How does iCloud work?

iCloud is storage space on Apple servers which are located in one of a number of huge data centres in the US. When you create an AppleID account, you’re automatically allocated 5GB of space in iCloud.  Once you’re logged in, you can access the storage space, and use all the features that need files stored there, including third party applications, and features like Universal Clipboard.

How to set up iCloud

Your iCloud account is based on your Apple ID. So if you haven’t got an Apple ID already, you’ll need to create one. You may also have to update the OS on your device. Your next step depends on what device you’re using.

On iPad or iPhone: Partway through the setup process for an iPhone or iPad, iOS will ask if you want to use iCloud. If you didn’t activate it during setup, you can later go to Settings, tap your name at the top (or tap to sign in), select iCloud, then enter your Apple ID and password.

On Mac: Open System Preferences and click iCloud. Now sign in with your Apple ID and tick the services you want to use.

On Apple TV (fourth-gen or 4K): If you didn’t choose to activate iCloud (by entering your Apple ID) when you first set up, go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud, then select Sign In.

On PC: Download and install iCloud for Windows. Open it and sign in with your Apple ID, then put a tick next to the iCloud services you want to use.

How to use iCloud on an iPhone

Keep your photos up to date

iCloud Photos securely stores all your photos and videos. And keeps them up to date on iCloud.com, your iOS devices, your Mac, your Apple Watch, your Apple TV, Windows computers. Any edits you make in Photos are automatically updated everywhere. And with iCloud Photos, it’s easy to share photos and videos with the people you choose, and invite them to add photos, videos, and comments to your shared albums.

Keep all your files securely stored in iCloud Drive

Securely store and organize your files in iCloud Drive. With macOS Sierra or later, you can add your Desktop and Documents folders to iCloud Drive . After that, you can keep all your documents updated automatically on iCloud.com, your iOS devices, your Mac, and your Windows computer.

Share music, books, apps, and more with your family

Family Sharing lets up to six family members share their iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books purchases without sharing accounts. Plus, share iCloud storage, photos, a family calendar, reminders, and locations. Play a sound on a device, lock and track it, or remotely erase it.

  • Use Pages, Numbers, and Keynote: Keep your Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents up to date using the apps on iCloud.com, your iOS devices, and your Mac.
  • Use Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Reminders: Keep your mail, contacts, calendars, notes, and reminders up to date
  • Get music, apps, and books: Automatically get purchases from the iTunes Store, the App Store. Apple Books on all your devices, and download past purchases anytime.
Back up and restore

iCloud automatically backs up your iOS device daily over Wi-Fi when your device is turned on, locked, and connected to a power source. You can use your iCloud backup to restore your iOS device or set up a new one.

For more
  • Find your iOS device, Apple Watch, or Mac; your friends and family. You, your family, and friends can share locations, follow each other, and see everyone’s location on a map.
  • Use iCloud Keychain: Keep your passwords, credit card information, and have them entered automatically on your Mac and iOS devices.
  • Watch iMovie Theater: Watch your finished movies and trailers on all your devices.