Backing up only my contacts to iCloud

igroeg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
121
128
Hi all,

I don't want to backup anything to iCloud except for my contacts.

So, I turned off iCloud drive, I disabled every single app (aside from Contacts) that was backed up and deleted all backups from iCloud.

What's interesting to me is that even though iCloud backup is turned off now, newly added contacts get uploaded immediately to iCloud. How is that possible?

It seems that apps that are enabled under "Apps using iCloud" get backed up stat, regardless if iCloud backup is on or off.

Can someone please clarify that mechanism?

Thanks in advance!
 

igroeg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
121
128
Syncing isn’t the same as backup. Since you left iCloud Contacts on, it’s doing its job and syncing to iCloud. That’s expected.
So, if my Contacts are synced to iCloud, does that mean that if I log in with my Apple ID on a new iPhone the contacts will be automatically downloaded to the device (if I choose to set it up as new)? Thank you.
 

dsusanj

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2008
31
12
So, if my Contacts are synced to iCloud, does that mean that if I log in with my Apple ID on a new iPhone the contacts will be automatically downloaded to the device (if I choose to set it up as new)? Thank you.
Yes (if Contacts sync is enabled on the new phone).
 
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igroeg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
121
128
Yes (if Contacts sync is enabled on the new phone).
Just to clarify, I don't need to 'backup' my Contacts to iCloud for them to be available on a brand new device? Simply 'syncing' them is enough?

I'm just having a hard time understanding the difference between 'backup' and 'sync', in the context of iCloud.

Thanks!
 

Minorite

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2018
388
87
Poland
Just to clarify, I don't need to 'backup' my Contacts to iCloud for them to be available on a brand new device? Simply 'syncing' them is enough?

I'm just having a hard time understanding the difference between 'backup' and 'sync', in the context of iCloud.

Thanks!
Backup will keep all data untouched. For example, if you've deleted some important contact it will be still there in a backup and it will be restored with the backup.

Sync keeps all data 'real-time', so if you use iCloud sync for contacts, and it will be deleted from both, you won't restore it with the backup (there are some recovery points for contacts on icloud.com though).

Important thing to remember is that if some data is synced with iCloud it's excluded from the iCloud backup. So, in this case, if you've deleted some contact there's no sense to restore last backup as contacts are not a part of the backup. They are already synced to iCloud.
 
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igroeg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
121
128
Backup will keep all data untouched. For example, if you've deleted some important contact it will be still there in a backup and it will be restored with the backup.

Sync keeps all data 'real-time', so if you use iCloud sync for contacts, and it will be deleted from both, you won't restore it with the backup (there are some recovery points for contacts on icloud.com though).

Important thing to remember is that if some data is synced with iCloud it's excluded from the iCloud backup. So, in this case, if you've deleted some contact there's no sense to restore last backup as contacts are not a part of the backup. They are already synced to iCloud.
Thanks for the clarification. Much appreciated!