What Happens If You Don’t Pay iCloud Storage?

Apple provides 5GB of iCloud storage free of charge for every Apple user. If you need more than 5GB of storage, you need to buy an iCloud storage plan. After subscribing, what will happen if you stop paying for storage? 

If you stop paying for iCloud, any new photos or videos will not be uploaded or backed up to the iCloud. You also won’t be able to use your iCloud email address, and iCloud-enabled apps will no longer be updated across your iOS devices that use the same iCloud ID. 

What happens to my data if I my cancel iCloud storage subscription?

When you cancel your iCloud storage subscription and go back to the free iCloud storage plan, all your data stored in iCloud remains on iCloud for 30 days after cancellation. 

This 30 day grace period allows you to download all your files from iCloud locally onto your computer. After the 30-day grace period, you will lose access to all your files stored in iCloud and will no longer be able to download or view them. 

iCloud photo library will not save new photos and videos that you take as all your devices using the same Apple ID will stop backing up to iCloud. Neither will you be able to use your iCloud email address for sending and receiving messages, and iCloud drive and other iCloud apps will no longer update and sync.

The files stored in your iPhone storage will not be affected, but you won’t be able to upload any new files, including pictures and videos, to iCloud.

Think of iCloud a bit like a streaming service: if you stop paying, you lose access to your content.  

Apple has not made it clear whether they actually delete your data from iCloud after the grace period, but that’s likely as you can no longer access that data. 

What happens to my data if I don’t renew iCloud and return to standard 5GB?

If you fail to renew iCloud and return to the standard 5GB plan, your new pictures, videos, and other data will no longer be synced with iCloud. Your new data will be stored on your device but not in the cloud. 

You will have 30 days after failing to renew your subscription to download your data from iCloud. After that period, you will lose access to your content that exceeds the 5GB limit. Your data up to 5GB of storage will still be accessible as it’s part of the free storage space provided by Apple to all users. 

For example, suppose you had 10GB storage of photos on iCloud before canceling your subscription, and you’re going back to the 5GB standard storage plan. 

After canceling your subscription, you will only have access to up to 5GB of your photos (which were uploaded first) while the other 5GB of storage will become inaccessible. 

How do you cancel iCloud storage?

You can easily cancel your iCloud storage subscription from your iOS device as follows:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone > tap your profile picture at the top
  2. Tap “iCloud” > “Manage Storage”
  3. Choose “Change Storage Plan” > “Downgrade Options”
  4. Type your Apple ID password > tap “Manage”
  5. Select “Free” > “Done” to cancel your iCloud storage plan 

What happens if you downgrade your iCloud storage?

Apple offers three tiers for iCloud storage: 

  • 50 GB for $0.99 per month
  • 200 GB for $2.99 per month
  • 2TB for $9.99 per month. 

If you downgrade your iCloud storage from a higher to a lower tier, any data you’ve added to that tier since your upgrade will be lost. 

Again, you will have a 30-day grace period to download all your data from iCloud after you downgrade your storage plan. 

So if you downgrade your iCloud storage and the content on your device exceeds the limit or storage you have currently available on iCloud, your device will stop backing up new data to the iCloud. 

For example, if you downgrade from 50GB to 5GB of iCloud storage, all the data (texts, photos, videos) you’ve added since upgrading will be lost.

How do I downgrade my iCloud plan?

Here’s how to downgrade your iCloud storage plan on your iOS device:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone > Tap on your profile picture at the top
  2. Tap on “iCloud” > “Manage Storage”
  3. Tap “Change Storage Plan” > “Downgrade Options”
  4. Type your Apple ID password > Tap “Manage”
  5. Choose the new pla. if you want to cancel your subscription and go back to the free storage plan, tap “Free” > “Done” to downgrade your iCloud storage plan 

What happens if you miss a payment on iCloud storage?

If you cancel your subscription or miss a payment on iCloud storage, your iCloud reverts back to 5GB of the free iCloud plan. 

This means you will not be able to store any new data on iCloud and your iCloud account will only hold the 5GB of data that was stored first.  

However, you get a grace period of 30 days, if you miss a payment, stop paying for iCloud, or cancel your subscription. During that period, you can download your data from iCloud. 

After that, all your data except for the first free 5GB will become inaccessible to you. 

How do I cancel my iCloud storage subscription?

