I guess you’re pretty curious about what is stored in your iCloud backup file, right? After all that buzz about the celebrity naughty photos leaking back in ’14 because these people stored their pictures on their iCloud account not realizing that hackers can break in, eventually posting their private pictures on the Internet and then… wait…? Couldn’t that happen to just about anyone?
Couldn’t that happen to you too? Do you have any sensitive information on your iPad or iPhone? Do you know just which parts of what are backed up to your iCloud account? It you don’t, well then it’s time to start digging, detective.
Your iPhone or iPad, if you have set it up the ‘regular’ way, is continuously backing up all of your device data to the iCloud. The iCloud is stored in Apple’s servers, meaning you don’t have to have your device in your physical possession to get all the data – you can simply retrieve it from the Apple servers.
So how to view iCloud backup easily? There are two really good methods of doing this.
Method Number One
This method involves the use of a third party software, namely Dr. Fone, to take a look at all the files in your iCloud account. This utility needs to be downloaded and run on a computer – Mac or PC, either will do.
Once you’ve installed the program, you need to fire it up to get started finding all your iCloud data. The opening screen will look like this:
Now since we’re only going to be looking at iCloud files and not anything else, we don’t actually need to plug in our device to the computer at all, despite what the picture above says. Instead, point your mouse over to the top right, where it says ‘Recover from iCloud Backup File’.
Well done! You’ve now reached the next step of the process. Here you will need to enter your Apple ID (aka your email address you used to sign up to Apple’s services) and your password. If you’ve forgotten either or both, there is a link at the bottom of the page to help you retrieve them before continuing. Once you have typed in the correct details, you will be able to proceed with the process.
Here you will find yourself facing a list of possible iCloud backup files to choose from. Your current device may have one or multiple iCloud files, and you may spot your other current or old iOS devices in the list too. If you decide that you want to check them all out, that’s fine! You do have to retrieve only one iCloud backup file at a time though. Pick the file in the list with your device’s name and the closest date to the current time, then select Download to retrieve the file.
Downloading may take a little while. Once it is done, you should see a screen just like the one below. All the pictures in your Camera Roll are displayed in the middle panel and all the categories of files in your iCloud are listed in the left panel. This includes Messages and Attachments, Contacts, Call Log, App Photos and Videos, Call History, Voicemail, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Voice Memos, Safari Bookmarks and App Documents. There will literally be more information in there than you know what to do with. You can browse through each category by clicking its respective checkboxes in the left panel.
To save the selected files, click on ‘Recover’.
Method Number Two
Using the second method, you only need to open yourself a new web browser window to get started. On your browser, head on over to https://www.icloud.com/. Here you’ll be asked for your Apple login (email address) and password to log into your iCloud access desk. Once you’ve entered your details correctly, a screen will come up with icons on it almost exactly the same as on your device.
You can find your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, iCloud Drive, Notes, Reminders, as well as iCloud Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, Find Friends, Find iPhone and Settings.
As you can see, this is quite a reduced list from the various other data types compared to what can be recovered using Dr. Fone.
However, this method is also very quick and easy to use and doesn’t require you to set up any more software. If you just want to see if those photos you don’t want on the Internet are there, you can simply opt for this method.