What Is iCloud Drive?

Since the introduction of iCloud in 2011, Apple has been trying to make a foray into the cloud services sector without much success. Its products werent as popular as other products that were currently in the market such as Google drive and Dropbox. However, with the recent introduction of iCloud drive, it seems the company has finally hit a home run. iCloud Drive is the recent cloud services solution by Apple that seeks to make the access of cloud storage services very easy over a number of devices.

iCloud Drive interface on devices

What is iCloud drive one may wonder? iCloud drive is a cloud storage solution by Apple Inc. It lets one store their documents, photos, videos, music and application data to iCloud. The storage solution can be accessed from all iOS devices, Mac, Windows PC and the web by visiting iCloud.com. What is even more interesting about it is that the data can be seamless managed from any of the devices mentioned above, and manipulating of the data in one device automatically results in it being updated across all devices. It even allows one to create files and folders in any iCloud-enabled application so that the files and folders may then be manipulated in any of the iCloud-enabled devices.

What You Need To Access iCloud Drive

iCloud is available on all iOS devices and Macs that have been updated to the latest iOS and MacOS respectively. It is also available on windows PC running on Windows 7 and higher. You will also have to update all your iWork apps, that is, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, to the latest version for you to access documents from these applications in iCloud drive. One also has to sign in with the same Apple ID for them to access all their files from the devices.

How To Setup iCloud Drive

The following steps describe different ways of setting up iCloud Drive on various devices.

IPad, iPhone And iOS Devices

Your iOS device needs to be running on iOS 8 and above for it to function with iCloud Drive. You should therefore update it to the latest version. Go to settings on your iOS device and click on iCloud. Sign in with your Apple ID and tap iCloud drive. Tap upgrade to iCloud drive and you will be good to go.


On Macs it runs on Mac OS X Yosemite and later. The Mac should therefore be updated to the latest operating system for it to work. Go to Apple menu and click on System preferences and select iCloud from the options available. Sign in with your Apple ID and select iCloud drive. Select continue to complete the process.

Windows PC

On Windows PC, iCloud can be set up on PCs running on Windows 7 and later. Download iCloud drive for windows and install it.


Online, it can be accessed on any recently updated web browser by visiting iCloud.com. Sign in to iCloud.com and select Pages, Numbers and keynote. A prompt will appear asking you if you want to upgrade to iCloud drive. Click upgrade.

How It Works On Different Devices


On a Mac, iCloud drive can be accessed by clicking on the finder icon on your dock and searching for iCloud. Alternatively, you may find iCloud on the Go menu of any finder window. By default, it comes already set up with some folders. The folders already set up are your iWork apps, that is, Keynote, Pages and Numbers. Other folders that are also set up include folders for applications such as QuickTime player, Script editor, TextEdit, Automator and Preview. You may also create any number of additional folders and save any number of files provided the file is not any bigger than 15 GB and it doesn’t exceed your iCloud storage allotment.

It simply works like a remote storage hard drive where you can create different folders, drag and drop file and folders into them. You also have the option to save data from your applications into your iCloud drive.

iPad And iPhone

It can be accessed from any iPhone device by first adding the app to your home screen. You can do this by going to settings and taping on iCloud. Tap on iCloud drive and from there, toggle on ‘Show on Home screen’. You can then access iCloud from the home screen. Using iCloud drive on an iOS device is very easy. All one has to do is simple sign in into your iCloud drive account. Having done this, every app that supports iCloud drive will give you an option to save files or open files in your account. All files saved here will be synced so that they can be accessed on other devices as well.

Windows PC

Windows PC users running on Windows 7 or later can access iCloud drive by going to it on file explorer. The windows version of it lets you sync a wide range of information across all your devices, including all your apple devices. With iCloud drive for windows you can sync your mail, contacts, documents and calendars to be accessed across all your devices. Files can be stored onto your iCloud drive by simply dragging and dropping files into the Cloud drive folder on your PC. The sync feature also lets you sync the bookmarks available in your Firefox, google Chrome and IE browsers on windows with the bookmarks on your safari available on your iPad or iPhone.


iCloud drive on the web is very simple to use. All you have to do is simple head on over to iCloud.com and sign in. After signing in, select iCloud Drive. You will then be able to view all your files and folders. From the web version of iCloud drive, one has the option to create new folders, upload files, download files and folders, and delete files and even share files.

How To Restore Deleted Files In iCloud Drive

Recovering deleted files

It gives one the option to recover deleted files provided one wants to access them within 30 days of deleting them. All one has to do is simple head over to iCloud.com and sign in. Click on settings once you have signed in and under the ‘advanced’ option, click on Restore files. Browse the files in the restore files window and select the ones you want to restore.


