[Solved] Unable to Backup iPhone to iTunes or iCloud

Unable to backup iPhone? In this article, you would know the reasons and find out how to fix it if you can’t backup iPhone to iCloud or iTunes.


By Lena / Updated on June 6, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Unable to Backup iPhone on iCloud

want to save my iPhone so I would never worry about losing data. I choose iCloud but it could not finish the backup. Can you help me?

- Question from Apple Community

The Problem: Unable to Backup iPhone

You must care about your iPhone very much. Most users would protect the device very carefully to prevent their iPhone from being stolen or broken, but they pay little attention to the data. You could easily buy another iPhone, but the data is not so easy to recover. If your system is corrupt or you meet with other bugs, data might be lost forever. This is the real case that some users lost photos after upgrading iPhone to iOS 16.

Therefore, backing up iPhone is very necessary. Even if you lost everything on iPhone, you could restore iPhone from the backup. Since it is so important, unable to backup iPhone could be disappointing. Why can't backup iPhone to iCloud or iTunes?

● Unable to backup iPhone to iCloud - It might be caused by the slow Internet or not enough iCloud storage.
● Unable to backup iPhone to iTunes - It might be caused by connection issues or compatibility problems.

You should complete your iPhone backup by all means, because it would be very useful one day. This passage would give you the solutions to help you solve problems when you are unable to backup iPhone. But it's recommended to reboot your iPhone and computer before you try any method because it could be the easiest way to solve every software problem.

Quick Solution to Unable to Backup iPhone to iTunes/iCloud

You might find that iCloud or iTunes is not convenient to use for the limitation of iOS. Fortunately, iTunes/iCloud is not the only option for iPhone backup. There are many third-party tools that can do the same thing and even better, such as FoneTool. It's one professional iPhone backup tool for Windows PC users. You can take control of your backups in the way you like.

  • Backup entire iPhone or selected files to Windows PC

  • Preview every item and select the needed data to backup

  • View and locate data in your backups on computer

  • Create incremental backup to save time and space

  • Restore backup files to iPhone without deleting anything

Neither iTunes nor iCloud supports selective backup/restore but FoneTool does. You can backup iPhone to computer, flash drive, external hard drive or NAS. Get the tool and follow the steps below to create an iPhone backup to protect your data.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Backup iPhone to Computer with Full Backup

It will help you backup all content and settings with one click.

1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to computer via the USB cable.

2. Click Phone Backup and go to Full Backup.

Full Backup

3. Enable backup encryption to backup private data such as Fitness records, Health and Keychain > Select a path to store the backup > Click Start Backup to begin.

Start Backup

Backup iPhone to Computer with Selective Backup

You can preview and select the files you want to backup instead of all of them.

1. Click Phone Transfer and go to Selective Backup.

Selective Backup

2. Click an icon to preview and select files and then click OK to continue.

Select Files

3. Select a path to save the backup > Click Start Backup to save files to computer.

Click Start Backup

How to Fix Unable to Backup iPhone on iCloud

The key is to make sure the network is working well and there is enough iCloud storage space. Otherwise, the iCloud backup will fail.

Solution 1. Connect iPhone to A Secure and Fast Wi-Fi

When you use iCloud to backup iPhone, the Internet is the main factor to decide whether you could successfully backup your iPhone.

● Connect iPhone to a fast Wi-Fi: A fast Wi-Fi could let iPhone stably transfer the data. If your network is slow or your iPhone disconnected from the Internet several times during the backup progress, your iCloud backup would fail.
● Connect iPhone to a secure Wi-Fi: iOS is famous for caring about users' privacy, so if you connect iPhone to a public Wi-Fi, iOS would stop transferring the data.

Turn on Wifi iPhone

Solution 2. Clear iCloud Storage and Check iCloud Backup Size

You have just 5GB of free iCloud storage. If your iCloud storage is full and you are unable to backup iPhone to iCloud, you should clear the unneeded data in iCloud or reduce the content you are going to backup, or you need to pay for changing iCloud storage plan.

