How to Use iCloud Drive Like a Pro

Use iCloud Drive Like a Pro

When iCloud came out, many people were upset that it didn’t have a place to store files that could be accessed from the Mac Finder menu. It let you sync your contacts, calendar, and bookmarks, but you couldn’t just drop files on it. You can do this with iCloud Drive.

Apple’s Handoff technology, which lets you start a document on one device and pick it up where you left off on another, is also based on iCloud Drive.

You can store documents from many third-party apps in iCloud Drive, in addition to the iWork suite, which includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

If you sign in to iCloud on your Mac (System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud), you can turn on iCloud Drive. It will show up in the sidebar of any Finder window and in the Go menu as a shortcut. If you click it, your iCloud Drive folder shows up in a Finder window like any other folder, but it looks different. Then, you can drag and drop anything from your Mac onto the Drive, and it will upload to the cloud.

For small documents, this will only take a few seconds. For bigger files, it will depend on how fast your connection is. You also only get 5GB of free space, which is fine for uploading some files but may not be enough if you’re backing up your iOS device.

Apple has three iCloud+ plans that give you more storage space. First, iCloud+ offers 50GB of storage for $0.99 per month, 200GB of storage for $2.99 per month, and 2TB of storage for $9.99 per month in the U.S. Prices vary from country to country and region to region.

If you buy too much storage space with iCloud+, you can always downgrade your plan.

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Not Just for storing

The space on your iCloud Drive can be used for more than just storing files. For example, Mail Drop might be the most useful because it lets you send Mail attachments that are much bigger than what any email provider will let you send from inside Mail.

If you attach a large file, Mail will send it to iCloud instead of sending the whole message through your email service. The file will be sent to your iCloud Drive. If the recipient is also using Mail, they will see an inline copy of the file and be able to click to download it. Users of other email programs will be able to do the same thing by clicking on a link.

Attachments can be up to 5GB in size. You could do this with other upload services before, but now it’s built into Mail, which saves you a few steps.

Also on mobile

Your iCloud Drive is also available on your iPhone and iPad, as long as you are using the same iCloud account on both devices. On the device’s Home page, you can also find an app called “Files.” You can also easily send a file or photo to a coworker or friend as a link by tapping Share and choosing Share Link via iCloud, or you can send it directly by choosing to Send a Copy.

Keep in mind that some apps, especially those that work with large files like video, aren’t good for the cloud. But many are because they deal with much smaller files, and depending on how fast your internet connection is, even pictures are easy to upload and download.

Sorting and access

Your iCloud Drive organizes documents into folders, just like any other place on a device that can access it. You can also use a web browser to get to your Drive at iCloud.com, where you can open and edit your documents and upload and download other files.

You can get to your files through iCloud Drive on the web, no matter where you are or what device you’re using.

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Finding and using files on iCloud Drive

There are different ways to find and use files in iCloud Drive.

1. Enable iCloud Drive on your Mac

Make sure that iCloud Drive is turned on and that you are signed in with your Apple ID on your Mac. Next, click on iCloud Drive from the Go menu or the sidebar of any Finder window to see the files it holds.

2. Drag and Drop

You can upload a file or folder from your Mac to the cloud by dragging and dropping it into the iCloud Drive window. This will go quickly if the items are small, but it might take longer if they are big. Then put things into folders (such as pictures, movies, sounds, and so on).

3. Access on mobile

Find an app for your phone or tablet that works with iCloud Drive. If you open a document from iCloud, you should be able to open any file that works from the cloud on your device. As time goes on, more apps will be able to use this feature.

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