How To Set Up iCloud On Mac, Windows, & iOS.
iCloud is one of several cloud storage providers that lets you store files in the cloud and helps you sync them across your devices. Whether you are using a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or even a Windows PC, you can set up iCloud on your devices and enjoy all the features it offers.
Once set up on your machines, you can sync your photos, files, and even website and Wi-Fi passwords. Synchronized content can be accessed from incompatible devices, as well as using a web browser and the iCloud web interface.
How to set up iCloud on a Mac
Since iCloud and Mac are owned by the same company, linking your iCloud account to your Mac is a fairly straightforward process. Assuming you have already created your iCloud account, you can set up iCloud on your Mac as follows.
- Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.
- On the next screen, find and select the option labeled iCloud. It allows you to manage your iCloud account settings.
- You will be prompted for your iCloud / Apple ID. Enter the ID and click Next to continue. You can also click Create Apple ID to create a new ID if you don’t already have one.
- Enter the password for your iCloud account and click Next to continue.
- You will be asked which iCloud services you want to enable on your Mac. Highlight whatever you want and click Next.
- iCloud will also set up Keychain Access so you can sync passwords between your devices. Enter the password on the screen and click “OK”.
- Your iCloud account is set up on your Mac. You can now enable and disable various services offered by your cloud provider.
- For example, you can turn on Photos and then let iCloud sync all photos from your Mac to the cloud, and so on.
- Remember to turn on iCloud Drive so you can share files right from the Finder on your Mac.
Now you can share photos from the Photos app, share files from iCloud Drive, and sync passwords using Keychain Access on Mac.
How to set up iCloud on iOS (iPhone and iPad)
It is very rare for people to set up their iOS devices and not link their iCloud accounts with them. If you’re one of them and haven’t set up iCloud on your iOS device yet, you’ll find it’s easy to do, even if you skipped the initial account linking process.
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and click on the Sign in to your iPhone option.
- The next screen will ask you for your Apple ID username and password. Fill in the indicated fields and then click “Login” in the upper right corner of the screen.
- If verification is enabled for your iCloud account, your device will prompt you for the code shown on your other Apple devices.
- You will be prompted for your iPhone password. Enter it and continue.
- Your device will ask if you want to merge the existing data on your device with your iCloud account. Choose the one that suits you and continue.
- You will now be taken to the main iCloud Settings screen. From here, click on the iCloud option to view and activate the various iCloud services.
- You can now enable various sync options such as sync photos, notes, reminders, etc. Feel free to turn on or off any services you want.
You can access your synced photos in the Photos app on your device. The synced files must be available in the iCloud Drive app on your iPhone or iPad.
How to set up iCloud on a Windows PC
Although Windows and iCloud are owned by two different companies, Apple has made sure that their service works with Windows PCs as well. In fact, they’ve developed their own app to help you set up iCloud on your Windows computer.
You don’t need to look for any option in the Settings app or anywhere else, as the iCloud app for your PC will help you complete all tasks.
- Go to the iCloud for Windows web page, download and install the app on your computer.
- After installation, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Do this for the changes to take effect.
- iCloud will automatically launch when your computer boots up. If it isn’t, find and run it from Cortana’s search box.
- The first screen will ask you to enter your Apple ID and password. Enter your details and click “Login” below.
- Once signed in, you can turn iCloud services on or off. Some of the options you can activate from this screen include iCloud Drive, Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Tasks, and Bookmarks.
- You can click the Options button next to the service to customize it. For example, if you only want certain photos to sync to your iCloud account, you can click Options next to Photos and then change the options as you see fit.
If you want to unlink your account from your PC at any time, simply launch the iCloud app and click Sign Out. You will be signed out of all iCloud services on your computer.
- iCloud only offers 5GB of free storage, while Google Drive offers 15GB and Dropbox 2GB.
- You can easily sync passwords on Mac and iOS with iCloud, but you can’t do it with the other two providers.
- iOS backups can be done to iCloud, but you cannot back up to Google Drive and Dropbox.
- Google Drive offers better file and document sharing options than the other two.
- Google Drive Photos allows you to upload and store unlimited photos in the cloud, while iCloud photos count towards your quota.