Automatic backups to iCloud are common to many iOS users. Once configured, the automatic backups make life easier by backing up your data to safety in the Apple cloud while you sleep.

Has your automatic backup ever given trouble, like a ‘The last backup could not be completed’ or ‘Backup failed’ notification? Well, this tutorial will show you what to do if you get the notification to get your backups to iCloud back on track.

Restart Your iOS Device

Sometimes your device or an application malfunctions because of a glitch that can be fixed by simply powering the device. OFF and back ON. A restart can eliminate most glitches that may prevent your iPhone from being fully functional. Follow these steps to restart your iOS device:

1. Restart your iPhone by pressing and holding the side and volume buttons until you see the Slide the Power Off notification.

2. Swipe the Power icon from left to right to turn off the device.

3. Wait for a few seconds

4. Press and hold the Side button until Apple logo appears.

5. Now try to run a backup again. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and select Back Up Now.

If you still can’t back up your data to iCloud, go to the next step.

Update Your iOS Software

Apple provides several updates each year for the iOS devices Make sure you have the latest version of software and that your iOS device is up to date. Also, prior to making any serious changes to your iPhone, always make sure that the software is up to date.

1. For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

2. If any new updates are available, choose to update them.

3. You may want to restart your phone after the updates.

4. Now try to run a backup again. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and select Back Up Now

If you still can’t back up your data to iCloud, go to the next step.

Check Your WiFi Connection

iCloud backups usually involve large files that must be transferred over the Internet. This means that you must have a strong WiFi connection on your iOS device. If your WiFi connection is weak or it isn’t working, you can change your iOS settings to use cellular data. To switch to cellular data on your iOS device, follow these steps.

Go to Settings > WiFi

1. Go to Settings > WiFi and check to see if you have a WiFi connection.

2. If your device does not have a WiFi connection, choose an available network and join.

3. If there is no available network, you will have to configure your device to use cellular data. Go to Settings > Cellular Data and select Cellular Data. Choose your line.

4. Once your iOS device is either on WiFi or cellular data, try to run a backup again. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and select Back Up Now.

If you still can’t back up your data to iCloud, go to the next step.

Check Your iCloud Storage Space

iCloud is a feature in iOS 11.4 and later. When this feature is activated, much of your data is stored in iCloud as backup automatically.

Your iCloud saves much of the messages, media, and app data from your iOS device, which could grow to become a massive file. After some time, the 5GB may no longer be enough. If you have used all of the iCloud storage, it no longer backs up your iPhone data. To find out if your iCloud storage space is the problem, manage your iCloud storage by following these steps:

1. Go to Settings on your device

Go to Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage

2. Go to Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage.

3. Look to see if you have enough storage space to perform the backup. As you can see in the screenshot, the yellow line is full and it says 5 GB of 5 GB is used. If this is the case for your device, you will have to purchase more storage space in iCloud, or delete some of the data in your iCloud. After iCloud has stored 5GB of your data, the use of the storage service is no longer free. The service starts at around 50GB additional for $0.99.

4. Now, try to run a backup again. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and select Back Up Now.

Contact Apple Support

If you were not able to backup your files from an iOS device on iCloud by following the steps in this tutorial, you can contact Apple Support or the Genius Bar for more help.