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[2024] How to Fix iCloud Backup Taking Forever

Navkiran Dhaliwal
Navkiran Dhaliwal Originally published Apr 07, 24, updated Jun 07, 24

iCloud backup on your iOS device takes place when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network and plugged in or charged. However, sometimes iCloud backup takes longer than expected and can even take days without being completed. This can be very frustrating but you should know that you aren’t alone.

Like you, many other iOS users experience the iCloud backup taking forever problem. So, why does iCloud backup take longer than expected? How long should iCloud backup take normally? And how can you speed up iCloud backup? In this guide, we reveal the answers to all these questions.

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Recommended reading: Sometimes iCloud can also be stuck on time remaining when you try to restore data from iCloud. Click to read more and see solutions.
In this article

How Long Should iCloud Backup Take?

The duration of iCloud backup on your iPhone depends on several factors including how much free storage you have in iCloud, the size of your files, and most especially, the speed of your internet network.

On average, iCloud backup takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours to be completed. The backup process can take less time if you are connected to a fast Wi-Fi network or if you have just a few files to backup.

Why is iCloud Backup Taking Forever on My iPhone?

Here are different reasons iCloud backup is taking forever on your iPhone:

  1. Wi-Fi Network is Poor or Slow

    The speed of your iCloud backup depends on how fast or strong your Wi-Fi is. If your backup is taking forever, it’s often because you are connected to a poor Wi-Fi network or your device is far from the router.

  2. You Have a Lot of Large Files to Backup

    Another thing that can slow down your iCloud backup is if you have a lot of large files on your iPhone to back up to the cloud. This is because iCloud is set up to store the original versions of your photos and videos. So, if you are a video editor or photographer with loads of high-quality and heavy media on your device, your iCloud backup will take a few hours even if your W-Fi is fast.

  3. You Haven’t Backed Up to iCloud in a While

    When was the last time you backed up your iPhone data to iCloud? If you haven’t backed up data in a while, this may be why your iCloud backup is taking forever on your iPhone.

    Apple advises iOS users to back up iPhone data to iCloud frequently to prevent files and data from piling up on the device. If you don’t back up your iPhone data to iCloud frequently, you will have more and more files to back up whenever you decide to do so, causing your backup process to take several hours or even days.

  4. You Have Exhausted Your iCloud Storage

    When you run out of iCloud storage, there is no space for iCloud to back up your files, so iCloud backups will take longer.

  5. You are Running Another App on Your iPhone

    Backing up iPhone data to iCloud takes a toll on your device's battery and operating system. This is why you are advised to only back up to iCloud when your iPhone is plugged in or fully charged. So, if you are running multiple apps on your iPhone or you are playing games while backing up to iCloud, the backup process will take longer.

    Now that you know why iCloud backup is taking forever, let’s figure out ways to fix the problem and speed up iCloud backup.

How to Fix iCloud Backup Taking Forever?

iCloud backup taking forever is a problem that many iOS users face and while a frustrating problem, there are different ways to fix it. That said, here are the top five easiest methods to resolve iCloud backup taking forever on your iPhone/iPad:

Let’s explore these methods one after the other:

  1. Connect to a Stronger Wi-Fi Network

    As explained earlier, the duration of your iPhone backup to iCloud is heavily reliant on the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi network, so a good way to fix the iCloud backup taking forever problem is to connect your device to a stronger Wi-Fi network. You should also ensure that your iPhone is close to the Wi-Fi router to increase signal strength.

    Did you know that having other electronic and radio devices around can reduce signal strength? This is because these devices also emit radio waves that can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. So, it’s best to turn off or remove nearby electronic and RF devices.

  2. Delete Unwanted Files

    Another way to speed up iCloud backup is to delete unwanted files on your iPhone. In the course of using your iPhone, you may save temporary files, download attachments and videos from WhatsApp groups that you don’t need, or even save gaming progress that you don’t have to back up to iCloud. You should delete these unwanted files to optimize your iPhone storage and increase the speed of iCloud backup.

  3. Free Up Space on iCloud or Upgrade iCloud Storage

    Do you think iCloud backup is taking forever because have exhausted your iCloud storage? Then you should either free up space on iCloud or upgrade your iCloud storage. You can free up space on iCloud by accessing your files via the iCloud website and deleting files you don’t need to make space for new ones.

    You can also go to Settings > iCloud > Manage Account Storage to see the apps and files that take up the most space. Then tap on the app or file and select Delete Data from iCloud.

    how to manage icloud storage to speed up icloud backup

    Duplicate photos are also notorious for taking space on iCloud. These are images that appear more than once in iCloud backup. You don’t need to back up these duplicate images to iCloud, so learn how to delete duplicate photos in iCloud.

    If you don’t want to delete any of your files, you can upgrade your iCloud storage to get more space. You can either go for the 50GB plan for $0.99 a month, the 200GB for $2.99 monthly, or the 2TB plan for $9.99 per month. You can upgrade your iCloud storage via Settings > iCloud > Manage Account Storage > Then Select Upgrade.

