Is there a way to get the same files you can find in a local backup of an iPhone / iOS device from iCloud programmatically?

Ideally, I would like to access them from a computer, but any access other than just restoring a backup onto an iOS device (and overwriting the current contents) as an intermediate step would be most welcome.

For example, it would be useful to be able to retrieve the contents of my iOS address book data every week. Yes, there are other API for address book syncing, but I'm looking for a general case where I could get into iCloud data apart from the official restore procedure.

  • I don't think so. Like anything being accessed through Apple's servers in this nature, it involves tokens and encrypted connections bound to specific accounts and devices. Even if you did reverse engineer some kind of access, I don't think the information would be allowed to be legally distributed. Apple (mostly to protect your data) has created a very secure, but very complex and illusive system with iCloud.
    – user10355
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


Apple's iCloud programming guide states:

Apps that use iCloud must be signed with iCloud-specific entitlements. These entitlements provide a level of security for your app by ensuring that only your apps can access the documents they create.

So I don't think it's possible to retrieve another app's data without compromising the application's private key, which should be safely stored on the application developer's computer. (And backups, hopefully)

  • So theoretically, the only path to this would be to develop and pay for your own key. You could have limited access to only the data you have injected into the cloud?
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 16:44
  • Yeah, you'd basically need to develop your own app and store the data you want access to yourself.
    – Seventoes
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 21:36

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