Thanks to iCloud backups, we can protect all the information on our iPhone or iPad in the easiest way with the assurance that we will always have a new copy ready to be restored if we need it. The system takes care of everything, we don’t have to do anything but leave our iPhone or iPad charged and locked while it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network. These copies remain available for a long time, but not forever, let’s see.
Long, but not forever (for logical reasons)
To fully understand the issue of permanence of iCloud backups, something very important is to distinguish between the old backups and the newer one. If we take into account the number of copies that our iPhone or iPad ends up making in a week, it is normal that these are deleted to prevent all our storage space of our iCloud + subscription from filling up quickly.
Apple doesn’t make the copy removal policy explicit, but we can make our own predictions. One option is to delete these copies after certain days after a new copy appears. If this were the case, depending on whether we made more or less copies, the available space would fluctuate significantly, we therefore deduce, without official confirmation, that the elimination is established according to the number of copies stored.
So far we have talked about old copies, important, but not essential for a restoration. Now let’s talk about the latest available copy, from this Apple provides us with information about it. It goes like this. As long as we retain the ability to make active backup copies on our iPhone or iPad, we will always have multiple copies available. The reason is that they are renewed regularly. If, on the other hand, we deactivate the option of backups on our device, the most recent will be kept for a maximum of 180 days, or six months.
Six months if we deactivate the service, forever if we keep it activated.
Keep in mind that the moment we sign out of our Apple ID on a specific device, backups are automatically disabled. So, if we have restored an old iPhone to sell it, its backup starts counting down at this point and gets deleted after six months.
The truth is that given the amount of information that we can store on our iPhone or iPad, and therefore in its backup copies, this measure makes perfect sense. It is certainly not common for us to want to keep a backup of all the iPhones or iPads that we have had in our iCloud account taking up precious space.
In the vast majority of cases, six months is more than enough time to restore this copy to another device and continue to use the backup system to protect the information. If not, we should consider doing a local backup on our Mac. This is something we can do in an encrypted fashion to make sure health information and other more sensitive information is included, and then save it for as long as we want.
This system also allows us to include this copy in a general copy of our Mac, for example using Time Machine. Ultimately, iCloud backups were not designed to keep our information until the end of time, but to ensure that if something goes wrong, we can restore our information efficiently. Something they do perfectly