Why is my icloud backup so much smaller than what's on my iOS device?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by mrcalabash, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. mrcalabash, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015

    mrcalabash macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I have a 32gb iPhone with a 10.2gb iCloud backup and 7gb of free space, and a 64gb ipad with a 6.7 gb iCloud backup and 24gb of free space.

    Why is there this discrepancy? What's taking up space on my device that's not in the backup?

    Does this mean if I buy a new device it only has to have more memory than an iCloud backup in order to restore from that backup? Or does a restore from icloud somehow take up more space on the device than the size of the backup?
  2. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Your iCloud backup doesn't store your apps. It stores the information on what apps you have, where they are on your device, and data related to them, but not the apps themselves. When you restore the backup, it redownloads the apps you previously had from the App Store.

    That's just one example of what causes the discrepancy.
  3. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    It doesn't store your music or videos in the backup either. Some apps can also dictate if their data should be stored in the backup or not.
  4. mrcalabash thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    So given that icloud restorals operate as one indivisible block, this explains why I won't be able to restore my 64gb ipad to a new 32gb ipad. (my ipad battery seems to be dying) I read there's some workaround using iTunes tabs but given the state of my ipad battery not sure I'll be able to backup to iTunes.

    Is there no way not to restore my apps?

    I guess one option would be to restore my 32gb iphone to a new 32gb ipad.

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