● Clear iCloud storage: Go to iPhone Settings > [your name] >iCloud > Manage Storage to check the status of iCloud storage. iCloud photos and old iCloud backups usually eat a large amount of iCloud storage. If you have some useful data, you could download iCloud backup to PC before deleting them.
● Check iCloud backup size: iCloud would save iPhone settings and app data to your backup, but you don’t need to save them all. You could go to iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups > [device name] to uncheck the app that you don’t need to save.

Check iCloud Backup Size

Solution 3. Enable iCloud Backup via iTunes

Sometimes you would find iCloud Backup button greyed out in iPhone Settings, so you can’t backup iPhone to iCloud by tapping Back Up Now. This could be caused by an insecure Internet connection or system bug. Except for connecting iPhone to good Wi-Fi, you could switch on the button in iTunes.

● Switch on iCloud Backup button in iTunes: You need to open iTunes on PC or Mac > connect iPhone to iTunes with USB cable > click the device icon in the upper-left corner > check iCloud in Backups > click Sync and you would find that iCloud Backup has been switched on.

Enable iCloud In iTunes

How to Fix Unable to Backup iPhone to iTunes

Make sure that you have installed the latest version of iTunes on computer. iTunes downloaded from Microsoft Store is usually updated automatically when a new version is released. If you downloaded iTunes from Apple's website, you can open iTunes > click Help > choose Check for Updates to get the latest version.

Solution 1. Fix iTunes Connection Issues

If you can’t backup iPhone to iTunes, the first step is to fix the connection issues to let iTunes read your iPhone.

● Check USB cable and USB port: The physical connection should be established. You should use a lightning cable to connect iPhone to PC or Mac and make sure the USB port is not broken or loose.
Disable firewall and antivirus: Your iPhone might be wrongly recognized as a threat to your PC or Mac, so you could disable firewall and antivirus during backup progress.
● Update Driver: Apple Mobile Device USB driver is necessary to connect iPhone to PC. You need to connect the iPhone to PC > click the Start Button on desktop > select Device Manager > expand Potable Devices > right click your device > click Update driver > select Search automatically for updated driver software. After that, your iTunes would recognize your iPhone.

Update Apple Driver

Solution 2. Change iTunes Backup Location

iTunes would always create iPhone backup in your C Drive, so if you don't have enough space in C Drive, you are unable to backup iPhone to iTunes. However, you could use Windows command to change iTunes backup location.

Step 1. You iTunes backup is saved in C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\ MobileSync. You need to copy the folder Backup to another location like D Drive.
Step 2. Press Windows + R, input “cmd” in the box and press Enter.
Step 3. Enter mklink /J “C:\Users\[PC name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\MobileSync” (the target destination is up to you)and pressEnter.

Cmd Change iTunes Backup Location

Solution 3. Clear Old iTunes Backup and Encrypt This Backup

iTunes backup would be affected by the old backups. The incompatibility might let you fail to create an iPhone backup.

● Clear old backup: Except for going to C Drive to delete the old backups, you could directly delete them in iTunes. Open iTunes > click Edit > select Preferences > select Devices and you could select the old backups and delete them.
● Encrypt this backup: If your last iPhone backup is encrypted, this backup should be encrypted, too. Check Encrypt local backup before you click Back Up Now.

iTunes Encrypt Local Backup


If you are unable to backup iPhone to iTunes or iCloud, this passage gives you 6 solutions to help you solve every problem. Meanwhile, if you want to avoid any iTunes or iCloud issue, you could try FoneTool to backup iPhone as you wish. Besides data backup, it also supports data transfer between iPhone and computer, between iPhone and iPhone. Explore more by yourself now! 

Is your issue solved? You could share it to help more people. If you have any questions after reading this guide, please feel free to leave a comment to tell us and we will reply to you ASAP.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.