How does icloud backup work? I don't understand the storage sizes

gdourado

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 22, 2010
417
53
Hello, how are you?

I have a question I don't quite understand.
Icloud backup is supposed to backup the entire contents of my phone, the same as an iTunes encrypted backup and if I get a new phone and restore from icloud, the whole content is supposed to be there and the new phone have everything.

But when I go to settings, storage, I have 10gb of storage occupied on my iphone.
But icloud only has 2.7gb of occupied storage.

I was thinking I would have to get the 1 eur a month 50gb icloud plan to be able to backup my phone, but then I saw this difference in reported storage usage between icloud and phone.

What is happening here?
Is my entire phone really backed up in just 2.7gb?
If I restore that backup to a new phone, is everything there?

Thank you for helping.

Cheers!
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,152
3,858
Atlanta
iCloud doesn't backup apps or app data that is stored in iCloud and each time it just does a delta backup.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
4,103
1,998
Horsens, Denmark
All your apps already exist on the Apple servers, thus no need to store many copies for each user.
The operating system is already stored on Apple's servers.


If you backup to iTunes that is not the case, since your Mac/PC doesn't by default contain a copy of all your iOS apps plus iOS itself, so the backup size will be larger.
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,113
398
Colorado
The OS and Apps Are stored in Apple's server. Only your personal data is backed up to iCloud. Storage on your phone takes into account everything on the disk in uncompressed format. When you backup data, it is compressed and encrypted.

So, if you needed to restore, install the OS, restore from backup, and re-download apps. It is time consuming, but effectively effortless.
 

gdourado

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 22, 2010
417
53
The OS and Apps Are stored in Apple's server. Only your personal data is backed up to iCloud. Storage on your phone takes into account everything on the disk in uncompressed format. When you backup data, it is compressed and encrypted.

So, if you needed to restore, install the OS, restore from backup, and re-download apps. It is time consuming, but effectively effortless.
If i restore from iCloud, i have to manually install the apps?
When I upgraded my iPad, I made a backup from my old iPad to iTunes, then restored to the new one.
After the restore, everything was there.
All my apps on the same place on the grid, all my data, even safari had the same opened pages on the new iPad after the restore.
If I do a backup and restore from iCloud, will it not work the same?
 

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
4,103
1,998
Horsens, Denmark
If i restore from iCloud, i have to manually install the apps?

No, no. The point isn't that you have to redownload them. You don't. The point is that the apps are on Apple's servers already, so it doesn't eat into your storage. But saved in your backup is a list of what apps you have and where they are placed on the grid and so on. It's not a part of your storage, because the apps are already stored on Apple's servers, but the backup still remembers what you have and puts it back for you.
If I do a backup and restore from iCloud, will it not work the same?
Works the same :)
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,113
398
Colorado
If i restore from iCloud, i have to manually install the apps?
When I upgraded my iPad, I made a backup from my old iPad to iTunes, then restored to the new one.
After the restore, everything was there.
All my apps on the same place on the grid, all my data, even safari had the same opened pages on the new iPad after the restore.
If I do a backup and restore from iCloud, will it not work the same?
A few years ago, iTunes backups included references to the apps stored on yourMac or PC in iTunes, when you restored, the OS would download from Apple, the apps and settings would restore from iTunes.

When iCloud backup came around, it all works the same except iTunes no longer stores the apps, they are on Apple servers. So the references to the apps prompt iOS to start downloading the apps automatically as part of the restore process. It takes longer to download than to restore over USB locally, but it is automatic. Really, all that changed was the location of the backup files.