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Question: Exclude Texts/iMessaging from iPhone Backup

I see from this article that text messaging is part of the iPhone backup. I'm getting the "iCloud Storage Almost Full" message, and my iPhone 7 backup is 4.8 GB. How do I exclude texting from the iPhone backup so my backup will go back down to a reasonable size? I do not want to delete these from my device - just keep them from taking up my iCloud space as part of the iPhone backup. I have an iPhone 7 Plus and am running iOS 11.2.6. Thank you!

iPhone 7 Plus, iOS 11.2.6

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Mar 16, 2018 9:52 AM in response to Iwanara In response to Iwanara

A 4.8GB backup is not very large for an iPhone 7. My initial backup for my iPhone 7 was 27.6GB. If you want to continue to back up your device to iCloud, I would suggest that you purchase at least 50GB of storage. $.99 a month seems like a pretty good bargain to ensure that your important things are backed up.

You can also do some culling of your Text Messages. Move any Videos or Photos into the Photos app. Delete old conversations that you no longer need.



Mar 16, 2018 9:52 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 12:02 PM in response to gail from maine In response to gail from maine

Thank you for responding. Actually, I have photos/videos, etc. excluded from back ups because I use another service for that. It should be just my contacts, calendar, notes, messages, etc. in the past, messaging was not part of the backup. I know this because I lost all my messages when my previous iPhone was destroyed. I purposely had messages excluded from the back up. Now it appears that you can no longer do that under iOS 11. But I’m hoping someone can tell me how to exclude messaging from the backups in iOS so I can it back to a reasonable size for the iCloud backups of my phone.

Mar 16, 2018 12:02 PM

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Mar 16, 2018 12:54 PM in response to Iwanara In response to Iwanara

Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Reminders, etc. are not included in an iCloud backup.

Messages have always been a part of the backup but there has never been an option as to whether to include them or not.

You can see what is taking up the storage by going to Settings>your name>iCloud>Manage Storage>Backup>click on your device (if you have more than one device listed, you will want to review what you are backing up on each of those individual devices as well). You can also click on any of the other devices and remove their backups altogether.

But Messages have always automatically backed up to iCloud, and Messages can take up a ton of room in the backup. Here is a list of what iCloud backs up:

Here’s what iCloud Backup includes

  • App data
  • Apple Watch backups
  • Call history
  • Device settings
  • HomeKit configuration
  • Home screen and app organization
  • iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages
  • Photos and videos on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch1
  • Purchase history from Apple services, like your music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books2
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemail password (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)

Your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch backup only include information and settings stored on your device. It doesn’t include the information already stored in iCloud, like Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks, Mail, Notes, shared photos, iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, Health data, and files you store in iCloud Drive.

So, it may or may not be your Messages that are taking up so much room. Do they have a lot of photos and videos in them? Have you considered moving those photos and videos to your photos app and deleting them from your Messages?



Mar 16, 2018 12:54 PM

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Question: Exclude Texts/iMessaging from iPhone Backup