IOS backups to iCloud - can I trust it?

My wife got herself a new iPhone today, and she is using the iCloud backup thing. After the restore had completed, we realize several things are not there - notably the off-line copies of content from her audio book service. Yes, it can be re-downloaded, but she used this mechanism as her queue, and there is no indication of any prior downloads.

Are there limits to what gets backed up and/or restored? I have no issue with subscription content requiring a fresh login and authentication on the new device, but to simply exclude data from a backup rubs me the wrong way. A full backup should provide a restore of all files, right?

If we had gone for the traditional iTunes backup to a Mac, would the same excludes be in effect?

What am I missing here?

From what I’ve read, iCloud backup only backups up data that it can’t get anywhere else, so your podcast or ebooks or other stuff like that are not backup. One thing that got my wife caught was her notes in the Notes app, she had them in On my iPhone but didn’t notice it until AFTER she sent her old iPhone, so she lost those thinking that the Notes would be in her backup and iCloud, so even though they were only on her iphone, Apple in all it’s wisdom though “hey, if you want to backup your notes, put them in iCloud, if you don’t we will assume you don’t want a backup either”. Not sure if there is a list of all that is backed up or not backed up somewhere though.

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In settings, click on your name and photo at the top>>iCloud>>Manage Storage>>Backups>>[The Device in Question]
You’ll see the heading “Choose data to back up” followed by a list of toggles.

Looking at this list, are all of the toggles ON, including for the applications that appear to not have backed up? If the toggle is not on, then the application data will not be backed up in an iCloud backup.


After having done tons of icloud backup restores for myself and my family, nothing is missing.
The backup is complete and effortless

Aha, lots of toggle options in there. Most of them ticked, but a few now corrected. No option for the audio book service though, probably because it can be downloaded again…

Will make sure that I have plenty of time on fast wifi for at least a week after changing phones in the future.


Yep, a bit too secret I thought. Thanks Jeff!

I still go for encrypted iTunes backup and restore every time. Thorough and quick.