Apple's iCloud service is a godsend for iPhone and iPad owners. These sorts of mobile devices can be lost or stolen pretty easily, so giving users a free and automatic way to back up all their data in case of an emergency is massively important. It's a bit of a bummer, then, that Apple only gives us five measly gigabytes of free iCloud storage space to work with.

If you take a lot of photos or leave more than one iCloud backup sitting around, that 5GB limit will fill up quicker than you might have thought possible. Luckily, there are some pretty easy ways to manage your iCloud situation straight from your iOS device. Apple was smart enough to anticipate that people would want to know how to do this and even made a handy tutorial page for it. However, since you're already here, here are the easiest ways to clear up your iCloud storage without paying for more.

The iCloud backup feature is undoubtedly a life-saver, but it can also be an immense nuisance. Yes, it's highly valuable to have a copy of your iPhone or iPad's exact configuration in case of emergency, but it's also really annoying to run out of free iCloud space because of it.

Thankfully, Apple makes this pretty easy to manage. Assuming you're on the latest version of iOS, open the Settings menu and tap the big panel at the top that has your name on it.

From there, tap iCloud to get an exact view of how much space you have left. If you're reading this, it's probably safe to assume you don't have quite as much empty space as I did when I took that screenshot. More on that later. From there, you can scroll down and manually enable or disable apps on your device from using iCloud. However, what you really want to do now is tap Manage Storage to get an even more exact readout of what's taking up the most space in your iCloud inventory.

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There's a solid chance it's your backups, so tap Backups to get a look at how many you have floating around. You can use this screen to delete backups and free up a ton of space on the spot, but we recommend you at least tap on a backup first. Doing so will let you manually choose which apps will be backed up next time your device automatically makes one, which can reduce iCloud data buildup in the future.

Since a single backup can take up multiple gigabytes of iCloud storage, deleting one will be the easiest way to clear up space in a pinch.

Just understand that you're taking a risk by getting rid of backups. Apple's iCloud Photos feature is also convenient, especially for people who take a lot of photos on their iPhone. Accessed from the aforementioned iCloud menu in iOS, you can use iCloud Photos to automatically store photos you take in the cloud. However, it just so happens that photos can take up an incredible amount of iCloud storage space.

The easiest solution to this might be simply to delete your entire iCloud Photos library from the Manage Storage menu, but you should take the proper precautions first.

If you're really attached to every photo on your iPhone, for instance, you can transfer them to a Mac or PC pretty easily.

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Apple has a guide on how to do that on its website. You can also turn off iCloud Photos from the iCloud menu if you would rather keep everything on your device.


Let's say you try clearing out your backups, managing your photo situation, and generally being smarter about what you allow to back up to iCloud. There's a chance you still might bump up against the 5GB limit because it's a comically small limit. At that point, your best bet will, sadly, be to just give Apple a little bit of money.The difference between these two approaches is that while you can access your iCloud data via a browser, none of the data on your Windows system will sync.

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Navigate to iCloud. You can also achieve some useful tasks using iCloud through your browser, such as creating rules to help improve email management across all your systems. This is a good way to access your digital data when you travel, as you can log in to your account from almost any computer.

Some iCloud services will work with slightly older versions of Windows, as detailed here. Here is how to use each of these features:. Any images of videos you add to this folder will then be synced across all the devices you own that logged into this Apple ID. You can share galleries of images using iCloud Photo Sharing. If not, then the easiest way to understand the feature is as online storage for all the files and projects you are working on. Fully searchable, the service also lets you share your files with others.

The final selection of iCloud items you can access using Windows. Once you enable this all your iCloud mail typically sent to yourname icloud. All these require deeper OS integration, though in the case of Find My iPhone you will be able to track lost devices using iCloud in your browser.

However, if you have valuable data that you want to sync between your Macs, iOS devices and Windows PC, iCloud for Windows should help — though that 5GB of storage Apple supplies remains miserly at best.

Got a story? I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know about new articles I publish and reports I find. Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing mainly about Apple and technology since Here are the latest Insider stories. More Insider Sign Out.

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Download iCloud for Windows

Check out the latest Insider stories here. More from the IDG Network. How Apple iCloud Drive works and how to use it. All about iCloud: Common signup scenarios. How to fix iCloud sync in seconds. How do I access iCloud using a browser? What are the system requirements? Here is how to use each of these features: How do Photos work?

