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How Long Does It Take To Upload Photos To iCloud?

iCloud is a useful service to back up iPhone photos and other files.

But people have always complained about its uploading time by asking some familiar questions like – why is iCloud backup taking so long or how long does it take to upload photos to iCloud.

There are just countless queries regarding this issue on the Internet, and you won’t find many helpful resources to clarify your doubts and questions.

In this post, we will try to understand the technical details of the iCloud upload processing time, which will help you schedule the backups accordingly.

iCloud Backup Taking Forever

That’s what you get to hear when you talk to people who try to upload their large files to iCloud.

iCloud Upload Time Remaining

So, let’s learn about the factors that often lead to the iCloud backup delays.

1. File Size

Size matters!

Joking apart, it does make a difference when you try to upload or backup files using iCloud.

When you start utilizing full space on your device, that is, 64GB or 128GB, the backup file size also increases over the period. And as you know, this increase in file size automatically leads to slow upload process.

Once this thing happens, the iPhone system will need extra resources to prepare the backup and upload the file to the cloud servers.

2. Internet Speed

When you talk about the internet speed, you shouldn’t consider the download speed of your Internet subscription plan.

Many newbies often make a mistake by assuming that the download speed is what you need to do all things on the Internet. Well, if you’re thinking about the same thing, you’re wrong.

You will need to look at the upload speed, which obviously plays a huge role in sending backup files to the iCloud servers.

So, check the upload speed mentioned in your subscription plan. In most cases, it’s going to be far less than the download speed.

And if the upload speed is not up to the mark, your iCloud backup will take forever to complete the process.

Estimated Time To Upload Photos To iCloud

In the following table, you will find some estimated numbers to figure out the time required to upload photos and different files to iCloud.

Internet SpeedFile SizeTime Required
1 Mbps1 GB~ 2.5 hrs
10 Mbps1 GB~ 15 mins
100 Mbps1 GB~ 1.5 mins

So, that’s how long it’s going to take for you to finish the iCloud upload process. Also, these numbers might look astonishing, but don’t worry.

The iOS system follows a unique concept where it doesn’t have to upload the entire database to iCloud all over again. It makes a note of all new additions/changes in the background.

Later, the system only adds new files to the upload queue, which helps in reducing the overall backup time. Hence, there is no need to worry about iCloud file upload duration or Internet data consumption.

Note – The above calculations use some ideal input points such as Internet Speed and Uninterrupted Connectivity. Therefore, you may expect variations in actual upload time.

Tips To Speed Up The iCloud Photos Upload Process

Here are some suggestions for you to speed up this whole process of uploading photos to your iCloud backup server –

1. Remove old photos

When you feel like it’s taking too long to back up your iPhone, you can try removing some of your old photos as well as videos from Photos.

This trick will automatically help you reduce the file size to a considerable level.

However, if you need these photos and videos for future use, don’t forget to download them on a Mac external hard disk. You may use the iTunes sync to get these files on your computer.

2. Get a new Internet plan

Simple solution!

Get a better Internet service, and you should be able to expedite this process.

Check with your Internet service provider and ask them to suggest a better plan that offers decent uploading speed.

Many ISPs offer such special Internet services for those who want to have high uploading speed.

3. Use office Internet or cafe Internet connection

This type of places will have faster Internet connections, as they tend to serve large user base.

So, you can use this Internet service to back up the files to iCloud instantly.

And of course, do take the necessary permissions before using the private connection, especially in the work environment.

Note – Do not try this trick in crowded places. You will probably require more upload time on such connection than your home Internet.

4. Connect fewer devices to your Wi-Fi connection

If you don’t have the option to choose a faster connection, you can try this useful tip.

When you want to upload large data files to iCloud, you can disconnect Wi-Fi from other devices at your home. This technique will allow your iPhone to use full Internet speed without any interruptions.

Although you may not experience any significant difference, it does reduce the estimated upload time.

5. Start the upload process during the night time

Yup, it works!

I have used this technique on numerous occasions, and I’m sure you’d be surprised to see the results too.

During the night time, the Internet usage goes down significantly. It means the amount of bandwidth available for each user also increases slowly and steadily.

You can certainly make use of this Internet user behavior pattern and upload the backup files accordingly. Some ISPs also offer more data during this period, which you can find out on their official websites.

6. Use iTunes to back up your entire iPhone

The iTunes backup option can be an alternative to iCloud backups.

You can use iTunes sync feature to back up all your files on Mac, which will allow you to save only a few files on iCloud.

In iOS settings, you can select the apps that you want to sync with iCloud storage.

Here’s the screenshot of these settings –

iCloud Apps Backup Options

As you can see above, you can enable or disable the apps from this list.

So, these are some of the tips that can help you fix the photos backup issue.

Have any other related questions? You can ask them in the following comments section.

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