Detailed Tutorial: How to Backup iPhone When iCloud Is Full [2 Options]

This post mainly introduces how to backup iPhone when iCloud is full. Specifically, two options to backup your iPhone are offered, one is to use iTunes, and the other is to use free iOS backup tool-FoneTool.


By Ellie / Updated on May 31, 2024

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How do I backup my iPhone if iCloud storage is full?


My iCloud storage is full. I keep getting an alert saying that there’s not enough iCloud storage. This annoys me a lot. But most of my photos, files, videos, etc., on my iPhone, are important so I can’t delete any of them. If there any way to let me back up my iPhone when my iCloud is full?”

-Question from Apple Community 

iCloud Logo

Actually, iCloud backups are selectable. When your iCloud storage is full, one option is to manage iCloud storage and clear data that you don’t need anymore, for example, clear messages from iCloud. But this is only a temporary solution. As more and more data comes into your iPhone, your iCloud storage will run out again sooner or later. Therefore, here we advise you to back up your iPhone data to your computer and free the space of your iPhone.

Two ways: How to backup iPhone when iCloud is full 

Here in this part, we’ll offer you two options on how to backup iPhone when iCloud is full. One is to use the free iOS backup tool FoneTool, and the other is to use iTunes to backup iPhone data on a computer.

Method 1. Free & professional iOS backup tool-FoneTool

The first option on how to backup iPhone when iCloud storage is full is using the free yet professional iOS data backup tool FoneTool. It has the following advantages:

Multiple functions. It allows you to back up your iOS devices without iCloud on your computer, freeing up space on your iPhone and in iCloud. It also allows you to transfer data freely between iOS devices and between iOS devices and computers.
Diverse backup methods. It enables you to backup selective photos, music, videos, contacts, and messages from your iPhone to a computer or fully backup your iPhone.
Free of data loss. When you need to restore the data you’ve backed up on your computer to your iPhone, it will not erase any data existing on your iPhone already.
Fast speed. You are able to back up more than 2000 contacts in 20 seconds, faster than using most other backup software.
Wide compatibility. Besides iPhone, it also supports different types of iPads and iPods. It is perfectly compatible with kinds of versions of iOS.

Here we provide you with two options, you can choose to selectively backup your iPhone or fully backup it.

Option 1. Selectively backup your iPhone

Step 1. Download and install MBackupper on your Windows PC. Connect two iPhones to the computer via a USB cable and then launch MBackupper.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7
Secure Download

Step 2. Click Phone Backup > Locate Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Custom Backup

Step 3. Select the data you want to backup.

Click an iCon

Step 4. Click each icon to preview and select the items and click OK to confirm.

Select Files

Step 5. Choose a storage path and click Start Backup to save the backup to your computer.

Click Backup

Option 2. Fully backup your iPhone

Step 1. Repeat Step 1 in Option 1.

Step 2. Click Phone Backup > Locate Full Backup and click Get Started.

Full Backup

Step 3. Enable backup encryption as you like. If it is enabled, your data such as Fitness records, Health, and Keychain can be private.

Backup Encryption

Step 4. Select a storage path to save the backup. Click Start Backup and wait until it finishes.

Start Backup

Note: If you ever need to restore the data to your iPhone, you can plug in your iPhone and go to Backup History. Locate your backup files and choose Restore to make it.

Restore to Device

Methods 2. Backup your iPhone to your computer using iTunes

If your iCloud is full, you can also backup your iPhone data on your Mac or Windows computer using iTunes.

Step 1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer. Then connect your iPhone to the computer.

Step 2. Click the Device tab.

iTunes Device

Step 3. Tick This computer, and then click Back Up Now.

Backup iPhone on iTunes

Step 4. To encrypt your backups, select Encrypt local backup, type a password, then click Set Password.

Create Encrypted Backup Password iTunes

Step 5. On Mac, you can find the iPhone backups here: Menu bar of iTunes > Edit > Preferences > Devices > Backup > Reveal in Finder. On Windows computer, Disk C > Users > Administrator > AppData > Roaming > Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.

Note: You can also restore backups to your iPhone using iTunes, but please remember that this will erase all the data on your target iPhone. So please make sure you’ve exported all the important data you need before you do this.

Restore Backup iTunes

Bonus tips: How to free up iCloud space when it is full

In this part, we'll give you some tips on how to free up iCloud space when it is full.

Option 1. Delete old iCloud backups

The first option on how to free up iCloud space when it is full is to delete old iCloud backups from previous devices and only leave the ones you need. This has been tested by many users as useful. Here’s how to delete your old iCloud backups.

Step 1. Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.

Manage iCloud Backup

Step 2. Delete your old iCloud backups on your iPhone that you don’t need anymore and only leave these you need.

Several iPhone Backups

Option 2. Delete unnecessary data in iCloud

iCloud helps back up information like photos, messages, mails, etc., on your iPhone, but you may not need some of the information. Therefore, you can delete some unnecessary data on iPhone to free up iCloud storage. 

Step 1. Navigate to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage, Click Manage Storage.

Manage iCloud Storage

Step 2. Here you can check the backups information. Choose an item such as Photos that takes up a large space, and choose “Disable & Delete” to release space.

Disable Delete

Option 3. Clear up iCloud Drive

iCloud has the ability to store a large amount of data, some of which you may not have been aware of. If you don't clean up frequently, it will consume your iCloud storage. For instance, in addition to photos, messages, mails, etc., it saves files such as Word documents, PDFs, and so on. 

Step 1. Find and click the Files app on your iPhone or iPad > Click Browse > Select iCloud Drive.

Browse iCloud Drive

Step 2. Tap and hold a file on the above folders that you want to delete, and choose Delete.


Step 3. Then your iCloud storage may be reduced a little.


This post mainly introduces how to backup iPhone when iCloud is full. Two options are offered in this post, namely, FoneTool and iTunes. But you need to note that when you restore your data from the computer to your iPhone, using iTunes will erase existing data on your iPhone while using FoneTool won’t. If you don’t want to lose the existing data on your iPhone after restoration, it’s recommended to use FoneTool.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.