iPhone XR If my photos are backed up to iCloud can I erase my data?

AdventurousJosh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 11, 2008
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hi guys,

I need to bring my apple in for service, I have unborn babies pictures and videos. I got the 99 cent storage upgrade and backed them all up. Am I safe to recover all the pics and videos on a new device if i have to get one?


Thank you for your help


Josh

Edit: also when I turn “photos” to green does that mean they’re saved? Or do I have to go to backup and hit backup there? Says just documents and data. Idk
 
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AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
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Austin, TX
hi guys,

I need to bring my apple in for service, I have unborn babies pictures and videos. I got the 99 cent storage upgrade and backed them all up. Am I safe to recover all the pics and videos on a new device if i have to get one?


Thank you for your help


Josh

Edit: also when I turn “photos” to green does that mean they’re saved? Or do I have to go to backup and hit backup there? Says just documents and data. Idk
The safest thing to do is go to www.icloud.com and log in with your Apple ID and verify all the pictures are there.

Additionally, and this might take some time, consider installing Google Photos and backing up your photos there.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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If you go to here and see your “last successful backup date” is a recent date (ideally within 24 hours), then your device is backed up.
8CCAC128-6111-4E19-8BFE-4851848C3601.png

The option is at “Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store” —>iCloud—>(scroll down) iCloud backup.
As for the photo, if you go to photos app, tap “photos” then “all photos”, and see “updated just now”, your photos are uploaded to iCloud completely.
Google photos do provide unlimited storage, but it will compress every single photo or video you upload and downsample it to lower quality. If you are okay with that, fine. Otherwise, iCloud is a better choice.
 
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AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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If you go to here and see your “last successful backup date” is a recent date (ideally within 24 hours), then your device is backed up.
View attachment 847503
The option is at “Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store” —>iCloud—>(scroll down) iCloud backup.
As for the photo, if you go to photos app, tap “photos” then “all photos”, and see “updated just now”, your photos are uploaded to iCloud completely.
Google photos do provide unlimited storage, but it will compress every single photo or video you upload and downsample it to lower quality. If you are okay with that, fine. Otherwise, iCloud is a better choice.
Couple of things:
  1. Google Photos is a free emergency backup. I use both Google and Apple Photos in parallel.
  2. Google Photos does some downsampling, but the effect is minimal on images under 16 MP.
 
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Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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Couple of things:
  1. Google Photos is a free emergency backup. I use both Google and Apple Photos in parallel.
  2. Google Photos does some downsampling, but the effect is minimal on images under 16 MP.
The fact that downsampling exist rules out google photos as any sort of photos backup solution for me. There are so many times when you really need that extra pixel to show the detail of a certain part.
But, that’s just me.
 

AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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The fact that downsampling exist rules out google photos as any sort of photos backup solution for me. There are so many times when you really need that extra pixel to show the detail of a certain part.
But, that’s just me.
Again, 16 MP pixels and smaller are still 16 MP
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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Again, 16 MP pixels and smaller are still 16 MP
They are still 16MP, but they are still recompressed by Google.
Typical photos taken by phones are in 4 to 6MB size per photo. Once they go through Google Photos, even if they are under 16MP, they end up only in the 300-400kb size per photo. That’s a lot of information being taken out. Might not mater for most though, but the free tier of Google Photos is not what you want to use for archiving nor backup.

imo having your photos recompressed is NOT backup. Backup means I have the same exact file, 1 to 1.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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Again, 16 MP pixels and smaller are still 16 MP
Even so, I would not trust google to backup my photo like that. Free is free after all. OneDrive would make more sense for me.
Also, it is extremely easy to retain 16MP while downgrading image quality. Suddenly, 16MP does not make much sense anymore.
 
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icloudUser

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May 20, 2019
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They are still 16MP, but they are still recompressed by Google.
Typical photos taken by phones are in 4 to 6MB size per photo. Once they go through Google Photos, even if they are under 16MP, they end up only in the 300-400kb size per photo. That’s a lot of information being taken out. Might not mater for most though, but the free tier of Google Photos is not what you want to use for archiving nor backup.

imo having your photos recompressed is NOT backup. Backup means I have the same exact file, 1 to 1.
Another thing to keep in mind- if optimize storage is ON for photos on your iOS device, what gets backed up to google photos or something else is an optimized version of it - which is low res! :eek:

I guess a good way to back up the originals would be from a mac (optimized storage OFF on the mac) if it needs to be backed up to a cloud service.
 

