How to delete your iCloud account in a few simple steps

Apple devices stay up to date with iCloud updates and synchronizations. If you change your device or Apple ID, switch to another manufacturer or an iCloud alternative, then it’s best to deactivate iCloud or to delete your personal iCloud account. However, this will only remove the iCloud account and associated data from the device. Especially when switching to a new device or a new service, it’s best to not only delete your iCloud account, but in the spirit of the cloud security, to also deactivate your Apple ID to avoid others gaining access to your data.

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Deleting an iCloud account: step by step

Do you want to keep your Apple ID but remove your iCloud account from your iPhone or iPad? Note that the steps vary slightly depending on which iOS version you’re using.

Deleting iCloud from a device

Step 1: Open “Settings” and go to “iCloud”. In newer iOS versions, tap on your profile picture or profile name in the settings.

Step 2: Scroll all the way down. Here you’ll find the “Delete Account” button, or in newer versions, “Sign Out”. Confirm that you want to deactivate iCloud. With this step, you’ll not only deactivate iCloud functions or automatic iCloud backups, but also delete your iCloud account including associated data (e.g., photos and videos). However, your Apple ID and the iCloud account itself remain active, since iCloud is part of the Apple ID.

Step 3: Tap “Delete account” to delete the iCloud account on your current device.

Deactivate individual iCloud services on your phone

If you don’t want to delete your entire iCloud account, you can also disable individual services by stopping them from syncing with the cloud. To do this, go to “Settings” and then “iCloud”. Here you can toggle the green slider for items like Contacts, Mail, Calendar, or Safari. Once you do this, locally stored data won’t be synced with iCloud anymore. But in the event of data loss or theft, you won’t be able to recover lost data via the cloud.

Tip

Are you looking to backup images, videos, or important docs? Try HiDrive Cloud Storage from IONOS and set up automatic backups.

Delete your iCloud account including your Apple ID

If “delete” really means “delete” to you, then you probably don’t just want to delete your iCloud account but wipe all iCloud files. Since iCloud is automatically linked to your Apple ID, you’ll also need to delete your Apple ID to move ahead. However, an Apple ID is necessary to use Apple services, and by deleting it, you will lose access to all Apple features and remove all stored data, contacts, and settings.

If this is what you want, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign in on the Apple Privacy Homepage with your Apple ID.

Step 2: Under “Manage your data” select “Delete your account”.

Step 3: Select a reason for deleting your account and choose “Continue”.

Step 4: Provide a contact that Apple can send you deletion information to. This contact will provide you with the access code to request the deletion.

Step 5: Select “Delete account”. Deleting your Apple account can take up to 7 days.

Step 6: Next, delete your Apple ID from all your devices by going to “iTunes & App Store” and choosing “Sign out” in the settings.

Tip

Are you looking to clear up some space on your cloud because your iCloud storage is full? Start out by deleting pictures on your iCloud or by deleting your iCloud backup.

What happens to my iCloud files?

If you only delete your iCloud account from a device, the data will only be removed from your iPhone or iPad. However, the data itself is still in your iCloud account and can be accessed and restored. To do this, simply log in to iCloud with your Apple ID. If the iCloud account has been removed from the device, there won’t be any automatic backups of your local data. Backups on other devices, like the regular backup on Mac, are unaffected.