WhatsApp iCloud Backup Failing? Here’s How to Fix the Issue

BY Parth Shah

Published 29 Aug 2020

WhatsApp, the world’s biggest Instant Messaging platform, doesn’t offer multi-platform sync functions. Meaning, you can’t transfer WhatsApp chat and media from iOS to Android or vice versa using the official solution. WhatsApp does offer the native backup solution on iPhone and Android using iCloud and Google Drive respectively. Due to the WhatsApp backup size and other settings, your WhatsApp backup to iCloud might get stuck. Here are some possible solutions to fix the WhatsApp iCloud backup failing problem on your iPhone.

Using the native backup solution on iCloud, you can set up WhatsApp and switch from your old iPhone to the new iPhone effortlessly. Many users report about WhatsApp’s iCloud backup getting stuck and not completing successfully. Some of the reasons include slow network connection, insufficient iCloud storage, a buggy WhatsApp build, a huge amount of video files, and more.

Let’s tackle the WhatsApp iCloud backup problem using the troubleshooting options below.

How to Fix WhatsApp iCloud Backup Failing Problem

First, we will go through some basic steps to try and fix the problem with WhatsApp backup to iCloud failing.

1. Update WhatsApp

WhatsApp frequently rolls out updates to add new features and fix some annoying bugs. The iCloud backup problem might be due to an old buggy WhatsApp build on your device. You need to open the App Store and update the app to the latest version.

Step 1: Open the App Store on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on the Profile icon at the upper right corner.

Step 3: Update WhatsApp to the latest version.

2. Leave WhatsApp Beta Program

If you are part of the WhatsApp beta program using the TestFlight app, then it’s time to leave the program and opt for the stable build from the App Store.

Step 1: Open the TestFlight app and go to WhatsApp.

Step 2: Scroll down and select Stop Testing.

Now, go to the App Store, download the stable build, and try the iCloud backup again.

3. Use High-Speed Intenet Connection

Based on your usage, WhatsApp backups will be in GBs – since you’d be including photos and videos too.  That would demand a high-speed and stable network connection for a successful backup process. Make sure you are connected to the strong network and your phone shows enough bars for cellular network strength.

4. Exclude Videos from Backup

If you are part of several WhatsApp groups and receive dozens of videos on a daily basis, then it might increase the overall WhatsApp backup size. Thankfully, the company does offer a way to exclude videos from the backup file. Follow the steps below to exclude videos from the WhatsApp backup.

Step 1: Open WhatsApp on your iPhone.

Step 2: Navigate to Settings > Chat > Chat Backup

Step 3: Disable Include Videos option.

From now on, WhatsApp won’t include videos during iCloud backup. The practice will reduce the backup file size and speed up the iCloud backup process.

5. Check iCloud Space

As I mentioned above, WhatsApp on iPhone uses iCloud to back up the data. iCloud by default only offers 5GB 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 WhatsApp 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 Profile > iCloud 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.

Reportedly, WhatsApp has struck a deal with Google to exclude the WhatsApp backup storage from the Google Drive space. We hope to see a similar solution between Apple and WhatsApp.

6. Optimize iCloud Storage

If you don’t want to pay for the iCloud subscription then you need to optimize the default 5GB 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.

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

7. Check If iCloud Servers Are Down

WhatsApp iCloud backup failing might be due to the 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.

8. Delete the Existing iCloud Backup

If you have already taken a prior backup of your data on iCloud, then it can make the process stuck. To quickly fix the iPhone WhatsApp backup stuck issue, you should delete the existing iCloud backup on the iPhone and try to back up the WhatsApp data from scratch. Here 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 WhatsApp backup process from scratch.

9. Enable Background App Refresh

To function properly and handle tasks in the background, Apple allows apps to refresh automatically in the background. Since many apps can end up abusing this feature or cause excessive battery drain, the company offers users to manually toggle this feature off for installed apps on their device. Before backing up WhatsApp data to iCloud, you should ensure that the Background App Refresh is enabled for WhatsApp.

You need to head over to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and ensure the toggle for WhatsApp is enabled.

10. Reset iPhone Settings

The above-mentioned options should fix the WhatsApp iCloud backup failing issue for you. If that does not resolve the problem, your penultimate option is to reset the settings of your iPhone. This will restore your device to factory settings but will not touch your data in any way. Your iPhone might restart during the process. Go through the steps below to reset iPhone settings.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

Step 2: Navigate to General and scroll down to Reset.

Step 3: Tap Reset All Settings option.

11. Reset Network Settings

Sometimes, users overwrite network settings by mistake which results in WhatsApp backup on iPhone getting stuck. You can fix it by resetting the network settings on the iPhone.

Open the Settings app on iPhone and navigate to General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

12. Force Restart iPhone

If none of the tricks are working for you to solve the WhatsApp backup issue on iCloud, 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

13. Update the Device Firmware

If your iPhone is running on an old or unstable iOS version, then you should consider updating it right away. To do this, just open iPhone Settings > General > Software Update to see the latest stable iOS version available.

Tap on the Download and Install button and wait for a while as the firmware would be installed. Once your device restarts, check if the WhatsApp backup stuck issue is resolved.

14. Perform Backup Using iTunes

If you are still not able to save WhatsApp chats on iCloud, then consider taking a backup on iTunes instead. To do this, just connect your iPhone to the PC and launch iTunes. Now go to its Summary section. Under the Backups section, click on the Back Up Now button and make sure you are taking the backup on This Computer instead of the cloud.

The above steps should work in solving WhatsApp iCloud backup failing issue that you are facing on your iPhone. Do drop a comment and let us know the trick that worked for you so that it could help our readers as well!