Most of us have been in the situation where we had to get a new iOS device, and all our photos, notes, and contacts went *poof,* never to be seen again.

If you’ve felt that pain—or want to avoid it—iCloud is your friend. Apple’s cloud storage services, including iCloud Drive, back up valuable information, documents, and images wirelessly to the internet. Once the information is stored on iCloud, it’s easy to retrieve or download from any device.

Apple automatically provides every user with 5GB of free iCloud storage. You can use this storage to back up apps, images, videos, or documents. But 5GB fills up fast; additional storage starts at $0.99 per month for 50GB in the US.

What Does iCloud Backup Include?

With Apple iCloud, you can back up:

  • 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 touch
  • Purchase history from Apple services, like your music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books
  • Ringtones
  • Visual Voicemail password (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)

If you only want a few of these backed up to iCloud, you can select what is protected and what is not. There are also third-party apps that can be connected to your iCloud account. Add and revoke these permissions at any time.

Manage what is included by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Apps Using iCloud and toggle the switch on or off for the apps you do or do not want to sync to iCloud storage.

How to Back Up Your Device to iCloud

First, make sure your account has…