How to Backup and Restore Photos from iCloud


The average person has around 630 photos on their phone. As storage increases and cameras improve, we’ve been taking more and more pictures.

Apps like Instagram encourage us to snap more pics too. We take selfies, vacation photos, and even document important milestones on our phone cameras.

So what happens when you drop your phone in a puddle or accidentally do a factory reset and wipe the memory?

If you happen to have an iPhone, you’re in luck. With a little bit of know-how, you can restore photos from iCloud. Here’s how.

How to Restore Photos from iCloud

iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage system. With most new Apple devices, like iPhones and iPads, your documents will be backed up to the cloud automatically.

If you switch devices or wipe your iPhone’s memory, you can gain access to your files, photos, and more.

The process for doing this is simple. Hop into your settings, then select “General” and then “Reset.” From there, you’ll be prompted to erase content and settings.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be asked to set up your phone or tablet again. When you arrive at the Apps & Data screen, you can select “Restore from iCloud Backup.”

From there, sign into your iCloud account and choose your backup file.

Backing up to iCloud

Of course, you have to have created a backup for your phone if you want to be able to retrieve the files from it later.

Most modern Apple devices will auto-sync between the device and your iCloud account. There are some advantages to this set-up, but it can also be risky.

If you’ve deleted photos from your device while it’s on auto-sync, they’ll no longer be in the current backup file. iCloud may have a few backup files available. If you deleted the photos some time ago, though, they may not be in any of the available files.

Another issue is that you may run out of space in your iCloud storage. Apple offers 5GB for free, but if you need more storage, you’ll have to buy more.

Some users just let their phones and tablets stop backing up when they run out of storage. In this situation, any recent files won’t be backed up, so you may lose them.

How to Set up Backups

To set up a backup or change your settings, navigate to “Settings” on your device. From there, select “iCloud” and then “Backup.”

You’ll need to sign in to your account. Once you’ve logged in, you can tap “Back up Now” to start a backup.

Once you’ve completed this process, your phone will back up automatically when it’s connected to Wi-Fi and a USB power cable.

For those using iOS 13, there’s also an option called iCloud Photos. With this enabled, you can sync your photos to iCloud. This isn’t a complete back up of your device, but it will let you restore your photos from iCloud.

Freeing up iCloud Storage

If you don’t want to buy more iCloud storage, you’ll probably wonder how you can free up storage space. One way is to delete old files you no longer need.

Of course, it can be difficult to choose which pictures you want to keep and which ones you don’t want to.

Instead, you may want to look at deleting some of the older backup files. Since these are records of your entire phone or tablet, they take up a good deal of space. You probably don’t need more than one iCloud backup file stored online at a time.

Adding a Third Storage Place

Deleting multiple iCloud backups can free up storage, but it could also mean you lose files. What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen?

A great option to make sure you still have access to all your photos and files is to a third storage place to your backup system. Downloading old backups to an external hard drive or a desktop computer can help you make sure you always have access to the files you need.

You can also then look through old backups for files and photos that may not be in the new backup. Remember, if you delete a photo from your phone, it will disappear from your next iCloud backup too.

By adding a third storage place, you’re creating more security for your files, your photos, and your memories.

Why Bother Backing up?

You may not think backing up your phone or your photos is very important. After all, you take plenty of bad pictures and delete them later anyway.

You may also think you’ll never need to use a backup. You’re careful with your phone.

Accidents happen, though. You might drop your phone, or it may even be stolen.

You may also lose files or documents when you upgrade your iOS. A backup can help you restore anything that happens to go missing. If you delete a picture you really love, then you have a way to get it back too.

Finally, backups from iCloud help you change devices when it’s time to get a new phone or iPad. Your phone has been storing phone numbers and other information, so you’ll appreciate transferring data.

With a backup, you can get your new device up and running much sooner. Not only will that save you time but it can help reduce the frustration that often goes along with upgrading to a new device.

Your Phone and Your Life on the go

Now you know how easy it is to restore photos from iCloud. Just make sure you have the right backup settings on, and you’ll never need to lose another photo again.

Your phone lets you take your photos and more on the go. With the right audio technology, you can take great music on the go too. Keep browsing through some more of our blogs to discover more about how to make the most of your iPhone’s capabilities.