I'm unable to restore an iCloud backup on my iPhone X, after it has been emptied and brought to the factory settings in recovery mode.

My iCloud backup is ~180 GB, while my iPhone 256GB. After almost one day it shows a alert that there is no more free space on my iPhone, while still need to restore 30GB.

If I check how much space is present on my iPhone, most of the memory is occupied by a gray bar (undefined).

How is that possible? Since I cannot control anything of the backup, how can I solve the problem?

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1 Answer 1


Your iCloud stores only photos and data. It does NOT store the apps themselves. Therefore, if you have a lot of apps, the apps + iOS can take up more than what you have on your phone. If I were you, I would click the "Enable" next to "optimize photos - save 112 gb." This will keep low-resolution copies of old photos on your phone, and keep the high-quality images in iCloud. When you access old photos, the high-quality version of the photo you access is downloaded, stored, and deleted after you don't access it for a period of time (say, around 14 days or a month). This will surely make enough space for everything else you have, and you wont even notice the difference (I turned this setting on last week, and I didn't notice anything - just know that you might have slightly higher mobile data usage if you tend to watch LOTS of old videos on mobile data, but this shouldn't matter too much for the average person).

  • Thanks for your reply. I was thinking to activate that option indeed. What's unclear to me is why before I broke my Phone I had 70GB free space, with same identical setup and data, while now I'm not able to restore it.
    – DjGj
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 9:41
  • Oh… you might have had one of the settings enabled on your old phone: “optimize photos” or “offload apps”. Because the OS will hardly expand by a fee gb even if your jumping from a really old device. Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 14:57
  • So I called Apple Support. They think this is definitely not normal. Funny thing is that I connected the phone through the cable to the Mac and instantaneously the gray bar became smaller and smaller. They asked me to try again from scratch and to restore from iCloud. I'll update on the outcome.
    – DjGj
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 17:23
  • @DjGj That is odd how the gray bar became smaller. I would definitely factory reset & re-backup. Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 20:56

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