When You Back Up Your iPhone, Does it Back Up the Pictures Too?

By Tyson Cliffton

You have to set up iCloud to back up your Camera Roll.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Camera Roll on an iPhone can contain a wealth of memories you don't want to lose, so you'll want to make sure that information is being backed up in the event something goes wrong with your device. You can back up your Camera Roll through either iCloud or manual iTunes backups, but it's important to back up your photos in other places as well to ensure you don't lose them.


If you have iCloud enabled, that doesn't mean you're backing up your Camera Roll. You have to tell iCloud that you want to back up your Camera Roll by selecting "Storage & Backup" within the iCloud part of your Settings menu. From there, select "Manual Storage" and then the name of the backup that corresponds with your device. Tap the toggle to the right of Camera Roll in the list of backup options; when it's showing green, you've set iCloud to back up your Camera Roll.

ITunes Manual Backup

The manual backup you can perform through iTunes backs up everything on your iPhone, including your Camera Roll. ICloud only gives you 5GB of free storage space, which is easy to eat up if you're backing up all of your photos, but there is no restriction on how much data you can back up.

IPhone Reset

If you've reset your iPhone and are wondering where your photos are, you may have performed a factory reset and not actually restored your device from a backup. To load the images you had on your Camera Roll back on to your device, restore from either the iCloud or iTunes backup that contains the Camera Roll information you want to restore.

Alternative Picture Backups

You can copy images from your Camera Roll to your computer or an external storage device at any time by connecting your iPhone to your computer, clicking the name of your iPhone in Windows Explorer and then opening the DCIM folder. This ensures you have your photos somewhere you can easily access them and view or share them in case something goes wrong with the iPhone backups.