How To Access iCloud

iCloud allows us to share the most essential things in our digital life; these may include everything from music files to photos to business and personal documents. Having access to iCloud means, the user can get a song purchased from iTunes on his/her iPhone downloaded automatically to another Apple device (it might be a desktop computer or an iPad). The process of getting access to iCloud is absolutely simple and quick; in addition, a short setup is enough for gaining access and starting to share. Read on to find out how you can access iCloud on your devices.

Enable iCloud

Enabling On iPhone

Your first job would be ensuring that the device you are using is currently up to date. For having access to iCloud Drive, your device should run on iOS 8 or greater. Every iOS version launched before iOS 8 can let you access iCloud just for device backup and settings.

For seeing whether there’s any available update, tap on “Settings”, tap on “General” and select “Software Update”. If there’s any update, clicking on the option “Download & Install” will allow you to get the updated version of the software on your device.

The next step would be logging into your personal Apple ID; for that, you will again need to tap “Settings”, pick iCloud, and log into the ID. The iCloud account of every user remains linked to his/her Apple ID.

Now, you’ll need to pick the services that you want to be enabled on your device. You’ll have to make the selections from a plethora of iCloud services. The moment the services are enabled, their content will get synced to your iCloud; this would immediately make the content accessible on each of the connected devices. The options you’ll come across when picking services include the following:

  • iCloud Drive – By getting this service enabled, you’ll gain the right of saving files into the iCloud Drive and access them on any of your connected devices. For enjoying this facility on mobile devices, having iOS 8 or a more advanced operating system would be enough. However, if you want to enjoy the privilege even on your Mac, you’ll have to install Yosemite on the Mac.
  • Contacts, Mail, Reminders, and Calendars – Enabling these options would mean that you’ll have access to related content irrespective of which connected device you are using.
  • Photos – This is possibly the most commonly used option among all the services available on iCloud. Picking the option “Photos” would allow you to decide how exactly you would want your photos to be uploaded on ICloud. There’s a default option by the name of “My Photo Stream”; it would ensure that you have your recent images available on each of the connected Apple devices for a period of 30 days. If you want you can also enable the beta version of iCloud Photo Library; this option will allow you to get all your photos uploaded onto iCloud and keep them stored permanently.
  • Backup – Select Backup, if you don’t want to lose data stored in a connected Apple device even if it crashes. This option would allow you to use iCloud for storing backups of your iOS devices. If you have a free iCloud account, you might not be able to enjoy this privilege; that’s because most part of the free storage will be consumed by your device’s backup.
  • Safari – Pick Safari to get all your bookmarks on the connected devices.
  • Find My iDevice- Selecting this option would mean that you are enabling “Find My iPad/iPhone/iPod” service; the service would assist you in tracking down your missing Apple device when required.
  • Keychain – Pick Keychain for getting all the saved passwords stored on each of the connected devices. This option will ensure that you don’t need to type your passwords again and again.

Access iCloud Files From Your Devices

iCloud.com Dashboard

Begin by understanding how your iCloud Drive is working on the iOS devices. Earlier, iCloud was used to sync the users’ contacts and back up their settings. However, things changed drastically with the introduction of iOS 8 and iCloud Drive. This new combination allows users to use iCloud for storing files, which can be accessed from all the devices they have logged into. However, you’ll have to remember that you’ll not be able to access files stored on your iCloud directly; iCloud would be hooking into your apps and allow them to access iCloud for saving and opening files.

Users are not allowed to manage their iCloud files from any of their iOS devices; they are allowed to open and save the files so that each of them remains synced across all the connected devices. For managing the stored files, however, you must have a computer.

Open Files Saved On Your iCloud Drive

The majority of the top apps have received upgrades for including iCloud functionality (of course only if that makes any sense of the apps in question). If you are looking to open any file on the iCloud Drive (what is this?), you’ll need to begin by opening an app capable of manipulating that particular file. Let’s explain with an example. Suppose, if you are looking to open any document stored on iCloud, you’ll first need to open the app called “Pages”. Next, click on the “Open From” or “+” option; this would take you to a list of sources. Upon selecting “iCloud” you’ll be taken to your iCloud Drive. Browse through all the folders saved on the drive. Once you find the document you are looking for, select it and open.

Insert Files Stored In iCloud

If the app you are using allows file insertion (for instance, the Pages app will allow you to insert images), pick files from the drive for doing the same. If your document is already open, tap “+” and select the option “Insert From; you’ll be take to the iCloud Drive for selecting the file you would want to insert.

Save Files On iCloud Drive

You’ll actually not need to put in any additional effort for saving the files on your iCloud drive. Using the app to open files from the iCloud Drive would mean that all the changes made by you on those files would remain saved even on your drive. Each of the apps connected to your iCloud will save your files automatically to the drive. If you still need help with iCloud, you can call a customer service support representative using this contact number to help guide you through the steps.