How to delete backups and free up space in iCloud

While Apple’s iCloud service didn’t have the greatest 2014, just ask Jennifer Lawrence, it is still the best and most convenient way to store and access your iPhone or iPad files online. Apple provides 5 GB of free iCloud storage, but as with all things concerning space, you can run out of it. So, if you don’t feel like ponying up to pay Apple for more space, you can delete your backups to free up more space in your iCloud account. 

How to delete older backups to free up space in iCloud

If you created a backup for one or more devices on your iCloud account, you can to delete one or all of these backups whenever you want. If you recently upgraded to an iPhone 6 or newer device, you may still have old backups from previous devices taking up space on your iCloud account. Deleting these older backups is one quick way to free some storage.

To delete a backup on your iPhone or iPad go to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage -> Manage Storage, tap on the relevant device under BACKUPS, and then tap on Delete Backup.

iCloud - Delete backups

You will be prompted if you want to turn off backup and delete all backup data for the device. Tap on Turn Off & Delete, to delete the backup for that device, and free up space in iCloud.

Once you delete a backup for a particular device, iCloud backups will automatically become disabled for that device. If you do wish to have an iCloud backup again, go to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup, and turn on Backup.

How to delete backups for certain apps

Instead of deleting the entirety of your backup, you can remove certain apps from being included in the backup. It should be noted, that this isn’t the most optimal way to free up storage, but is an alternative. If you are looking to save the most space I would suggest removing Photos and other large apps like Outlook that take up a ton of space and may continue to grow. To stop an item from being backed up, go to  Settings -> iCloud -> Storage -> Manage Storage -> Show All Apps and push the slider to the OFF position and select Turn Off & Delete. 

iCloud app backup - delete

Buy More storage

If these methods don’t give you enough space or you just want to upgrade your iCloud storage, you can do so by going to Settings -> iCloud -> Buy More Storage. You can upgrade to additional 20 GB ($.99/month), 200 GB ($3.99/month), 500 GB ($9.99/month), or  1 TB ($19.99).

iCloud storage - buy

What is your method of choice for saving extra space on your iDevice? Let us know your personal preferences in the comment section.