Arc backup size ballooned after update

The size of my iPhone iCloud backup has more than quadrupled from 13 GB to 63 GB after updating to Arc 3.8.2. Arc now requires 59 GB of that space.

As a result, my iPhone can no longer complete an iCloud backup because there’s not enough storage space in my 200 GB account.

During my last successful backup Feb. 7, there was still 26 GB of free space in that iCloud account. I updated to Arc 3.8.2 later that day and have not had a successful iCloud backup since.

What is my solution?

Hi @shawnplank!

Can you go into Settings app → Apple ID (your profile at the top) → iCloud → iCloud Backup → your iPhone’s backup, then look for Arc App in the list. What size do you see there? If you’re also using Arc Mini, it will help to know the backup size of Mini as well.

Hi Matt! Arc is at 58.66 GB on that list. I don’t have Arc Mini.

Wow. Ok. I don’t know what that could be!

The only files known to bloat out the app bundle at the moment are temporary files, that get cleared up automatically within a day or two. And temporary files aren’t included in iCloud backups (they’re stored in an explicitly designated “tmp” folder provided by iOS).

Hm. I’m really at a loss as to what’s causing that. But I can offer a workaround, to clear it out. Hopefully that’ll fix it, even if we can’t figure out why it’s happened.

The workaround will be:

  1. Install Arc Mini from the App Store
  2. Make sure Arc Mini is opening and running properly
  3. Delete Arc App from your phone, then reinstall it from the App Store

The point of installing Arc Mini is to ensure that you don’t lose your data when you delete Arc App. Arc App and Arc Mini share the timeline database between them, so when both apps are installed the database is stored in a separate “App Group Container” on your phone, which iOS won’t delete until all apps in the App Group are deleted. So as long as you have at least one of them installed the database is safe. (And it won’t be the database that’s using up all that space - Arc databases max out at much less than 10 GB).

Aside: Once you’re done I also recommend keeping Arc Min installed and running. It won’t have any impact on battery life, but will almost completely eliminate the risk of getting data gaps in your timeline data.

The two apps share the job of recording, communicating between them, so that only one of them is actively recording at any point in time, while the other one sits waiting in standby. If one of the apps gets terminated, the other app will notice and will take over the job of recording, so that there’s no gap in the recorded data.

Thanks, Matt! My iCloud backup was able to complete today. The backup size of Arc shrunk to 5.37GB (from about 59GB). However, now that I’ve installed the Arc Mini app, its backup size separately is 5.34GB. So while I’m still under my 200GB cap and able to complete iCloud backups of my device, the Arc apps combined are using up far more of that space than before. My current backup size is 14.27GB (with Arc apps using 10.7GB of that) and the next backup size is +3.82GB. Should I be concerned they are taking up so much space and seem to be requiring more? Or is this a temporary thing and they will eventually start requiring less backup space?

The two apps share the database, which is what will be almost all of the 5GB, and the database should only be backed up once. So I suspect it’ll either be a bug in iOS’s presentation of backup size, in that it’s incorrectly stating the size twice even though it’s shared between the two apps, or a bug in iOS’s backup system itself, in that it might be including the database twice in the backup.

It’s most likely the former, because the latter would be a much more significant iOS iCloud backups bug. But you’ll be able to tell after the next backup completes.