If you are on an iPhone, see the section “How do you cancel iCloud storage?” for the iCloud storage subscription cancellation. 

If on the other hand, you are on Mac, follow these steps to cancel your iCloud storage subscription:

  1. Select Apple Menu > “System Preferences”
  2. Click “Apple ID” (unless you have Mac Mojave or a previous version) > “iCloud”
  3. Click “Manage” > “Change Storage Plan”
  4. Type in the password of your Apple ID > Click “Manage”
  5. Click on “Downgrade Options” > Choose “Free”

How do I turn off automatic renewal for iCloud?

Automatic renewal is a feature that automatically charges the subscription amount of an Apple or third-party service to your account on the due date. 

To turn off the auto-renewal feature, follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Settings” > Tap on your name at the top 
  2. Tap “Subscriptions” > Toggle off “Auto-Renewal” 

How do you pay your iCloud storage bill?

Apple allows you to pay for iCloud storage using your iTunes gift card balance or a credit or debit card. 

Most users pay for their iCloud storage using their credit/debit card. If you have a payment method set up on your iOS device, here is how to pay:

  1. Go to Settings > tap your name 
  2. “Payments & Shipping” > “Add Payment Method”
  3. Enter your card details > “Done”

If you’re unable to pay your storage bill due to your card info no longer being valid, here’s how you can update your information:

  1. Go to Settings > Tap your name at the top
  2. “Payment & Shipping” > select your card to update info
  3. Update your card information including your card and phone number. Yyou need to enter your CVV code to complete the process  
  4. Tap Done

Can I pay for Apple iCloud storage yearly instead of monthly?

iPhone does not allow you to pay for a yearly iCloud subscription. The iCloud storage plans are monthly plans that you pay for keeping your data in the cloud. You need to renew your subscription every month to continue using this service. 

One way around this limitation is using iTunes Gift Cards. You can buy iTunes store gift cards for the value of a year’s subscription, and then redeem those gift cards in your iTunes account. 

By doing this, your iCloud storage will be billed against this credit instead of your debit/credit card. This allows you to pay for a year’s worth of iCloud subscription provided you have enough credit in your iTunes account.

Can I buy iCloud storage for lifetime?

Apple does not offer iCloud storage for a lifetime, the storage service involves recurring charges. You can only store your data on iCloud as long as you keep paying the monthly cloud storage fee. 

When you pay for iCloud storage, you are basically paying Apple a rental fee to keep your data stored on their cloud servers. You can’t buy permanent storage space for a one-time amount to keep your data on iCloud indefinitely. 

Can I buy iCloud storage for one month only?

Apple offers 3 monthly iCloud+ subscriptions that you can choose from if you are running low on storage: 

Storage spacePrice per month
50 GB$0.99
200 GB$2.99
2 TB$9.99

When you upgrade to one of these plans, you get the first month free. After your free trial ends, you will be charged automatically for the storage plan that you had subscribed to, unless you cancel before your free trial ends.

If you do, you will be downgraded back to the free 5GB iCloud storage plan. 

What happens to iCloud If I cancel Apple One?

Apple One allows you to buy a package of 6 Apple services at a lower price. The services in Apple One include: 

  1. Apple Music
  2. iCloud+
  3. Apple TV+
  4. Apple Fitness+
  5. Apple Arcade
  6. Apple News+

When you cancel your Apple One subscription, you get to choose the individual services that you want to keep. 

If you have any separate existing services like iCloud, canceling your Apple One subscription will have no effect on your iCloud subscription. 

How do I Know if I ‘m paying for iCloud storage?

You can check whether you are paying for iCloud storage by following these steps:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone > Tap on your profile picture 
  2. Tap “iCloud” 
  3. See if “iCloud” or “iCloud+” is displayed at the top 

If you see “iCloud+” at the top and if you have more than 5GB of storage available, it means that you have a paid iCloud subscription and you are likely being charged monthly. 

On the other hand, if “iCloud” is displayed and if you have 5GB of maximum storage, you are not paying for an iCloud subscription. 

Why is Apple charging me $.99 a month?

If you are getting charged $0.99 every month by Apple, you likely purchased an iCloud+ subscription giving you 50GB of extra cloud storage. 

To cancel your iCloud+ subscription, you can see the section “How do you cancel iCloud storage?”