If I have a limit of free 5GB iCloud, and the Backup Info states:

  • Backup Size: 4.28GB
  • Next Backup Size: 1.10GB

Doesn't this mean the next backup will be smaller? Therefore, shouldn't it overwrite/delete the existing backup and thus still be within the 5GB limit?

My backups keep failing because of lack of space.

2 Answers 2


This means your current backup size on iCloud is 4.28GB. The next time a backup is done it will add an additional 1.10GB.

4.28 + 1.10 = 5.38GB. That will exceed the amount of space you have in iCloud.

You can reduce what's being backed-up or buy additional storage space in iCloud. Check out this answer to a similar question for tips on what you can do.

  • So really, one should consider iCloud backup space to be half of what is stated.
    – skube
    Feb 25, 2019 at 11:38
  • No, you have the full 5GB to use for backup. You are in control of what gets backed-up so it looks like you're trying to backup too much for the available space. You should change the back-up settings to fit into the available space or buy more space.
    – fsb
    Feb 25, 2019 at 12:29

It's true that 4.28 + 1.10 = 5.38, and that would make sense if the backups were purely incremental, and data that no longer exist locally was deleted from the incremental backups. But that's not the case. I deleted the existing backup manually, and took a new one right away. That reduced the backup size from 2.6 GB to 1.3. One problem is that when you delete an app, it's data is still left in the backup. You can erase that data from the latest backup, and I did that and took a new backup but the total data backed up was still twice what it should be. So a lot of old backed up data is obviously not deleted from iCloud, and I have searched online but haven't found a way to examine what data that is, nor a way to delete it separately from the fresh backup. Apple has made the whole thing a blur, and there's no documentation.

  • Yeah I've completely deleted my backup, now have a very small, next backup and yet it still tells me there's not enough room. It's not surprising Apple makes it a bit of an opaque process — they have a vested interest in selling iCloud storage.
    – skube
    Oct 27, 2019 at 11:14

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