By Dylan / Last update February 7, 2021

Unable to backup iPhone?

I can’t backup iPhone to iCloud.

----I 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

You must care about your iPhone every much. Most users would protect the device very carefully to prevent their iPhone 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 13. 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.

● If you are unable to backup or restore to iCloud, it might be caused by the slow Internet or not enough iCloud storage.
● If you are unable to backup iPhone to iTunes on PC or Mac, it might be caused by the 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. You should reboot your iPhone, PC, or Mac before you try any method because it could be the easiest way to solve every software problem.

iTunes Backup Corrupt

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 user’s 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 a 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

Solution 4: 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 5: Change iTunes backup location

iTunes would always create iPhone backup in your C Drive, so if you have not enough space in C Drive, you are unable to backup iPhone with 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 6: 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 go to C Drive to delete the old backups, you could directly delete them in iTunes. Open iTunes > clickEdit > select Preferences > selectDevices 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 clickBack Up Now.

iTunes Encrypt Local Backup

Backup iPhone to computer without efforts

You might find that iCloud or iTunes is not convenient to use for the limitation of iOS. You should try a new tool to easily backup your iPhone. mBackupper is a free professional iPhone backup software. You could use it to backup iPhone photos, videos, music, messages, and contacts to a Windows computer without efforts.

  • Preview and select iPhone files to let you know everything about your backup

  • Selective restore iPhone backup to another device like iPad (iOS 13 supported)

Step 1. Download mBackupper to PC. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable.

Step 2. Select Custom Backup. Click an icon to preview and select files and then click OK to return.

Select Files

Step 3. Click Start Backup to save iPhone to PC in seconds.

Click Start Backup


If you are unable to backup iPhone to iTunes or iCloud, this passage gives you 6 solutions to help you solve every problem. To avoid any iTunes or iCloud issue, you could try mBackupper to backup iPhone as you wish.

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