apple provides three paid solutions to upgrade your storage: 50GB at $0.99 cents per month, 200GB at $2.99 per month, and 2TB at $9.99 per month.

How Much Storage do iPhones Have?

Like any lasting series of tech products, iPhone storage capacities have evolved over the years. While the original iPhone shipped with 4, 8, or 16 GB of storage, the iPhone 14 Pro came out with 4 different storage options: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB. For the average user, it is recommended that you go with either the 256 GB or 512 GB option. It would be somewhat shortsighted to purchase this device with 128 GB, that is, unless you intend to make use of one of the paid iCloud storage plans *and* you will also be committed to configuring the iCloud subscription with to regularly back up your device.

JB Larson
JB Larson

JB Larson is technologist passionate about researching data storage devices, educating clients about technology, and playing the piano when he's not working.

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