How to Fix ‘Last iCloud Backup Could Not be Completed’ Error on iPhone

BY Parth Shah

Published 7 Sep 2020

iCloud backup could not be completed

It is important to backup your iPhone periodically and setting your device to automatically back up to the cloud is the most convenient option. For iPhone and iPad users, this means backing up their entire device to iCloud.  The backups are automatic as long as the device is connected to Wi-Fi. However, sometimes you may find an error message saying ‘The last backup could be completed’ when you check your iCloud backup settings.

The error message is a little vague and does not exactly reveal that the problem is as to why the backups to iCloud are failing. Given how necessary regular backups are, this error message can be annoying and confusing. Fortunately, it can be resolved with a few simple troubleshooting tricks.

At this time, you may try to complete the backup manually, but you usually receive another message saying ‘iCloud Backup Failed’. If you keep getting ‘The last backup could not be completed’ error while trying to backup your iPhone to iCloud, try the troubleshooting steps below.

Fix ‘The Last iCloud Backup Could Not be Completed’ Error on iPhone

A variety of factors can cause iCloud backup errors, including mismatched Apple ID credentials, not enough iCloud storage, a poor Wi-Fi connection, and a lack of physical storage space on the device. No matter the cause, the issue is present on all iPhone and iPads which have iCloud enabled and more specifically automatic iCloud backups.

1. Update iOS Software to the Latest Version

iCloud backup failing on your iPhone or iPad can be due to a buggy iOS version as well. After all, Apple isn’t having a good time delivering quality updates to the iPhone user. Thankfully, the company is quick to resolve such issues.

Open the Settings app on the phone and go to General > Software Update and download the latest available iOS build on the device.

2. Connect Device to Wi-Fi and Power Source

The automatic iCloud backup starts only at night when your device is locked and connected to Wi-Fi and a power source. Make sure the device is plugged into a wall outlet at night and check that it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network.

3. Check If iCloud Services Are Down

iCloud backups on your iPhone or iPad can also fail due to an iCloud service outrage on Apple’s side. If that’s the case then you have no option but wait for Apple to fix the issue. You can go to Apple’s official support system status website to see if all the Apple services including iCloud are running fine.

4. Sign Out and Sign In Again

Sign out of your iCloud account, and then immediately sign back in. This can sometimes fix any issues with the iCloud account. You can open the Settings app on the iPhone navigate to Profile > Sign Out. Sign in using the same Apple ID and try your luck with iCloud backup.

5. Check iCloud Space

iCloud by default only offers 5 GB of space, to begin with. Considering default settings on the iPhone, it’s quite easy to fill up the free space on the iPhone. You might be low on iCloud storage to successfully backup the iCloud data. Follow the steps below to check the iCloud space on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the phone.

Step 2: Go to ProfileiCloud and here you will see a detailed storage chart remaining space.

If you are low on storage, then make some space by deleting irrelevant files or upgrade to a higher storage plan. iCloud paid plans start at $1 per month for 50GB. You can also go with a $3 per month plan for 200GB that comes with family sharing. The highest 2TB plan is priced at $10 per month.

6. Optimize iCloud Storage

If you don’t want to pay for the iCloud subscription then you need to optimize the default 5 GB storage on the iPhone. The first thing you can do is, disable photos and videos back up to the iCloud service. Open the Settings app on the iPhone and navigate to Profile > iCloud > Photos and disable iCloud Photos from the following menu. You can also disable irrelevant apps data from the iCloud backup, which leads to a smaller iCloud backup size.

For more details, head to our dedicated post to quickly free up iPhone storage space.

7. Delete the Existing iCloud Backup

If you have already taken a prior backup of your data on iCloud, then it can make the iCloud backup process stuck. To quickly fix the iPhone iCloud backup failing issue, you should delete the existing iCloud backup on the iPhone and try to back up the data from scratch. Below are step-by-step instructions to delete the iCloud backup on the device.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

Step 2: Navigate to Profile > iCloud > iCloud Storage.

Step 3: Go to Manage Storage and select the current iPhone backup.

Step 4: From the following menu, delete your existing iCloud backup and start the iCloud backup process from scratch.

8. Make Sure Your iPhone Has Enough Storage

When your iPhone’s local storage is filled to full capacity, it has trouble completing basic tasks, such as backing it up to iCloud. Check the available device storage and see if it has a minimum of 1 GB of free space. Free up space on your device if necessary.

Open the Settings app on the iPhone and navigate to General > iPhone Storage. Here, you will see a detailed breakdown of the iPhone storage. You can also offload unused apps to make space on the iPhone.

9. Reset Network Settings

If none of the options are working for you then you should try resetting network settings on your iOS device. The option will reset all network settings back to default settings. This includes Wi-Fi connections and so forth.

It will also reset your iCloud settings, meaning you will hopefully fix the ‘iCloud backup could not be completed’ error.

To find the option navigate to Settings > General > Reset and tap on the Reset Network Settings option.

10. Force Restart iPhone

If none of the tricks are working for you to solve the iCloud backup issue, you can try force restarting it to see if that helps. Depending on which iPhone you have, the steps to force restart your iPhone will be different.

On iPhone 8 and newer iPhones without a home button, you need to press the Volume up button followed by the Volume down button and then quickly press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo to force restart your iPhone.

How to Force Restart iPhone 8 or Later

On iPhone 7, you need to press and hold the Lock/Wake (Side) button and the Volume down button for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo to force restart your iPhone.

How to Force Restart iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus

On iPhone 6s or older, you need to press and hold the Lock/Wake button and the Home button for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo to force restart your iPhone.

How to Force Restart iPhone 6s or older

11. Contact iCloud Support

This should be the last option on your list. Visit Apple’s iCloud support page that covers a variety of help topics that are delivered through phone, chat, and email support.

Overall, it’s quite easy to fix ‘the last iCloud backup could not be completed’ error on the iPhone. The troubleshooting steps should fix the issue but if you are still facing problems with iCloud backup then take the iPhone backup using iTunes on the PC. Which trick worked for you? Share your opinion in the comments section below.