Your iCloud backup could take a long time for various reasons, including a poor internet connection, a large amount of data to back up, or insufficient iCloud storage space.

Hi, I’m Andrew, a former Mac administrator, and in this article, we will look at some of the reasons your iCloud backup seems to be taking forever and what you can do to rectify the problem. I’ll even answer some frequently asked questions at the end.

Shall we get started?

1. You Have a Large Amount of Data

The more data you have on your device, the longer the backup process will take. Even using a reasonably fast internet connection, tens of gigabytes of data can require multiple hours to upload to iCloud.

If this is the case, your only options are to delete some data for your device, exclude apps from your backups, or wait out the backup. Try starting the backup right before you go to sleep.

2. This is Your First Time Backing up The Device

The first backup of the device always takes longer than subsequent ones because it must copy all data to iCloud. The second backup can be incremental, only backing up data you changed or added since the last time the job ran.

3. Your Device is Not Connected to the Power

While you can manually initiate backups to iCloud, the process won’t start on its own without the device being connected to power.

Even if you manually start the process, it is a good idea to plug in the iPhone or iPad if possible.

4. Your Internet Connection is Poor

Is your internet connection fast and reliable?

Poor upload speeds can cause iCloud backups to screech to a halt.

You can check your upload speed by visiting from your device. 10 Mbps is a typical speed for the average high-speed household. If your speed is much lower, your iCloud backup could take a long time.

Try moving closer to the router or connecting your device to a different Wi-Fi network to see if doing so resolves the problem.

5. You Are Out of iCloud Storage

If you run out of iCloud storage, iCloud Backup might never finish. You can check your storage by going to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, tapping your name, and then selecting iCloud.

If your storage is full, you’ll have to clear up some space or else upgrade your storage plan.

6. The Backup Process is Stuck

Sometimes the backup process gets stuck for a variety of reasons.

If you’ve verified none of the above reasons are causing the slow backup times, the backup job could be stuck.

If possible, wait 24 hours to see if the job will complete. During this time, have the device locked, plugged in, and connected to Wi-Fi as often as possible to facilitate the process.

If a day has passed without completion, here are some things to try:

  • Turn off iCloud Backup and turn it back on.
  • Perform a force restart of your phone.
  • Check for software updates.
  • Sign out and back into iCloud on the iPhone to be backed up.


Here are some other questions regarding iCloud backups.

How long should an iCloud backup take?

The process generally takes anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. These times depend on the amount of data that needs to be backed up and your internet upload speeds.

First-time backups can take several hours to complete if you’ve got a lot of data.

Why is my iCloud photo backup taking so long?

The iCloud Photo-sync process can take a long time for many of the same reasons above. Look for long videos that might be creating a logjam. Also, make sure that Low Power Mode is not enabled, which pauses the sync operation.

How can I make my iCloud backup faster?

You can make your iCloud backup faster by trying these things:

  • Improve your internet speeds.
  • Reduce the amount of data to back up by only selecting apps that need to be stored in iCloud. Do you really need iCloud to back up your Candy Crush data?
  • Ensure your software is up-to-date.
  • Connect your device to power, Wi-Fi, and lock the phone.


Although iCloud backups generally finish quickly, sometimes the process stalls for various reasons. If all else fails, reach out to Apple Support for assistance.

Were you able to resolve the backup problem? What worked for you?