Manually Manage iCloud App Backups to Increase Available Storage


For iCloud, Apple has provided users with 5GB of free storage space. Your iOS device utilizes this space to automatically backup your photos, accounts, documents, settings, and apps when you are plugged in connected to Wi-Fi.

The allotted 5GB can be quickly consumed if you have multiple iOS devices backed up to one iCloud account. Want to maximize your available storage? You can do so by manually managing the apps iCloud backs up on each devices. Here’s how:

1. Go to Settings–>iCloud–>Storage & Backup–>Manage Storage

2. Select your device in the list of Backups.

3. Toggle ON/OFF the apps you want to be included in your next backup. Some apps take up more space than others.

For example, I can live without having the Groupon app eating up 6.3MB of my iCloud storage. If you have hundreds of apps, these small savings will add up. Right now, my combined iPhone and iPad backups total 3GB.

Of course, if you are almost out of space, you can always buy upgrade your account from Apple, for the following prices (this storage is an addition to your existing 5GB:

$20/year for 10GB
$40/year for 20GB
$50/year for 50GB

Existing MobileMe users that transferred over to iCloud received 25GB total of storage. How much space do your iCloud backups take up?


  • I was well over my 5GB when it first tried to back up. Turns out Rdio’s data included all songs which were synced for playing offline, which added up to a lot of gigs. Since the same songs are already backed up in Rdio’s “cloud”, there’s no point in including them in iCloud. Same probably goes for a lot of apps that were doing cloud before Apple.

  • Anonymous

    For me it uploads my video player, including all video files that happen to be added to it, so I used up 5GB right away. Also it doubles the amount of space taken on my ipad, and from what I can tell there is no way to delete it yourself. Really annoying and stupid, but it’s Apple so what can you do?

  • notweleve12

    There was a cloud before Apple? 🙂

  • Nick

    Actually it’s $100 for 50gb. Pretty pricey

  • Matt

    I ran into the exact same issue when iCloud first came out and came up with the same solution.  My question is what benefit is there to having any app backed up on iCloud?  If i get a new device will the restore only add back the apps on iCloud?  I’m not sure why I’d want to back up any apps on iCloud.  Any insight is appreciated!

  • The question is, why does it show my apps are using about 10mb of space, and I have 2.6 GB available?  There doesn’t seem to be any way to clear it out.