The last thing anyone wants to do is lose precious memories, such as photos, shartman1. That’s what makes the automatic backup even more vital. You’re in the best place to get some expert advice on how to set this up. Please see all the details here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203977 and let us know if this information is helpful.
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Go into your iCloud settings and make sure backup is checked for everything that you want to backup. Keep in mind iCloud backups only take place when on wifi and when the battery is sufficiently charged.