iCloud FAQ

We've rounded up the most frequently asked questions on making the most of iCloud here.

How can I connect to an iCloud account with 2FA (two-factor authentication)?

Just like you'd expect. iPhone Backup Extractor fully supports 2FA. You'll need to enter the 2FA code when prompted.

Can I recover notes and note attachments from iCloud?

Absolutely, yes. We have a guide to recovering your iPhone notes.

Every morning I wake to my phone saying "iPhone Not Backed Up"; how can I complete my iCloud backup?

We've got a knowledge-base article to fix "iPhone Not Backed Up" for you. If you need more help, you can always reach out to our support team.

When I try to create an iCloud backup I get "iPhone Backup Failed"

If you're getting an error like that (sometimes it also says "You do not have enough space in iCloud to back up this iPhone") there are a few simple things you can do to get past it. There's a support article here to help you fix your iCloud backups and resolve "iPhone Backup Failed".

Can I get data from an iCloud backup without having to download and restore it?

Yes, with iPhone Backup Extractor you can. It's possible to work with iCloud backups directly in the cloud, without the need to download them first. Check out the article on exploring your backup.

Can I get data from an "Incomplete" iCloud backup?

If your iPhone's Settings[your name]iCloudManage StorageBackups it shows the "Last Backup" as "Incomplete", it won't be possible to download it using the conventional approach. The only option you'll see on your iPhone is "Delete Backup". However, if you contact our support team, we may be able to help you with this.

Do I need iTunes or iCloud installed on Windows to access my iCloud data?

No. iPhone Backup Extractor doesn't require iTunes or any Apple libraries to be installed on your computer.

Can I recover my Hike Messenger, Line, Kik, WeChat or Viber messages from iCloud?

Yes, you can, and you can also preview them using "preview mode" as described here. We also have dedicated guides for recovering data for each of WhatsApp, Hike, Line, WeChat, Kik and Viber.

Can I recover my Safari bookmarks or browsing history from iCloud?

You certainly can. We've got a guide on how to do that with a regular iTunes backup, and the same approach can be used with an iCloud backup and iPhone Backup Extractor.

How can I restore my iPhone from an older iCloud backup, or archive my iCloud backups?

So long as you regularly download your iCloud backups using iPhone Backup Extractor, you can archive them on your computer (or in Dropbox, etc.) and use them to restore your device later on.

Is iCloud Photo Stream or iCloud Photo Library a backup?

These syncing options are distinct from your iCloud backup. Whereas the syncing options will send everything to your iCloud connected devices, the backup is device specific. Your iPhone backup has nothing to do with your iPad backup and none of the information will transfer to your MacBook.

My iPhone storage is full. What should I do?

If you find yourself clamouring for space on your iPhone, then what do you usually do? Delete stuff, right? You will need to be careful when deleting images or videos in your iCloud Photo Library. If you delete any photo from iCloud on one device, it will delete it on other devices as well. Specifically, the file will be transferred to a recently deleted folder. Everything that gets into the "Recently Deleted folder" will be permanently deleted after 30 days.

However, iCloud Photo Library provides a neat feature that can help you keep your iPhone photo storage under control.

When you select "Optimise iPhone Storage" the Photo Library will act as curator and manage the size of your library on the device. The original, full resolution images will be uploaded to iCloud according to how often you access them. If you need a quick preview you'll find low-resolution thumbnails stored on your iOS device.

However, if you have a picture of Bigfoot then you will need a full resolution image to prove it. You can still download that image from iCloud and onto your iPhone or iPad; simply click the image and it will download via cellular or wi-fi immediately.

What's the difference between iCloud Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library?

Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library are both services for syncing photos across your iCloud devices. You can download both to your computer to allow for easy iCloud photo access, but how do you know which one you need? The simple answer is that iCloud Photo Library is newer, and — in most cases — better.

We discuss the differences in more detail in our guide on downloading iCloud data.

The best feature of iCloud Photo Stream is its low storage demands. You can keep your photos on iCloud without storage anxiety because the images won’t count against your iCloud storage, but they are time limited.

iCloud Photo Library is packed with Moments, People and Locations. These three functions help you organise your photo even when you’re not paying attention. Your photos and videos get neatly categorised location using smart geofilters. Images are scanned for faces, so that people who pop up regularly in your pictures are identified, and that makes it easier for you to view all photos taken with your best friend for example. All of your Memories are updated everywhere, so you can find the moment you're looking for anywhere you are.

Albums can be shared with people as long as they have an iCloud email address & account. Let’s say you organise a party and the only phone being used is yours. Share the Photo album with your guests once they send over the email address associated with their iCloud account. Whilst this is platform specific (Android users need to create an iCloud account just to see what you’ve shared), it does make life easier, unless you really enjoy sending attachments via email. Shared albums won't take up your storage space, which is neat.

How does iCloud Photo Library work?

iCloud Photo Library is fundamentally a photo and video synchronisation service. It contains all of your photos from all of the devices associated with your iCloud account. Got a Mac in Malibu and an iPhone in Indonesia? It doesn’t matter; all the photos will ride the cloud into your iCloud Photo Library. The best thing about iCloud Photo Library is that it simplifies that process of storing and backing up photos. Whilst some devices require importing photos manually, the iCloud Photo Library does this automatically -- over Wi-Fi -- and syncs the photos across your iCloud Photo Library enabled devices. It even works on the Apple TV!

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