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What does iCloud *not* backup for iOS?

Ask Different Asked by A O on November 29, 2020

So I know what iCloud does backup: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207428

But I couldn’t find any source on what it doesn’t backup

I accidentally bricked my phone and loaded my backup onto another phone (it’s been a while), but I did notice a few things (I’ll continue adding things to these lists as I use my phone, in case anybody wonders the same thing):

Things that did not backup/move over to new phone:

  1. There was no call history, that didn’t get backed up
  2. Apps that were no longer available in the app store did not get backed up
  3. Apps that I had developed and deployed to my phone were not backed up (icons still there, though)

Things that did backup/move over (somewhat surprisingly):

  1. Apps that saved session tokens still persisted (was still logged in to a lot of apps)
  2. Probably for the same reason the session tokens were backedup, my downloaded Spotify songs also came along
  3. I would’ve guessed that only iMessages would’ve been backed up, but looks like all of my SMS texts to android friends also got backed up which is nice
  4. It did backup my iOS settings, I had sleeping screen turned off, and it was brought over

Main reason I’m asking is because I wasn’t sure if I should go through the effort of trying to revive the phone to get any obscure data off of it. In an ideal world I would get an exact copy. I’m OK just throwing it out otherwise

Not sure if anybody’s ever kept track, if there’s a resource somewhere out there that has a list, that would be great closure for me. Thanks!

3 Answers

Passwords and health data are not saved to the cloud from what I understand. I'm still on Mojave so I can use iTunes for major backups of my iOS devices. In order to save passwords & such, you need to do an encrypted backup by choosing a password. I let them backup automatically to the cloud for day to day data.

Answered by Bosque Bill on November 29, 2020

Apps are not backed up unless you specifically tell it to back them up. The idea is that all ios apps come from the app store and they have a record of all your apps so you can download them again.

Answered by jmh on November 29, 2020

You can find a full list of what apps are operating and backing up to iCloud under Apple ID > iCloud on an iOS device. Like Notes, Safari, Home, Health etc etc

Answered by Alex on November 29, 2020

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