Could someone help explain the nuances of what is being backed up in a situation where I have deleted my iCloud backups and have turned off Backup, but certain items are still toggled "on" in Settings > iCloud?

Attached is a screenshot to illustrate this situation. Notice how two items are set to "on". Does that mean they are still getting backed up, even though the Backup option is "off"? If not, then what does being toggled "on" mean?

Contacts & Calendars is on, but Backup is off


If iCloud Backup is off, then your device is not being backed up to iCloud, regardless of any other settings.

Enabled iCloud services will synchronise that data to other devices with those services on. In the screenshot, the Contacts and Calendars services are enabled, which means that the data which is stored in iCloud for these services will be synchronised to all devices with these services enabled.

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  • I don't quite understand. So the fact that Calendar and Contacts are "on" has no bearing with regard to whether they will be backed up in an iCloud backup? – Lakey Sep 20 '14 at 12:49
  • @Lakey Correct; I've edited my answer to clarify – grg Sep 20 '14 at 12:51
  • Thank you for the clarification. I have marked your answer as correct because you answered my question. However, since you said those enabled services are only for syncing with other devices (not backups), could you please confirm whether Contacts and Calendars are backed up in the iCloud for the purposes of a device wipe & restore? The description text of the Backup option does not mention Contacts or Calendars. – Lakey Sep 20 '14 at 13:03
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    @Lakey I'm not certain I understand what you mean, but if iCloud Backup is not enabled, then the device is not being backed up, and when setting up the device, the Restore from iCloud Backup option won't work because there's no backup to restore from. However, if you restore your device, log in with your Apple ID for iCloud and enable those services, any data which is stored in iCloud will be restored to the device. This is not the same as iCloud Backup as iCloud Backup is mono-directional storage of your data whereas iCloud services such as Calendars and Contacts is two-way synchronisation. – grg Sep 20 '14 at 13:10
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    @Lakey Enabling iCloud Backup will backup the entirety of your device. There are a separate list of toggles under Backup available once iCloud Backup is enabled for deciding what to back up. – grg Sep 20 '14 at 13:18

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