[Answered] How Many Backups does iCloud Keep?

After using iCloud for some time, you may wonder how many backups iCloud keep. This guide will give you answer, as well as everything you concern about iCloud backup.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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How many backups does iCloud keep for iPhones?

I’ve noticed that after restoring or erasing an iPhone and setting it up, you’re offered backups to restore from iCloud. How many and how old are these backups supposed to be? I couldn’t find any articles explaining this.

- Question from  Apple Community

Have you enabled iCloud on your iOS devices to backup your data and important document? Apple provides this service for you to automatically backup your devices as long as they are connected to Wi-Fi, turned on, locked, and connected to a power source.

iCLoud Logo

When you enjoy the service, you may have kinds of concerns about it. For example, how many backups does iCloud keep? Hopefully, this guide can give you the answer.

Part 1. How many backups does iCloud keep?

Generally speaking, the iCloud on your device saves only the recent backup because it is an incremental backup. That’s to say it can keep only one backup at a time. And when you backup the device with iCloud next time, your device merges the previous backup with the current one.

However, it is reported that some users have at most 3 iCloud backups of the same device. You can access iCloud backup on your iOS devices by going to the Settings app > Tap your profile > Choose iCloud > Tap Manage Storage. Your iCloud backup should be listed under the BACKUPS.

Access iCloud Backup On iPhone

Part 2. Top 5 FAQs about iCloud

Besides the question - how many backups does iCloud keep on your iPhone or any other Apple device, there may be other questions you’d like to know their answers, too. In this part, the top 5 frequently asked questions about iCloud are answered for you.

Q 1. How long does iCloud backup take?

How long iCloud backup takes depends on three main aspects. They are data amount, Wi-Fi condition, and iPhone conditions. It may take 1 or 2 hours or even days to backup the device with iCloud for the first time if the device has been used for some time. While for the daily backup, iCloud can finish the task within 7-10 minutes.

iCloud Backup

Q 2. Does iCloud backup overwrite previous backups?

Yes, but not exactly. Since you have known how many backups iCloud stored, as mentioned in Part 1, iCloud serves as an incremental backup, which means you will have and only have the latest backup and you cannot downgrade.

Chances are that there may be old backups from other devices on iCloud that are using up iCloud storage space. If necessary, turn to Q 3 to learn about how to delete old backups on iCloud.

Q 3. How can you view iCloud backups?

Although you cannot view the detailed iCloud backups on iOS devices, you can seek help from iCloud for Windows client. With the iCloud for Windows, you can download photos, emails, contacts, etc. to a PC and browse the backups on it. Follow the steps to make it.

Step 1. Download and install iCloud for Windows on your computer > Sign in with your iCloud ID.

Step 2. Choose the types of files you want to view > Click Apply. You can go to Outlook to view Mails, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks.

Step 3. To view photos, right-click the iCloud icon from the taskbar > Click download photos.

Step 4. Press Window Key and E at the same time to locate iCloud Photos > Click Download to view photos that are backed up in iCloud.

iCloud Windows

Q 4. How can you delete old backups on iCloud?

If you are a big fan of Apple devices, you may have bought more than one iOS devices. Therefore, iCloud may save something from your old devices, and you don’t need them now. It’s suggested to delete them from your iCloud to free up storage space.

You can go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > BACKUPS > Tap the name of the old device whose backup is unnecessary for you > Tap Delete Backup to move it from your iCloud.

Q 5. What happens when you delete iCloud backup?

Do you hesitate to delete iCloud backup because you don’t know what happen when you delete it? In conclusion, deleting backups from iCloud only deletes from the iCloud storage, not anything from your devices.

Part 3. How to backup iDevices without iCloud

Although iCloud backups are simple, automatic, and happen in the background, there can be some limitations.

• iCloud has only 5GB of storage space for free. You need to pay monthly for extra space to save the backups.
• You’re not allowed to choose the files you’d like to backup or not. It backups them all.

If you’re looking for a better way to backup your iOS devices, FoneTool can be a nice choice for you. You can rely on it to easily and selectively backup your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to computer, external hard drives, USB flash drive, etc.

Click the icon below to get the tool on computer and try to backup your iOS devices with it in 3 steps.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your iDevice to computer > Launch FoneTool and click Phone Backup > Choose Selective Backup.

Custom Backup

Step 2. Click each icon to preview and choose the files you’d like to backup > Click OK to confirm.

Select Files

Step 3. Choose a destination to save your backup files (You’re free to choose local folders, external hard drives.) > Click Start Backup to begin.

Backup All

When the backup is completed, you can click View or head to the Backup History page to browse, restore or delete your backup as your like.

Restore To Device

Since iCloud backup your device automatically, there may be some duplicate photos in your iCloud. You can try the Photo Deduplication function to delete duplicate photos on iCloud.


That’s all for how many backups iCloud keep and other questions you may concern about iCloud. Hope you have a better understanding of iCloud now. If needed, you can try other backup tools like FoneTool. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.