These days, our iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) play an important role. Not just because of what the hardware can do, but because they capture and contain the things we treasure: photos of travels, videos of our friends and family, messages from people we love, even our carefully curated collection of apps. If your phone were to be lost or damaged, it can be replaced. But it's the stuff ON your phone that really matters. With these simple steps, your data will always be safe and sound. Not to mention, if you are having a problem with your computer or iOS device, the FIRST thing you'll be ask by someone assisting you  is "Do you have a backup?" Often, that question is met with a blank stare. So, here's how to create and maintain a backup of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using iCloud, a free service from Apple. 

To get started, tap on settings, then tap iCloud.

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As you can see, this iPad is already logged in. Log in with your existing iCloud account or follow the prompts to create a new one. 

 Once set up, you’ll see several features that can be toggled on and off, depending on what you would like to enable iCloud to sync. 

To turn on iCloud back ups, tap on “Storage & Backup" and then toggle the iCloud Backup to "On" which is illustrated with a green switch.

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Go ahead and tap on the toggle to turn backups on. Your ipad will display a promt to inform you that you’re no longer backing up using iTunes. Press okay.  

Your iPad is now ready to back up.  Once enabled, iCloud automatically backs up your device over Wi-Fi every day while it’s turned on, locked, and connected to a power source. If you'd like to go ahead and begin a backup, press the button "Back Up Now".

Finally, let’s talk about what to do if you run out of space!

On the “Storage and Backup” page, you’ll see how much space you’ve used, and how much you have left. 

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If you see that you don’t much space left, or if you’ve received an error message saying your back up could not be completed, the easiest option is to tap “buy more storage”. On iPhone, this will say “change storage plan.”  If you'd like to add more space to your iCloud, choose the plan that suits your needs. 

If you'd like to delve a bit deeper into what is taking up the space you currently have, go ahead and tap "manage storage" on the "Storage and Backup" page of settings > iCloud. Here you'll see specific applications on your device, as well as backups from any other device that has, or is currently, backing up to your iCloud account. 

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From here, you can delete backups of old devices, turn off backing up for specific apps. If you notice that your camera roll is taking up a lot of space, you can transfer or delete files. Videos are a good place to start as they take up more room than photos.