What is iCloud Drive?
“iCloud Drive lets you securely access all of your documents from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Windows PC. So no matter which device you’re using, you always have the most up to date documents when you need them.” .(Source: Apple)
Your personal iCloud Drive storage space becomes available once you’re signed into iCloud. Check that it’s enabled by heading to your iCloud settings.
Enable iCloud Drive (macOS)
Enable iCloud Drive (iOS / iPadOS)
Accessing your iCloud Drive (macOS)
To access iCloud Drive on your Mac:
- In Finder, choose iCloud Drive from the Go menu.
You can ensure your iCloud Drive is always present in Finder window sidebars through Finder Preferences.
Accessing your iCloud Drive (iOS & iPadOS) using the Files app.
iPhones and iPads don’t share the same filing system as macOS (Finder). As such, browsing the contents of iCloud Drive works a little differently. You’ll need to use the app, Files.
Read Apple’s walkthrough of the Files app here.
iCloud Drive via a web browser.
You can also access all your iCloud Drive, and other iCloud data, through a web browser, by heading to https://www.icloud.com
Once you arrive there, you’ll be prompted to enter your Apple ID, after which you can access your iCloud Drive.
iCloud Drive: Desktop & Documents.
An iCloud Drive feature specific to macOS, is Desktop & Documents. Enabling this option will move your Desktop and Documents folders from your Home folder**, into iCloud Drive. The contents of those folders will be stored in iCloud, making them accessible across your devices.
Enable the iCloud Drive feature, Desktop & Documents (macOS).
iCloud storage space.
iCloud comes with 5GB of free storage space. All the iCloud features you use contribute to the consumption of this space. Once you’ve used up the free space, for a very reasonable monthly fee (starting at £0.79) you can increase your storage to 50GB, 200GB, or 2TB.
iCloud isn’t a backup.
A backup is having a copy of your data stored in a secondary, entire separate location, which can be used to restore your data in the event of data loss (hardware failure or software corruption), fire or theft.
Bear in mind that, iCloud, and iCloud Drive isn’t intended to be a backup, its primary purpose is to provide a storage location that all your devices can access, and synchronise with. It’s more of a safety net: In the event that your devices are lost, damaged, or stolen, you can be assured that, once you obtain a new device and sign into iCloud, your files, including those within Desktop & Documents, will be available once more.
To back up your computer, use Apple’s Time Machine, which you’ll find in System Preferences.