Large size of iCloud backup

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Tanax, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #1
    Hey,

    Now when iOS 7 is out I wanted to download it and install it but before I do that, I want to backup my phone to iCloud. I've never done this before, I made all the backups to my Mac.

    I ticked off the camera roll as well as almost all apps except for some minor games (in the size of 1MB each). And still it says my backup size is 3.1GB (!!?!?).

    What's going on with that? What's all that? Is it all my text messages taking up that much space? Are images sent via text messages/iMessages included in that? How can I view what's taking up so much space? I doubt the phone settings, app layout and all that takes up that much space..

    Is this the normal size of an iCloud backup (with camera roll and almost all app data excluded)?
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    My recommendation is to put your phone back with the apps you want on it, then do a new backup to your Mac. Don't bother with an iCloud backup. An iCloud backup is not worth anything if you have to delete things you use to make the backup fit.
     
  3. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #3
    That's true but I don't really need most of my apps data backed up to iCloud, nor do I need my camera roll backed up there since I can just use Photo Stream and import via iPhoto to my Mac.

    So I'm not really doing anything special to "make the backup fit" as you put it. All I'm wondering is how come my backup is so large when I'm only storing the essential core things?
     
  4. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #4
    I thought iCloud wasn't supposed to count our photos? I also thought it iCloud didn't backup camera roll video, yet today I got an email from Apple about iCloud and it specifically said, "Your iCloud storage is used for iCloud Mail and to automatically back up the most important data on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch — the photos and videos in your Camera Roll, device settings, app data, messages, and more."

    So now I'm confused.
     
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    De-selecting apps will in many cases not make much of a difference, since iCloud backup does not store the actual apps in your cloud storage. It just takes note which apps you have installed (so it can automatically re-download them from the app store if you restore later) and backs up any data the app has stored on the device (which is not much for many apps, especially games).
    It's hard to say. Have you checked under General/Usage (with "show all apps") in the settings if one of the remaining apps uses a huge amount of storage?
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    That is strange. my 32gb iPhone backup is about 140MB.
     
  7. Solomani macrumors 68030

    Solomani

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Alberto, Canado
    #7
    I always thought that iCloud storage limit did count your Camera Roll.

    The vague thing is when I have received lots of messages (InBox) with many photos and videos, and they are still sitting in my Mail folders. Do those also count also??

    ----------

    Correct. It does not back up an actual app (let's say Angry Birds), but it does back up the app data (like the game settings and scores for your Angry Birds game).

    There is (almost) little need for iCloud to back up the actual app.... since you are always allowed to freely re-download any purchased app (at any time) from the App Store.

    Almost.... because in some cases, you might need to download an older version of an app, and chances are that it is no longer available in the App Store.
     
  8. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #8
    I have checked my general -> usage and surely there are some apps that takes up a bunch of data. Namely Spotify (1.2GB) since I have a bunch of offline playlists but surely those offline playlists are not stored in the backup?! Especially if I've ticked off that particular app in the backup..

    There are however some apps that have unexplainably large storage used on my iPhone, for instance Facebook and Instagram that both have about 120MB of documents and data each. Surely saving the login and settings can't take up that much space? Perhaps I should delete and re-download those apps?

    In any way, those storages are just on my iPhone and not included in the backup - or they shouldn't be at least.

    Oh wow, that sounds a lot more reasonable. Do you have a lot of text messages with attachments? Or had? I read that attachments can be a huge storage thief and that in some cases, the attachments are not deleted even if you delete the conversation. How long have you had your iPhone for?
     
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    If you do not exclude Spotify, the playlists are absolutely stored in the backup. From iOS point of view they are just regular app data.
    That's probably cache data. These apps are basically little web browsers with some window dressing.
    Everything that 3rd party apps store on the device is included in the backups. iOS cannot differentiate what's important and what isn't.
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
    It's an iPhone 4 that is three and a half years old. I have text messages going back to 2008, maybe further. There are some with video and pictures, but not a lot. Since I have only been using iCloud mail for about a month, I only have about 30MB there.

    I don't keep many photos or videos on my phone - 54MB. Don't use Facebook or Spotify. Instagram is storing 8kb for me, but I only use it to exchange photos with my daughter's family.

    None of my other apps are using any significant space (all less than 1MB). Really, "apps" don't interest me much. I would agree that what you're seeing is data that your apps are caching. If you don't like long backup times and large cloud storage, maybe you should reconsider which apps you need to have backed up and how many photos you really need on the phone. ;)
     
  11. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #11
    Oh, I see. Thanks for explaining. Makes sense.
    But humor me this, I've only included 1 app in the backup - DataMan - and if I check how much storage it's taking up on the phone, it's 520KB. And still it says my next iCloud backup size is 3.2GB now, how come with only 1 app's data included in the backup?

    I see. Read above for what apps I include in the backup. But yes, you are indeed correct that one shouldn't include all apps in a backup! I am also not including the camera roll in the backup.. :/
     
  12. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #12
    Okay, after updating to iOS 7, "Messages" are now shown in the General > Usage page. It says Messages have 3.1 GB of saved messages. Whoa!!

    I can't think that the actual text messages/iMessages take up much space so it must be the attachments. Since I'd preferably want to keep all the text conversations, is it possible to delete only the attachments some easy way without having to go through each conversation by conversation and delete them manually?
     

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