iCloud Drive is a Sync Service, Not a Backup Service

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Glenn Fleishman reminds us that iCloud Drive shouldn’t be used solely as your backup service.

Apple doesn’t offer any way to let you backup the data for which it has the only copy. And, in many cases, you may have a mix of information that could make it hard to restore, even if you have a full copy.

I used to use iCloud Drive-only, but now I’ve diversified. An ideal solution is a combination of cloud storage and physical storage. There are cloud services like Backblaze you can use for your Mac, as well as an external hard drive. For iPhones and iPads, you can use a special flash drive like iXpand. Earlier this year I bought a wireless SanDisk that I can use both with my iDevices and Mac.

Check It Out: iCloud Drive is a Sync Service, Not a Backup Service

iCloud Drive is a Sync Service, Not a Backup Service

8 Comments Add a comment

  1. GraphicMac

    I’m not sure why people keep referring to Backblaze as a backup solution. Backblaze is no different than Time Machine and to some extent, iCloud Drive. It is not really a backup solution.

    From the Backblaze FAQ:
    Deleted Files
    Backblaze will keep versions of a file that changes for up to 30 days. However, Backblaze is not designed as an additional storage system when you run out of space. Backblaze mirrors your drive. If you delete your data, it will be deleted from Backblaze after 30 days.

    So while they keep a file for 30 days, Time Machine will keep files as long as it has space to store them. And iCloud Drive will keep them as long as you don’t delete them from iCloud Drive.

  2. eddychik

    An Apple 2TB NAS / Time Machine that support / require iCloud Drive ?

    So there is always a second copy somewhere. And it has to login with iCloud. You also get iOS Backup with it cached. May be for $399 that includes 2-Years of 2TB iCloud Subscription?

  3. John Q

    Am I missing something?

    Is there another way to backup iOS device settings and app data aside from iCloud?

    You know, the backups that are one of the first things a Genius will ask a user about when seeking help from an Apple Store?

    Something that will seamlessly allow a user to restore a device without hassle, or transfer their digital life to a new or replacement device? With the number of settings in iOS alone, plus those of apps, I’d hate to have to start from scratch, even if I can easily restore photos and file data from a 3rd party service.

    iTunes backups are still an option, but practically speaking, the vast majority of uses don’t ever plug their iOS devices into a computer, leaving iCloud as the easy, de facto solution.

    So tell me again how iCloud doesn’t serve an important backup function.

    • Andrew Orr

      iCloud Backups in iOS are different than iCloud Drive. Those backups are an actual backup service. But iCloud Drive, aka what you see in the Files app, is a sync service. It syncs files between devices but it can’t keep a copy of files only on Apple’s servers.

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