How Many Backups Does iCloud Keep?

iCloud is a valuable tool that enables users to store and access their data seamlessly across multiple Apple devices. One of the key features of iCloud is its backup functionality, which ensures the safety and security of your important files, photos, and settings. But have you ever wondered how many backups iCloud keeps? In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of iCloud backups and shed light on this question.

How iCloud Backups Work

iCloud backups function as a safeguard for your data, providing a convenient way to restore your files in case of device loss, damage, or upgrade. When you enable iCloud backups on your Apple device, it automatically creates a backup of your device's content. This backup includes essential data such as photos, videos, app data, device settings, and more.

To enable iCloud backups, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your Apple device.
  2. Tap on your name at the top.
  3. Select “iCloud” and then “iCloud Backup.”
  4. Toggle the “iCloud Backup” switch to enable it.

Once enabled, iCloud will automatically backup your device when it is connected to Wi-Fi, locked, and charging. This ensures that your backups are up-to-date and don't consume excessive cellular data.

Storage Capacity for iCloud Backups

iCloud provides users with different storage plans to cater to their specific needs. The storage options range from the free 5 GB plan to larger paid plans, such as 50 GB, 200 GB, and 2 TB. The amount of storage you have directly affects the number of backups iCloud can retain.

Each iCloud backup typically consumes a portion of your allocated storage space. The exact size of the backup depends on the content of your device. For example, if you have a 64 GB iPhone with 20 GB of data, the backup size will be around 20 GB. Therefore, the number of backups iCloud can store depends on the total storage capacity available and the size of each backup.

Retention Period for iCloud Backups

iCloud retains backups for a certain period, ensuring that you can restore your data from a previous state if needed. The retention policy for iCloud backups varies depending on the type of data involved.

For iOS devices, iCloud backups are typically retained for 180 days (6 months). This means that you can restore your device to any state within the past six months using an iCloud backup. However, it's important to note that specific app data might not be available if the app is no longer available on the App Store.

Furthermore, if you delete a backup, it will be permanently removed from iCloud servers, freeing up storage space for future backups.

Limitations and Considerations

While iCloud backups are a fantastic solution for data security and convenience, there are a few limitations and considerations to keep in mind.

One limitation is the storage capacity of your device. If your device doesn't have sufficient storage space to accommodate a backup, iCloud backups may not be possible. It's essential to regularly manage your device's storage and delete unnecessary files or apps to ensure a smooth backup process.

Additionally, it's worth noting that iCloud backups do not include certain types of data, such as Apple Pay data, Touch ID settings, and Face ID settings. These sensitive data are not included in backups to maintain security and privacy.


In conclusion, iCloud is a reliable and efficient backup solution that ensures the safety and accessibility of your data across Apple devices. While the exact number of backups iCloud keeps depends on factors such as storage capacity and backup size, it generally retains backups for up to 180 days.

By enabling iCloud backups and managing your device's storage effectively, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data is securely backed up. So, make the most of iCloud backups and safeguard your valuable information effortlessly.