Apple’s great success is not only due to the strength of its products but also due to the strong integration across all Apple devices. You can use many ways like AirDrop, Bluetooth and iCloud to quickly transfer content across devices. In this article let us explore how to sync your Mac using iCloud along with accessing and restoring content from iCloud.
Before reading further, you need to understand the basics of iCloud account on Apple devices.
- Apple started iCloud for syncing content to the cloud storage so that you can access from anywhere. Later users are allowed to store the content without syncing to optimize the storage space.
- Your iCloud account and Apple account are same. Apple uses same username and password for both accounts.
- You have free iCloud account with 5GB storage space. This is not sufficient to backup content especially when you want to backup entire documents on your Mac.
- You can upgrade iCloud and purchase required storage for monthly subscription. It is also possible to downgrade the storage size any point of time after upgrade.
Prior to Mac OS Sierra, you can only sync content to iCloud. Later Apple allows storing the content independently on iCloud without downloading to your Mac. So ensure to update your OS to have the latest version in order to have the correct iCloud function.
Follow the below the steps to back up your Mac in the iCloud.
Open iCloud on Your Mac
Click on the “Apple Menu” on top left corner of your MacBook and navigate to “System Preferences…” section.
Look for “iCloud” icon and click on it to open iCloud settings page. If you are not logged in, you need to login with your Apple ID to proceed further.
Turn on the Desktop and Document Option
You can view list of applications on the right pane which you can sync to iCloud content. Enable the applications you want to sync to cloud storage. In order to backup content from your Mac, click on “Options” button against “iCloud Drive” option.
Enable “Desktop & Documents Folders” option and click “Done” button. Also ensure to enable “Optimize Mac Storage” to save files only on iCloud when your Mac runs out of storage space.
Add Files to the Cloud Drive
When you have sufficient space on iCloud account, all content in desktop and documents folders of your Mac will be automatically copied to your iCloud account. If you have enabled other options then your Contacts, Notes, Safari bookmarks, Calendar and Reminders will also copied.
Your Mac will automatically sync files whenever you save on your desktop or documents folder in Finder. Remember, you can’t sync applications with iCloud storage. You can only sync documents and media content on your Mac. You will see the circular progress bar running next to “iCloud Drive” folder when the sync is in progress.
You can also view the cloud icon nearer to files indicating the sync status. Cloud with down arrow indicates that the file is only available in iCloud. Click the cloud icon to download the file to your Mac and sync the content.
Accessing iCloud Files
You can access iCloud content in many ways:
- On your Mac, open Finder app and click on “iCloud Drive”. This will show all the files on your iCloud account.
- Access iCloud Drive on your iPhone using Files app.
- On your Windows PC use iCloud for Windows app.
- Simply open iCloud website and check the content.
You can upload or download files from iCloud using one of the above methods. The files will be synced on your Mac as long as you have space on your Mac, otherwise they will be only available on iCloud storage.
Manage iCloud Storage
Under iCloud preferences, you can view the current free and occupied storage on your iCloud account on right side progress bar. Hover the mouse over on different colors to see the files that occupied the space. If you think the storage is full, click on “Manage” button. You can either delete the stored content or upgrade the plan by clicking on “Change Storage Plan…” button.