I have an iPod5. I have been using iCloud for backups. However, I have an issue in a particular app that only goes away when I fully reset the device. (The issue in the app persists if I restore from iCloud backup, but that’s not what I want addressed here). So, at the moment, my iOS device is running as if it were a fresh new iOS install. I want to be able to keep going with this install and have it backed up to iCloud. However, I also want to keep my old backup around so that I can go back to that later.

I thought that iCloud would automatically start a new backup series when I chose to set up my iPod5 as a “New” device. However, when I look at the backups UI, I get the impression that I am going to lose my old backup as soon as it performs the next backup.

Under iCloud → Backup, I see “Last Backup: 1:37 AM”. That is the timestamp of the backup I performed on this iPod before resetting it:

Backup / Back Up Now / Last Backup: 1:37 AM

Under “Manage Storage” when viewing iCloud settings through the device, it lists the iPod I’m using as matching the backup I made before I set up my iPod as a new iPod. The backup that it says is associated with this iPod is the very one I want to preserve when I make a backup of my iPod:

Manage Storage / Binki’s iPod Touch / This iPod

And when visiting that screen, you can see the discrepancy between the backup that looks like it will be overwritten and the backup that iOS plans on overwriting it with:

Info / Latest Backup: 1:37 AM / Backup Size: 715 MB / Next Backup Size: 16.0 MB

So, how do I get iOS iCloud backups to start a new backup or save/checkpoint/rename the old one? I’m starting to fear that my only option is to restore the old backup, make a backup in iTunes, and then manage storage of that backup manually which is a pain that I hoped iCloud would be able to prevent…

In an answer to another question, I read:

  • You can have multiple backups in iCloud for a device and choose which backup to restore from (assuming there are no device/iOS compatibility issues).

My question is: how? ;-)

3 Answers 3


You can't fork a backup on the iCloud servers.

All you can do is delete the existing backup and then start one over. Over time, abandoned forked backups get pruned and deleted as well, so keep that in mind if you manage to separate things.

  • Hmm, not the answer I wanted to hear, but sounds right.
    – binki
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 20:39
  • 1
    As noted here, iCloud only keeps one backup per device, worked out by Serial Number. iTunes is the same, if there is a backup of a iPhone/Pad/Pod that is not archived then it will override it. You mention about the "Multiple Backups" in iCloud for one device. That is that when you restore from iCloud backup, you can restore from the point it was at at the last three backups that the device performed Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 11:52
  • 1
    If it were me, I'd keep the backup with the troublesome app on iTunes, and the backup without the app being troublesome in iCloud, and have iCloud backup specifically turned off in the iTunes-kept backup Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 11:54

You could disable backup for that app (Settings --> iCloud Settings --> Storage --> Manage Storage --> Your Device --> turn the troublesome app off). You may want to backup on the computer just in case, as an extra precaution. Once disabled, you should reset device and restore the most recent backup, with the app disabled.

  • I wanted to be able to restore the backup with the misbehaving app and have a separate backup series for a freshly reset iOS and be able to switch between them by resetting the device and restoring from a particular backup at will. Doing the backup using a computer probably would accomplish that because iTunes gives you enough control over local backups to manage them this way. My question was specifically about iCloud, though.
    – binki
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 1:40
  • Thought: could the solution above be performed (removing the app from iCloud backup), then device restored through iTunes and then from that backup, and then download the app fresh from the app store? Would that achieve fixing the problem overall and cease the need to keep the two different "editions" of the backup? Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 11:56
  • @FreelancerJ That would be a way to avoid having to start totally from scratch with my “working version of the app” backup. Though in my scenario I wasn’t sure why the app was not working (e.g., I initially thought it was a system-wide configuration/data issue, and I don’t remember what solved it) so I was intentionally “setting up as a new iPod”. If you see how the currently accepted answer is just “no, you can’t do that” I would totally accept a new answer that says “no, you can’t do that, here’s why you can’t, and here’s the best alternative: use iTunes local backups”.
    – binki
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 15:46

Go to iCloud settings -> back up -> back up now

  • How does that allow me to prevent an iOS device from overwriting its backup after I erase it and then reconnect it to my iCloud account?
    – binki
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 15:30

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