Falhófnir

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Doesn't iCloud delete a photo from your cloud library when you delete it off your device as well? This is why I've never bothered with it, I'd want to be able to offload photos to iCloud and delete them off my phone if I needed more space and still have the photo in the cloud. But I also agree with @Newtons Apple that local/ physical backups are King.
 

pika2000

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Doesn't iCloud delete a photo from your cloud library when you delete it off your device as well? This is why I've never bothered with it, I'd want to be able to offload photos to iCloud and delete them off my phone if I needed more space and still have the photo in the cloud. But I also agree with @Newtons Apple that local/ physical backups are King.
That's where the optimize storage feature is the solution, at least if you don't use other services. My photos library is huge, yet I never run out of storage space on my 64GB 6S since iOS automatically download and delete photos as needed with the iCloud's optimize storage feature turned on.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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Doesn't iCloud delete a photo from your cloud library when you delete it off your device as well? This is why I've never bothered with it, I'd want to be able to offload photos to iCloud and delete them off my phone if I needed more space and still have the photo in the cloud. But I also agree with @Newtons Apple that local/ physical backups are King.
iCloud was never designed with traditional cloud drive in mind. Rather, it is more designed as a hub or middle man, Transferring your certain types of files from one destination to another. Yes, we do have iCloud Drive, but photo backup does not work like that. I think this is the aspect of the cloud I like: helping me to access my hot files at anywhere at anytime.
 
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Falhófnir

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That's where the optimize storage feature is the solution, at least if you don't use other services. My photos library is huge, yet I never run out of storage space on my 64GB 6S since iOS automatically download and delete photos as needed with the iCloud's optimize storage feature turned on.
I guess though I like the option of having multiple redundancy backups across a computer and an external HDD or two, I suppose Apple probably do this for you in the cloud as well, though if one were to get locked out of their account for any reason they're screwed...

iCloud was never designed with traditional cloud drive in mind. Rather, it is more designed as a hub or middle man, Transferring your certain types of files from one destination to another. Yes, we do have iCloud Drive, but photo backup does not work like that. I think this is the aspect of the cloud I like: helping me to access my hot files at anywhere at anytime.
Yes that's how I've always understood the vision behind it, more like an unseen aether that connects between your devices 'like magic'. Why it probably isn't great as a (sole) backup option, then.
 

Shirasaki

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Why it probably isn't great as a (sole) backup option, then.
Zero version control mechanism, only one iCloud backup, iCloud Drive offloads Mac files by uploading them to the cloud. I just can’t see how iCloud works for backup purposes. Maybe, because Apple is a customer oriented company.
 
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Falhófnir

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Zero version control mechanism, only one iCloud backup, iCloud Drive offloads Mac files by uploading them to the cloud. I just can’t see how iCloud works for backup purposes. Maybe, because Apple is a customer oriented company.
I guess it's (just about) better for the average no backup at all user?
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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I guess it's (just about) better for the average no backup at all user?
Yeah, but any other guy that even heard about the word “version” would not like iCloud backup “one and only one” approach: at least keep two versions separate from each other. Oh wait, iOS cannot be downgraded. Alright, that makes sense.
 

960design

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Apr 17, 2012
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I would NEVER trust all of my photos to the cloud. You need to also back up locally.
I would never trust local backups because of fire, hurricanes, theft, wine, understanding human laziness.

I have turned off iCloud Backup for the last 5 years or so.
Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup = OFF

I do have iCloud Photos turned on ( as well as pretty much everything else ):
Settings > iCloud > Photos > On > iCloud Photos = ON
Settings > iCloud > Photos > On > Upload to My Photo Stream = OFF

I also pay for a URL and remote server to FTP images to ( costs about $50/year ) to have that all important offsite 2nd backup.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
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Austin, TX
Doesn't iCloud delete a photo from your cloud library when you delete it off your device as well? This is why I've never bothered with it, I'd want to be able to offload photos to iCloud and delete them off my phone if I needed more space and still have the photo in the cloud. But I also agree with @Newtons Apple that local/ physical backups are King.
It's not a great experience, but you can optimize storage space on your device in settings.
[doublepost=1562767773][/doublepost]
I would write near zero risk. Cloud storage providers ( the ones I use ) duplicate data over regions. Even a complete loss of the east or west coast and my data is still safe.
Agreed. While some say "your data is on a server somewhere", it's really on multiple servers in multiple farms.
 