How does iCloud Drive work?There is an iCloud for Windows client. So what is iCloud? It's the name of Apple's cloud-based or internet-based services, of which there are plenty. Let's start with the most basic use for the service that everyone should be using.


This is the account you use to login to the App Store and buy apps. This storage can be used for many purposes, including storing photos, but it's perhaps best used for backing up your iPad. If you ever forget your iCloud password, there are ways to recover it. By default, every time you plug your iPad into a wall outlet or a computer, the iPad attempts to back itself up to iCloud. You can restore from a backup by following the procedure to reset your iPad to factory default, then choosing to restore from the backup during the setup process of the iPad.

If you upgrade to a new iPad, you can also choose to restore from a backupwhich makes the upgrade process seamless. Not only can you use this to track down the whereabouts of your iPad or iPhone, you can also use it to lock down the iPad if it's lost or remotely reset it to factory default, which erases all data. While tracking your iPad wherever it travels can seem creepy, it also combines with putting a passcode lock on your iPad to make it quite secure. Apple's cloud storage solution isn't quite as smooth as Dropbox, but it ties in well with the iPad, iPhone, and Macs.

You can also access iCloud Drive from Windows, so you aren't locked into Apple's ecosystem. So, what is iCloud Drive? It's a service that allows apps to store documents on the internet, so you can access those files from multiple devices. You can create a Numbers spreadsheet on your iPad, for example, then access it from your iPhone, pull it up on your Mac to make edits, and even use your Windows-based PC to modify it by signing into iCloud.

Apple has been hard at work delivering a cloud-based photo solution for a few years now and they've ended with a bit of a mess. My Photo Stream is a service that uploads every picture taken to the cloud and downloads it onto every other device signed up for My Photo Stream.

This can make for awkward situations, especially if you don't want every photo uploaded to the internet. It also means if you take a picture of a product in a store so you can remember the brand name or model number, that picture will find its way onto every other device. Still, the feature can be a life-saver for those who want the photos taken on their iPhone to transfer to their iPad without doing any work.

Unfortunately, My Photo Stream photos disappear after a while, holding a maximum of 1, photos at a time. The big difference is that it actually uploads the photos to iCloud permanently, so you don't have to worry about the maximum number of photos. You also have the ability to upload the entire image or an optimized version that doesn't take up as much storage space. Apple decided to keep the photos separate and, while they advertise the photos are easily accessible on your Mac or Windows-based PC, the actual usability is poor.

But, as a service, iCloud Photo Library is still very useful even if Apple hasn't quite nailed the idea of cloud-based photos. Many of the basic apps that come with the iPad can utilize iCloud to sync between devices. So, if you want to access notes from your iPad and your iPhone, you can simply turn on Notes in the iCloud section of your iPad's settings.

Similarly, if you turn on Reminders, you can use Siri to set a reminder on your iPhone and it will also appear on your iPad. This is a great way to save on buying songs all the time.This can be a problem, if there are thousands of Photos in your iCloud Account and you want to download them all to your Windows computer. Luckily, there is a keyboard shortcut to select All iCloud Photos and you will find below 2 different methods to Download All Photos from iCloud to your Windows computer.

If the number of Photos that you want to download from iCloud to PC is less than 1, you can follow this method to select and download up to photos from iCloud to PC. If you are trying to download over 1, photos, you can move to the next method as provided below in this guide.

Go to icloud. Once you are signed-in, click on the Photos icon. Note: You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Last Photo. Once All Photos are selected, click on the Download icon to begin the process of downloading all iCloud Photos to your computer.

On the pop-up, select iCloud Photo Library option and click on Done. Once all iCloud Photos are downloaded, open the File Explorer on your computer. In the File Explorer window, click on iCloud Photos tab in the left-pane. In the right-pane, click on the Downloads Icon.

How to free up iCloud storage without paying for more

On the next screen, click on the Downloads Folder to see all your iCloud Photos arranged in different sub-folders.I have used icloud for Windows for a number of years and have never had problems with it syncing my calendars on my pc, phone, and ipad.

I have spent over a week troubleshooting with this app and cannot get it to sync anything with my pc. I have called both apple and microsoft and nobody has been able to help. The outlook component really needs some work.

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This app is the biggest piece of garbage I have ever had the misfortune of trying to use. I have spent days trying to get this app to work on my Windows 10 machine. I never really cared to check the folder to inspect that it was still syncing my photos because it always had before.

