How Long Does iCloud Backup Take

Wondering how long does it take to backup an iPhone to iCloud? In this guide, we will explain you the reasons why is iCloud backup taking so long and offer you an alternative way to backup iPhone.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Nov. 10, 2020

Question: “How long does iCloud backup take? Mine is taking forever and I just wanted to know how long did it take for you?”

— A User from Yahoo Answers

iOS 14.2 was released on November 5, 2020. This version includes bug fixes and improvements after iOS 14/14.1. Before you update the operating system to a new version, the backup must be an indispensable step to protect your data security. In general, iTunes allows you to backup your iPhone to computer and keeps the backup files locally. Instead, iCloud backs up your iPhone to the cloud, you can easily set up a new device or restore information on one you already have.

However, backing up via iCloud can be painful especially for first-time users, and many users cannot complete the backup for some unknown reasons. Here, we will explain to you how long it takes to back up your iPhone to iCloud and why sometimes it takes so long to complete the backup. Also, there is a perfect alternative way to back up iPhone.

How Long Does iCloud Backup Take

It depends on your data amount, iPhone condition, and Wi-Fi condition. Overall, it may take 30 mins to 2 hours to backup your iPhone for the first time.

Let’s get started to figure out how the three factors influence the iCloud backup time: 

  1. Data Amount: The time it takes to back up for the first time depends on the file size being backed up (you can find this from your back up settings). For example, if you have 3000 photos, hundreds of videos or recordings, it absolutely could take 1 or 2 hours or even more time to have a copy of those contents.
  2. iPhone Condition: Sometimes, people realized they need to back up when they got a message that can’t take photos anymore. iPhone reminds them of full storage. If your iPhone storage is nearly full, it means that its performance is getting worse. Then iCloud backup will take longer.
  3. Wi-Fi Condition: iCloud backup depends on your Wi-Fi speed. A faster speed can significantly reduce backup time. For example, if the upload speed is around 1 Mbps so 1 GB may take around 2 hrs to upload.

Therefore, for the question “how long does it take to backup your iPhone to iCloud”, the answer is, there are no concrete answers considering unsure and various circumstances. But generally speaking, if you have a good backup habit. For example, if you back up at least once a week after you got a new iPhone, it should run for about 7-10 minutes every time.

What Does iCloud Back Up:

  • Photos and videos in your Camera Roll
  • Device settings
  • App data
  • Home screen and app organization
  • iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemail

How to Turn on iCloud Backup

  1. Connect your iOS device to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Backup.
  3. Turn on iCloud Backup if it isn’t already turned on.
  4. Make sure you are on a WiFi connection and tap Back Up Now.
  5. Check your backup by tapping Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and then tap your device. You should see your latest backup listed.
How to Turn On iCloud Backup

How to Turn On iCloud Backup

To let iCloud automatically back up your device each day: 1. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on. 2. Connect your device to a power source and a stable Wi-Fi network. 3. Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup.

Why is iCloud Backup Taking So Long

As we mentioned, the backup time of iCloud mainly depends on two reasons: the backup size and the Wi-Fi speed. So if you have a fairly full device, say 64GB of stuff, then the first backup will take a very long time. And if the Internet connection is unstable or slow, the time to back up your iPhone to iCloud will be relatively slow.

So if you find your iCloud backup taking forever, and you are sure that your Wi-Fi and iCloud storage space are all valid, just wait with patience.

What to do When iCloud Backup Takes So Long – An Easier Way to Backup iPhone

Since iCloud and iTunes consume both time and labor, many iPhone users are seeking other easier and quicker solutions to complete the job. And AnyTrans, a professional iPhone data manager, has been highly recommended by lots of iOS users. Below are its features on backing up iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

  • One-click/Selectively backup. Backup your iPhone to the computer in readable formats, including photos, videos, music, ringtones, contacts, books, voice memos, etc.
  • Air/Incremental Backup. It backs up iPhone for you automatically, wirelessly, and silently as scheduled – daily, weekly, monthly. And you can back up for only changed or added data since the previous backup, it largely saves the backup time and disk space.
  • Restore Backup to iPhone. Unlike restoring from iCloud or iTunes, there’s no need to erase anything on your iPhone.
  • Manage iCloud Data. It allows you to download photos, contacts, etc. from iCloud, upload data to it, or delete iCloud data.

So, if your iCloud storage is not enough to back up or you’re seeking an quicker way, you can free Download AnyTrans on your computer, then follow the steps below to backup your iPhone easily.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

1. One-click or Selectively Transfer iPhone Data to Computer

Step 1. Launch AnyTrans > Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable > Choose “Device Manager” > Click on “Content to Mac/PC” button to continue.

Click Content to PC Under Device Manager

Click Content to PC Under Device Manager

Step 2. Select All or check the file categories you want to backup > Choose the export path > Click the Next button to back up the selected files to your computer.

Select All Photos to Transfer

Select All Photos to Transfer

Further Reading: How to View iPhone Data and Choose to Sync with Computer >

2. Enable Air Backup or Incremental Backup for iPhone

If you want to back up the device periodically, with AnyTrans, you are able to fully/incrementally/wirelessly back up the device data. If you are tired of creating backups from time to time, then the Backup Manager of AnyTrans will do you a great favor.

iPhone Backup Extractor & Manager - AnyTrans

iPhone Backup Extractor & Manager – AnyTrans

Through our survey, over 79% of iPhone users rely on iPhone / iTunes / iCloud to store their important personal data. In order to help you extract useful photos, messages, notes and more from your backup, we composed this iPhone Backup Extractor Software Review for your reference.

iOS 14 is available now, and if you want to get the new iOS, don’t forget to backup your iPhone via iCloud, iTunes or some iTunes alternative tool like AnyTrans. To ensure you a worry-free update, please check out if you can’t download iOS 14 or iOS update is not showing up.

The Bottom Line

If you want to view the backup files on iCloud, please refer to several ways to access iCloud backup. If you have any ideas on why it takes so long to back up the iPhone to iCloud, please share it with us in the comment section. At the same time, don’t forget to have a free trial on AnyTrans.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.