Newtons Apple

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I would never trust local backups because of fire, hurricanes, theft, wine, understanding human laziness.

I have turned off iCloud Backup for the last 5 years or so.
Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup = OFF

I do have iCloud Photos turned on ( as well as pretty much everything else ):
Settings > iCloud > Photos > On > iCloud Photos = ON
Settings > iCloud > Photos > On > Upload to My Photo Stream = OFF

I also pay for a URL and remote server to FTP images to ( costs about $50/year ) to have that all important offsite 2nd backup.
Mine go to DropBox but I still would never go without a local backup. Copies of backups can be taken off site like I do my QB Pro data, every day.

As far as using Google, I use no Google products and like to avoid them when ever I can.
 

Kendo

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Apr 4, 2011
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Even so, I would not trust google to backup my photo like that. Free is free after all. OneDrive would make more sense for me.
Also, it is extremely easy to retain 16MP while downgrading image quality. Suddenly, 16MP does not make much sense anymore.
It is worth having your photos uploaded to the free tier of Google Photos, mainly for their amazing search function and identifying people. I can do a search for "pizza" and every photo I ever took of a pizza (or person with a pizza in the shot) comes up. Sometimes it helps to search for a photo you are looking for on Google Photos, and then locating or accessing the real deal on iCloud Photos.

Also iCloud Photos only recognizes a handful of people in my photos but it identifies 5 times as many in Google Photos. Even an obscure person in a group shot (cousin's friend's father's brother) are all located in every photo.

I also find the downsizing as an OCD thing. There are numerous tests where a compressed iTunes movie has 1/10th the storage of a Blu-ray but it retains 99.9% of the quality. But we are all sticklers for that .1% we will never notice.
 
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pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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It is worth having your photos uploaded to the free tier of Google Photos, mainly for their amazing search function and identifying people. I can do a search for "pizza" and every photo I ever took of a pizza (or person with a pizza in the shot) comes up. Sometimes it helps to search for a photo you are looking for on Google Photos, and then locating or accessing the real deal on iCloud Photos.

Also iCloud Photos only recognizes a handful of people in my photos but it identifies 5 times as many in Google Photos. Even an obscure person in a group shot (cousin's friend's father's brother) are all located in every photo.

I also find the downsizing as an OCD thing. There are numerous tests where a compressed iTunes movie has 1/10th the storage of a Blu-ray but it retains 99.9% of the quality. But we are all sticklers for that .1% we will never notice.
It's not OCD. When I back up my file, I expect the file to be the exact same thing, not some reduced version, regardless. Changing the file means it's not a backup, period.
You can claim the free Google Photos as an additional storage for easy sharing of photos. That's a valid argument. But as a backup (per the original discussion here)? Nope, as that is not a backup.
 
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Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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It is worth having your photos uploaded to the free tier of Google Photos, mainly for their amazing search function and identifying people. I can do a search for "pizza" and every photo I ever took of a pizza (or person with a pizza in the shot) comes up. Sometimes it helps to search for a photo you are looking for on Google Photos, and then locating or accessing the real deal on iCloud Photos.

Also iCloud Photos only recognizes a handful of people in my photos but it identifies 5 times as many in Google Photos. Even an obscure person in a group shot (cousin's friend's father's brother) are all located in every photo.

I also find the downsizing as an OCD thing. There are numerous tests where a compressed iTunes movie has 1/10th the storage of a Blu-ray but it retains 99.9% of the quality. But we are all sticklers for that .1% we will never notice.
Well, if easy search is the main focus, fine. But I’d rather not let google know my whole family that way. Yeah, that’s just me.
As for the retain quality thing, for media consumption, it does not matter much. For this “Downscale” backup thing, no. Google is pretty much misleading people by advertising free tier option as “backup”, twisting the true meaning of “backup”.
If I want to use search feature, I would send the photo to google individually and let google find the right photo for me.