What Happens When You Delete iCloud Backup? Be Prudent

What happens when you delete iCloud backup? There might be something that you care. Follow this passage to know your iCloud backup and if it is OK to delete it.


By May / Updated on June 18, 2024

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Want to remove iCloud backup for more storage

I’m running out of iCloud space on iPhone so I think I would delete old backup to empty iCloud storage. I would like to know what happens when I delete iCloud backups? Will my iCloud photos be deleted, too?

- Question from Apple Community

Caring for your data is important and the best way to protect your iPhone data is by backing up your iPhone. iCloud makes it easy to back up iPhone. You could save your data to the cloud or create a full iCloud backup of your iPhone with the Internet.

You might have created iCloud backup on iPhone and consider deleting the iCloud backup to clean up iCloud space so that you could add new content to iCloud. It is wise to think before you act. What happens if you delete the iCloud backup? You will get the answer in the following content.

Section 1. What Happens When You Delete iCloud Backups or Photos

What does deleting backups on iCloud do? You should think twice about that because once you delete your iCloud backup, the backup copy will be erased immediately and it cannot be recovered. After that, iCloud Backup would be automatically turned off in iPhone Settings.

If you just turn off iCloud backup on your iPhone by yourself, iCloud will stop backing up your iPhone to iCloud and it will do nothing to the old iPhone backups. What happens if I delete backups?

If you care whether your photos or messages would be also erased with the disappearing of iCloud backup, you should go to Manage Storage in the iCloud setting and see whether your photos or messages are listed. As mentioned before, if you have saved photos and messages to iCloud before backing up your iPhone, they would be not involved in that backup.

You could delete iCloud photos or contacts on the site of iCloud and recover them in 30 days.

Most files on iCloud could not be viewed, but you could check iCloud photos and contacts on the site of iCloud and download iCloud backup to PC.

View Photos on iCloud

What Would You Lose If You Delete iCloud Backup?

What happens if you delete an iCloud backup? iCloud would not save all the iPhone data to the cloud. It is not the way Apple does because they always stress simplicity. iCloud backup is designed to completely restore the iPhone but it would just save the necessary data like iPhone Settings and most local data.

If you delete your iCloud backup, your photos, messages, and other app data will be permanently removed. Your music files, movies, and the apps themselves are not in iCloud backups. You can download them on your iPhone any time you want.


Section 2. How to Delete Old iCloud Backups

You have just 5GB of free space in iCloud so you might need to delete old iCloud backup to free up iCloud storage or solve iCloud issues like iCloud backup stuck. You can delete your old iPhone backups by the following steps:

Go to iPhone Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups, select the unwanted task, and delete it. Or download iCloud for Windows to your computer and sign in with your Apple ID > click Storage > click Backups. Select the unnecessary backup and delete it.

You could try deleting iCloud backup on the computer if you can’t delete iCloud backup on an iPhone with slow Internet.

Delete iPhone Backups on PC

Section 3. Selectively Delete iCloud Backup Including Photos and More

If you just want to delete some unnecessary files from your iCloud, FoneTool will be a great option for you. FoneTool is a free and safe phone management tool that also helps manage your iCloud account. With FoneTool, you can preview and select files that you wish to delete. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Click the Download button below to get and install FoneTool on your Windows PC.

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

Step 2: Initiate FoneTool and go to My iCloud> Sign in with your Apple ID to reach Manage iCloud.

Click Manage iCloud

Step 3: Click the Photos, Contacts, and more icons one by one to choose the files to delete > Click the Delete button to confirm.

Delete Files from iCloud

Bonus Tip: How to Safely Delete Your iPhone Backup?

If you don't know what happens when deleting iCloud, it is necessary to create a local backup on your computer. So if you lost some data unexpectedly, you still have a chance to get a backup of your important files. Here we would like to introduce a professional iPhone backup software named FoneTool. With this tool, you could use it to save photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages to a computer. 

FoneTool allows you to preview and select your items to back up. When you back up iPhone photos to your computer, you can choose whichever pictures you need. If you want to manage and edit your data on your PC, you can transfer your photos, videos, etc to computer with the "Phone Transfer" feature. It supports the latest iOS 16/15, so you could use it to back up your latest iPhone or old iPhone.

Transfer to Compputer


If someone asks “What happens when I delete iCloud backup” the answer is that it would be removed and could not be recovered. You should check whether your photos or messages are inside of that backup copy under the guide of this passage before deleting it.

You could download some iCloud files to your computer to make sure never lose them by wrongly deleting iCloud backup. Backup necessary data to the computer with FoneTool so you can always safely delete your backup because you know what’s in it. Besides, it is a good way to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud.

May · Editor
May is an editor who is passionate about sharing computer tips and providing reliable solutions, specializing in iOS/Android and file backup and recovery. In her spare time, May enjoys watching movies, going shopping, or chatting with friends.