  4. Turn Off iCloud Backup for Large Files and Apps

    Since large files and apps take longer to upload to iCloud backup, turning off backup for these large files will save lots of time and make iCloud backup faster.

    Here’s how to turn off iCloud backup for large files on your iPhone:

    • Open Settings on your device and tap on Your Name.
    • Click on iCloud. Under Apps Using iCloud, click on Show All to see all the apps that get backed up to iCloud.
      go to icloud settings on iphone to fix icloud backup taking forever
    • Then toggle off the switch in front of the large apps to disable iCloud backup.
      how to turn off icloud backup for large files to fix icloud backup taking forver
  5. Delete Older iCloud Backups

    If you use the same iCloud account to back up your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac computer regularly, chances are you’ll have a lot of old backups in your archive that take up space. So, a good way to make iCloud backup go faster is to delete old iCloud backups in your archive.

    Here’s a detailed guide:

    • Go to Settings on your device and click on Your Name.
    • Then select iCloud and tap Manage Storage or iCloud Backup if you use iOS 16 or later versions.
      delete icloud backups to resolve the issue of icloud backup taking forever
    • Next, you’ll see the devices with iCloud backup turned on. Click on a Device Name and tap Delete Backup.

How to Back Up iPhone Data in Minutes Without iCloud

While iCloud is a secure way to back up your iPhone data, it can be time-consuming especially when you have several large files to back up. Not to mention the problems with storage space since 5GB can only back up so much before it gets full.

Then you have the issue of poor network connection and risk of data theft. In the long run, many iOS users require a faster and more secure alternative to back up iPhone data without iCloud.

You should keep in mind that backing up your iPhone data to your computer is faster, more secure, and non-reliant on network connectivity. However, you need a software tool to backup iPhone data to your computer. Try Wondershare MobileTrans – Backup & Restore, a swift and safe tool to back up your iPhone data to your PC without fuss.

Wondershare MobileTrans is the best iPhone-to-PC file backup tool that allows you to back up over 18 types of iPhone data to your PC via a secure USB connection. Why should you back up iPhone data to a PC using MobileTrans?

  • iPhone backup to PC reduces the risk of data theft since data transfer occurs via USB and not via cloud servers.
  • The backup tool is easy to use and can back up numerous iPhone data in minutes.
  • MobileTrans supports cross-platform data transfer, so you can move iPhone files to Windows PCs and Android phones.
  • MobileTrans can backup data from instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat.

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Back Up Your Data to Computer Easily

  • • No data loss. No data leaks.
  • • Support various data, including files, photos, videos, apps, contacts, etc.
  • • Compatible with thousand of device types acorss Android and iOS.
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Are you ready to back up your iPhone/iPad data to your PC without iCloud? Then download MobileTrans on your PC now and follow the steps below:

  • Launch MobileTrans on your PC and connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable.
  • From the MobileTrans main interface, select Backup & Restore and click Phone Backup & Restore.
    mobiletrans backup and restore tool main interface
  • MobileTrans will scan your iPhone and display the files in your internal storage. Select the files you want to back up to your PC and click Start to initiate the backup process.
    how to back up iphone data to pc via mobiletrans
  • Wait a few minutes till MobileTrans notifies you that the iPhone backup to the PC is complete. Then unplug your iPhone from the PC and select Open Backup Location to view your backed-up files.
    how to back up iphone data to pc via mobiletrans
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Note: You can also restore your iPhone files from your PC to another iPhone or Android device whenever you want using MobileTrans. Simply connect the new device to your PC and select Restore. Then wait for MobileTrans to work its magic.

Final Words

In a word, iCloud backup taking forever is usually a frustrating sign that something isn’t right with your iPhone or iPad. This problem can happen for several reasons ranging from a poor network to inadequate storage in iCloud.

The best way to fix the problem is to connect to a stronger Wi-Fi network and free up space in iCloud. You can also turn off iCloud backup for large files, delete old backups in your archive, or upgrade your iCloud storage to fix the problem. If these fixes don’t work, you can use a faster alternative to back up iPhone data without iCloud.

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    • Can you speed up iCloud backup?
      You can speed up iCloud backup by connecting to a faster network and reducing the number of large files that iCloud has to back up. Both tips will make iCloud backup faster. You can also clean up your device and delete unnecessary apps and files.
    • Does iCloud back up all iPhone files?
      iCloud is designed to back up all your important iPhone files including App data, call logs, data from Apple Watch, ringtones, photos, videos, music, iMessage texts, SMS, data from instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, HomeKit data, screen display, health app data, and your iOS device settings. You can read the complete guide on iPhone backup to iCloud to learn more.
Navkiran Dhaliwal
Navkiran Dhaliwal Jun 07, 24
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