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iCloud Drive

What is iCloud Drive?


iCloud Drive is similar to Dropbox and Google Drive in that you can access and manage documents across all your devices including iPhone, iPad and Mac.

iOS and OS X compatible apps will also sync data across devices using iCloud. 

It’s cloud based storage taken to the next level (content is no longer restricted to separate apps), and you can access your documents from anywhere in the world.

iCloud Drive - iCloud Drive



Setting Up iCloud Drive

If you get a new device and are setting it up for the first time, there will be an option within the setup to enable iCloud Drive.

If you are a complete beginner, we’d recommend you get to grips with iCloud first, but if you want more information on what iCloud Drive can do for you, then this is the page for you.

When you upgrade to iOS 8, you will be prompted to upgrade to iCloud Drive.

If you choose yes, it will automatically set up, if you say no, you may need to come back in the future and set it up manually.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings>iCloud>iCloud Drive
  2. Turn it on.

For more information on iCloud Drive, here’s a handy video to highlight 5 reasons why iCloud Drive will upgrade your life, from Cult of Mac:


Essentially as long as you save files to iCloud, you can access them from within any app that is iCloud Drive compatible and access the info, with changes being synced real-time.

How is it Different to iCloud?

The most obvious difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive is that you are not restricted to specific file types such as music, movies, bookmarks and photos.

With iCloud Drive you can take advantage of syncing so much more including document types including accessing Apple’s range of iWork programmes including Pages (compatible with Word), Numbers (compatible with Excel) and Keynote (compatible with PowerPoint).

iCloud Drive focuses on keeping all of your devices synced up and backed up.

But iCloud and iCloud Drive are not in competition, they work seamlessly together to make sure all of your most important data is backed up and in sync with all your devices.

For more information on iCloud and iWork visit our page on iCloud here.

Haven’t Upgraded? What To Do First.

Just in case you for some reason haven’t yet upgraded to iOS 8, you’re going to want to make sure you have upgraded all of your devices (all the ones you want to sync up with eachother anyway) to iOS 8 before you enable iCloud Drive.

Storage Plan Options

iCloud Drive storage - iCloud Drive


20GB – $0.99 per month

200GB – $3.99 per month

500GB – $9.99 per month

1TB – $19.99 per month

Depending on the number of iOS devices you have, the amount of files you want to back up and have access to and whether or not you are using any other cloud based storage options (like Dropbox or Google Drive) then you may be fine with the free 5GB or you may want to upgrade to one of the larger tiers depending on how much data you have to back up.

You will automatically be given the free option, but if you want to choose an alternative plan, go to Settings>iCloud>Storage>Change iCloud Storage Plan, select the storage plan for you and click ‘Buy’ in the top right corner.

You will be prompted to sign in with your iCloud account to complete the purchase.

For more information on iCloud Drive and all of its wonderful capabilities, click here to visit the Apple iCloud Drive page.

Alternatively check out the Ultimate Guide to iCloud Drive on iMore’s site here.