No matter how many iOS or macOS devices you own, Apple offers only 5GB of free storage for iCloud users – a fraction of what competitors offer. But there are ways you can avoid paying for more storage space, or at least limit how much extra you can pay.
Here are some simple tips to follow on how to keep the biggest iCloud data-consuming features in your diet and save money on iCloud storage.
Why do you need to manage iCloud storage?
Apple has made iCloud storage a seemingly essential component for all its products, from Macs to iPads, iPhones and even Apple TVs. The service has four main components. These include:
- iCloud Backup: It is used to backup all your iPads, iPhones and iPods without using iTunes.
- iCloud Drive: It stores data in the cloud for all your documents and data from third party apps on Macs and iOS devices. Apple’s iCloud Documents and Data Services merged with iCloud Drive in 2022.
- iCloud Mail: Naturally, this is the storage for all emails and attachments received through your iCloud account.
- iCloud Photo Library: This is the storage for all your photos and videos.
This is an extensive list of items to keep within Apple’s tiny 5GB free allocation. To get the most out of it, you can take regular steps to check how much storage you are already using and move some of that storage work to non-Apple products and services.
How much does iCloud storage cost?
Apple offers four storage options: 5GB (free); 50GB (99 cents / month); 200GB (2.99 / month); And 2TB (9.99 / month).
If you use other services like Apple Music or Apple TV +, you may find it worthwhile to subscribe to the Apple One service, which can save some money.
- Personal Apple One plan includes GB 14.95 / month 50GB storage, music, TV + and arcade.
- The .9 19.95 Family Plan gives you 200GB of storage, music, TV + and arcade, and lets you share up to five other plans.
- The .9 29.95 Premier plan offers you 2TB of storage. It also provides news, music, TV +, arcade and fitness + and the services can be shared up to five others.
How much storage are you using?
It’s easy to figure out how much iCloud storage you’re using.
In iOS: Tap the section above (Apple ID) Settings. Then tap iCloud. You will see a chart detailing how you are using iCloud storage. Tap Manage storage Each item stored in your iCloud data to reach a page listed (it tells you how much data each item uses there). You can also delete data stored for each app or service, but do not do so until you have backed up that information elsewhere.
In macOS: Access System Preferences> iCloud And select “Manage … ” Options at the bottom right of the window.
In both cases you will see how much storage you are using, what items are using it (for example, Photos, Docs, Mail or Backup), and where to enable and disable online storage for various applications and Apple services.
How to manage iCloud backup
If you back up iOS devices (s) to iCloud, you’ll soon run into problems if you try to stay below the 5GB storage limit. To reduce the amount of iCloud storage used by iCloud backups, you can back up your iOS device (s) to a Mac or PC and delete existing backups created from your iCloud.
You don’t actually have to back up your devices to iCloud, though Is Conveniently on older Macs and PCs you can back up via iTunes instead. Just connect your device to your computer, launch iTunes (if it doesn’t start automatically) and click on the device icon on the left side of the iTunes window next to the section menu.
Once you have done this, select Summary and then select the computer where you will see the backup automatically. To keep health and homekit data you need to check the encrypted (device name) backup item and create a password for it.
In the future, your iOS device (s) will be automatically backed up to your computer when it is connected, and you don’t have to save those backups to your thrifty iCloud account. Once this is set up, you can remove old device backups from iCloud.
On iOS: Tap Settings And navigate Manage iCloud> Storage And select Backup. Here you can review your backups and select the ones you want to delete When you tap red Delete the backup Alternatively, you will be asked if you are sure about the decision. Tip: Don’t forget to keep up-to-date backups.
In a Mac: Open System Preferences> iCloud And select “Manage … ” In the next pane of options, select Backup and delete the ones you don’t need in the same way as iOS 7
How to keep iCloud Drive in diet
Both Mac and iOS devices use iCloud to store app data and important files.
Recent Macs can use iCloud to automatically sync and save the contents of both desktop and download folders. Once these items are available there, you can access them from any other Apple device, as long as you log in using the same Apple ID. You can access those items online using a web browser.
This is a useful feature, but if you want to limit your iCloud data, you can disable it on your Mac. System Preferences> iCloud> iCloud Drive. There, you click Options Button and then antique Desktop and documents Folder In the future, these items will not be stored in iCloud – although existing items will remain. To remove those old desktop and download items from iCloud Drive, you must save them to your Mac:
- In Finder, open iCloud Drive And locate the Documents or Downloads folder.
- Open a new Finder window, select Go to> Home
- Now drag and drop items from iCloud Drive to your home directory. Files will be downloaded and saved on your Mac The process may take some time depending on how much bandwidth you have and how much data you need to transfer.
- You can then delete the item from iCloud Drive.
Don’t forget that these items will no longer be available on your other devices unless you move them to another service synced across your system.
Save your file somewhere else
Both macOS and iOS devices support third-party online storage services such as Box, Dropbox or Microsoft One Drive (which offers 1TB of free storage with Office 365 subscriptions). Apple’s File app for iOS also supports third-party services, including Box, Dropbox and OneDrive. Support makes it seamless: install the relevant storage app on your device, log in, and you’ll be able to access any data you store on those non-iCloud services using the File app. You no longer have to save those files to iCloud. You can also use Dropbox and OneDrive to automatically save your photos and other images, further reducing your reliance on iCloud.
What about app data?
Do you use every iCloud service? Think of relying solely on the services you need to sync between devices in real time, such as contacts and calendars, for example. These useful services do not take up much storage but offer many benefits. You can control which Apple services you save in iCloud in Settings, not just disable them.
You can also consider options. For example, Apple’s Notes app is becoming an increasingly capable competitor to Evernote – but if you only keep a few notes, you can use the latter’s free service to replace notes on iCloud.
There are also numerous apps that store data on iCloud. To find out which Mac does that, go System Preferences> iCloud> iCloud Drive; On an iOS device, you control these Settings> Apple ID> iCloud. Uncheck apps you don’t want to store data in iCloud in the list you find. Since you may lose some functionality, do a little research on a per-app basis first.