How to Delete iCloud Backups on Computer and iOS Devices

If you are running out of memory space in your iCloud account, removing your backups is a good idea to make some space. Here we show how to delete iCloud backups on your iPhone, iPad, Windows, and Mac machines.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Jun. 03, 2020

iCloud is an excellent service to store your files from your Apple devices. If you are an iPhone or iPad user, it is likely you use iCloud to store your device backups. Apple lets you easily and quickly create iCloud backups on your iOS devices and so most users prefer to use it as their cloud backup storage provider.

Sometimes, though, you may need to remove your backups from iCloud. There are many reasons you may want to do it but the main one is that you do not have enough space available in your iCloud. If you need space to store your other files, you can get rid of your iCloud backup and that will free-up a significant amount of space in your iCloud account.

The following covers how to delete iCloud backups on various devices.

Part 1. What is in an iCloud Backup

Before you go ahead with the iCloud delete procedure, it is a good idea to learn what an iCloud backup usually contains. Many users may think it can only contain your photos and videos, however, that is not the case.

An iCloud backup could contain a variety of files from your iOS-based devices and this includes the following.

  • The data of the apps you have installed on your device
  • Your Apple Watch backups
  • Settings of your device
  • Your home screen and app layouts
  • Your messages including iMessage, SMS, and MMS
  • Photos and videos
  • Your purchase history
  • Your ringtones
  • Your visual voicemail password

When you create an iCloud backup on your iPhone or iPad, it is stored on Apple’s cloud servers. You can access these backups on your phones by logging-in to your iCloud account.

Also Read: How to Retrieve Data from iCloud (Backup) for iPhone >

Part 2. Delete iCloud Backup on iPhone/iPad

If you have decided to delete the iCloud backups, you can do the task right from your iPhone or iPad. Your phone itself allows you to get rid of the backups from your iCloud account.

You must make sure you are connected to the Internet to delete your backups. Also, keep in mind this will not erase the existing data on your iPhone or iPad. The local data on your device will remain intact.

The following are the steps for how to delete an iCloud backup on your iPhone.

Step 1. Launch the Settings app from the springboard on your device.

Step 2. Tap on your name banner at the top and select iCloud on the screen that follows. It will open your iCloud account menu.

iCloud menu on the iPhone

iCloud menu on the iPhone

Step 3. On the following screen, tap on the option that says Manage Storage right beneath the storage chart to access your account storage. That is where your backups are saved.

Manage iCloud storage on the iPhone

Manage iCloud storage on the iPhone

Step 4. Find the option that says Backup on the screen that follows and tap on it. It will open the menu for your iCloud backups.

Access iCloud backups on the iPhone

Access iCloud backups on the iPhone

Step 5. Choose the iPhone you want to delete the backup for and tap on Delete Backup on the following screen.

Delete iCloud backups on the iPhone

Delete iCloud backups on the iPhone

Step 6. Tap on Turn Off & Delete to delete your backup and disable future iCloud backups.

Your chosen backup should now be deleted from your iCloud account.

Part 3. Delete iCloud Backup on Computer (PC/Mac)

You do not necessarily need your device to delete your iCloud backups. Now with the availability of iCloud for Windows and Mac machines, you can use your desktop computer to get access to and delete iCloud backups from your account.

The procedure works on both platforms and you can easily and quickly get rid of your iCloud backups from your account.

Delete iCloud Backup on a Windows PC

If you are a Windows PC user, you will need to first download an app to your computer before you can access and delete your backups. It is a free app by Apple and it gives you access to all the content in your iCloud account on your Windows computer.

The following is how you delete an iCloud backup on a Windows computer.

Step 1. Head over to the iCloud for Windows site and download and install the app on your computer.

Step 2. Launch the app and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your iCloud account with the app on your Windows PC.

Configure the iCloud app on your PC

Configure the iCloud app on your PC

Step 3. Once the app is all configured, click on the option that says Storage to view your storage settings.

Step 4. Select the option that says Backup and then choose the backup you want to remove from your iCloud account. Then, hit the button that says Delete to delete the selected backup.

Your chosen iCloud backup will be removed from your account. You should see some more free memory space in your iCloud account.

Delete iCloud Backup on a Mac

If you are a Mac user, you do not need to install the iCloud app on your machine. It is because iCloud comes well integrated with macOS and all you need to do is access it to remove your backups.

You need to make sure you are using the same iCloud account on your Mac that you use on your iPhone. If it is a different one, log-in to the same account and then follow the following steps to delete an iCloud backup on a Mac.

Step 1. choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Apple ID, then select iCloud in the sidebar.

Step 2. Your iCloud storage will be displayed at the bottom. Click “Manage” to check and manage your iCloud content.

Step 3. Select Backups from the left sidebar, choose the backup you want to delete and click on Delete.

Manage iCloud storage on the Mac

Manage iCloud storage on the Mac Image Credit: Apple.com

It will remove the selected backup from your iCloud account.

The Bottom Line

It is worth learning how to delete iCloud backups so you can delete your backups when you need more free space in your iCloud account. Our guide above shows how you can do the task on your iOS, Windows, and Mac devices. We hope it helps you out.

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.