Then I went to both my PC desktop and my PC laptop and found that the pictures hadn't been syncing for quite a while and there were months of missing photos. After trying to get the app to work for hours, I said to myself, I'm just going to do a clean install of Windows 10 because maybe there's a corrupted file or some conflict that's not worth figuring out. That didn't work. Days later, after going through online article after online article and trying pretty much every "trick", I still cannot get this abomination of an app to download ANY of my pictures from iCloud.

I'm at my wits end. This app is trash. I'm now thinking about switching back to an android. It's easier and never issues as simple as wanting to download your own pictures and videos. Application doesn't work for downloading photos from iCloud. Even when pressing Download Photos it says 'Downloading X photos', the folder for it is created but no photos are downloaded at all. But I had bought a non-apple laptop and have been using icloud drive to sync files.

Good gravy I think squirrels could transfer files quicker from my phone to my laptop quicker. Mind you I'm home and on my own WiFi. At this rate I'll prob not get another Apple laptop. If they can't make this work, why spend big bucks on a new laptop from them? I install it and it works for like 20 minutes then I get an error saying it didn't update properly with windows Why release trash?

There is no additional settings. Photos are uploading very well but they are not downloading by itself can not syncingif I took a new photo on my phone, it does not download on my pc automatically and so every time I have to click "Download Photos" and it is starting download old photos too. It's a big mess and I wanted to change download location to on my second Hard Drive, because I don't wanna waste space on my SSD, but it was worse nothing started to download.

I am worried that this App makes me to lose all of my files. I will change the review if u fix and improve this App!

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I pay for Icloud storage of 2TB!!! And the stupid iPhone memory is full and keeps on underperforming even though is the XR, so I decided to transfer some of my files to my Flash Drive and just work at my friends studio. This thing takes for ever and does not give you a chance to say what you want to download, it just grabs your whole gallery and your literally other irrelevant things, it needs to be as easy as connecting a flash drive and transferring to another one.

I shouldn't even be having this problem if the stupid Icloud which I pay monthly for worked as an external sd card instead of just a cloud that chooses by itself what should be stored there and what not. In the past I've always used the iCloud install file from Apple no issues, good experiences This time has been a nightmare!!! I click the check box next to "iCloud Drive" So, then I thought, "I'll try signing out of my account and signing back in.

Of course I've tried rebooting - no luck. Then, I tried uninstalling, restarting my computer, and reinstalling from the MS Store.Windows PC. For the best iCloud experience, make sure that your device meets the minimum system requirements. Want to access iCloud's latest features? Have questions about Apple ID? Choose the iCloud services that you want to use After you turn on iCloud, select the services that you want to use and click Apply.

Now, the files that you add to the iCloud folders automatically appear on your Apple devices. Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement.

Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information. The rest is automatic. Download iCloud for Windows iCloud for Windows lets you access your files, photos, contacts, calendars, and more on your Apple devices and your Windows PC.

Download iCloud for Windows. One safe place for all your photos, files, and more Learn more about iCloud. Yes No. Character limit: Maximum character limit is Ask other users about this article Ask other users about this article.That means all your stuff — photos, files, notes, and more — is safe, up to date, and available wherever you are. And it works automatically, so all you have to do is keep doing what you love.

Simply choose the friends and family members who can see, comment, and add their own photos and videos. And when you make a change, the update is made across all your devices. You control whether they can view, share, or edit each file, and you can change these settings at any time.

So when you add a new phone number, bookmark a website, or update a slide in a presentation, the change appears everywhere.

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With live updates on all your devices, your collaborators will always be on the same page. Search for an address, a funny exchange, or anything else. And you can pick up every conversation right where you left off.

iCloud Storage - How to Free Up Space

The right amount of storage depends on how you and your family members want to use your devices. Learn more about iCloud storage. Learn more about Family Sharing.

iCloud Mail - Free Email Service

Apple takes the security of your data and the privacy of your personal information very seriously. Because of that, iCloud features are designed to keep your information safe, secure, and available only to you. Learn more about Privacy. A lifetime of photos on all your devices.


Without worrying about space on your devices. All in one place. All your files available from all your devices. Organize files however you want. Get to them on any device you want. Share folders and files with ease. All your essentials.

Every message. Safe and secure. Capacity Description Price. Included 5GB.


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