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.

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