{Disarmed} iCloud: 21 Features and Tricks to Get the Most Out of It

iCloud: 21 Features and Tricks to Get the Most Out of It

We bring you a collection of 21 functions and tricks to get the most out of Apple's cloud storage service . It is a fairly complex service, since it is fully integrated into Apple products, but you can also use them from any other device, at least some of its functions.

Here, we are going to say from the most basic functions to some other slightly more hidden functions. And if you think there is a function or trick that we have left, we invite you to share it with us in the comments section , so that the rest of the readers can benefit from the knowledge of our Xatakers.

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See what your storage is doing

Info Icloud

You have two ways to see what kind of files are taking up space on your iCloud storage. If you go to the iCloud.com website and go to Account Settings , you will see a bar where you can move the mouse, and you will see what storage your photos or other types of files that you have uploaded occupy.

But this can be even more complete from your Apple device, such as your iPhone or iPad. In them, enter the device settings, and click on your name at the top to go to the Apple ID menu. There, click on the iCloud option and Manage storage within it. You will go to a complete list with all the elements that are taking up space and how much each one takes up.

Enable two-step authentication

If you want to save yourself trouble with people who can guess your password and access all your data, it is always useful and necessary to activate two-step verification in your Apple account . Thus, when you want to log into a device or iCloud, you will have to confirm that it is you through a notification that arrives on a device that you have unlocked.

This can be done within the Password and security options of your device, both iPhone or iPad and in macOS. The settings will affect your entire Apple account, and all devices or all sites from which you want to sign in to iCloud.

Install it on any device

Icloud Windows

The first thing you should know about iCloud is that you can use it on practically any device . On the one hand, you have it fully integrated into Apple operating systems, such as macOS and iOS. But you also have iCloud for Windows , which allows you to synchronize folders on your PC and always have your files at hand.

You can also connect to iCloud from your mobile through the browser. With this, you will be able to access your photos, notes and reminders from any phone , including Android devices. It is not the same as enjoying a full experience with native applications, but at least it is something.

Share a Drive folder with other users

Share Content

When you access your iCloud Drive folders from any device, in the context menu or right click you will have the option to share a folder or file in iCloud . When you do, in addition to choosing the application through which to share it, you will have options to share that will help you configure how you want to share it.

Here, you can have the content accessed only with the people you invite or generate a link so that anyone with it can access . Here, you can also decide if you want people who access the content to be able to make changes or just view and read it.

You can also share your notes

Share Notes

If you use the native Notes application, you can also share your notes with other users , deciding if you want the users who receive it to be able to edit the content of the note or not. This, in this case, you can only share with other users with an iCloud account.

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Control what backups you make

The great advantage of iCloud is that it allows you to keep all your devices in sync, so that you can access your photos or certain files from anywhere. But in addition to this, you can also choose which elements you want to synchronize in iCloud, for those cases in which there are things on your Mac or iPhone that you do not want to share with other devices.

In macOS, you have to go to the system preferences to find the iCloud option, and there you can decide which elements you want to keep in sync. On iOS or iPadOS, in the device settings, click on your name above, and enter the iCloud preferences, which is where you will be able to see what you want to stop syncing.

Activate the sharing function of the Desktops and Documents folders

And since we are talking about things that you can synchronize, it is interesting that you share the Desktops and Documents folders . Because if you are a disorganized person who ends up having a lot of files scattered around folders on your desktop, it can always be useful to be able to share everything on it. And the same with the Documents folder.

To do this, you have to open the Apple menu and enter the System Preferences . There, click on Apple ID and then on iCloud. Here, click on the options and select the Desktop and Documents folders , so you can start backing up the content. Thus, the folders will be shared with the rest of the devices.

Make a copy of your WhatsApp chats with or without videos


WhatsApp backups are made through the cloud storage systems of the companies that own the operating system they are on. This means that on iOS, native backups are done on iCloud . This means that beyond the native copies of iCloud, you can also make a native backup in the WhatsApp app itself in iCloud.

To do this, you have to enter the WhatsApp configuration, and click on the Chats section. Here, click on the Backup section. In this menu, you can choose the frequency with which the backups are made, and you can choose if you want the videos to be saved as well or not. This is set aside because videos are the type of file that can take up the most space.

Delete a whole type of files in iCloud

Deactivate And Delete

In addition to deciding to stop syncing a type of content, you can clean up by emptying that type of content from iCloud so it doesn't take up more space. For example, you can delete the data in your books, your shortcuts, all your emails or your photos. You can also delete the files from your backups, iCloud Drive, or even the files of the games you play.

To do this, you have to go on your device to the iCloud settings, and there click on the Manage storage option . In it, you will see the space that each type of saved item occupies, and by clicking on each one you will be able to ask to delete all the data there is, including the photos or Drive files.

Optimize photo storage on iOS

Let's face it, storage on iPhones and iPads seems to be made of unicorn blood, and buying a device with a little more storage can turn out to be very expensive. If because of this you end up with an iPhone with less storage than your photos occupy in iCloud, there is a way to manage it.

If on your device you go to the Apple ID menu, and click on iCloud to access its settings, there enter the Photos option. You will see the configuration of how iCloud manages your photos, and you have to activate the Optimize storage option . With this, iOS will erase photos that you do not see from your mobile so that all the storage is not occupied, and when you want to see a photo or video that you have not downloaded, it will download it immediately.

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Synchronize your passwords with iCloud


Another element that you can sync in iCloud are passwords. You can save your passwords in iCloud , and then sync it on the other devices. On Apple devices it is something simple, because iCloud is integrated, and on your Windows computers you can synchronize iOS passwords in Chrome . You just have to use this Chrome extension .

Share iCloud with the family at no extra cost

Apple has a service called En Familia , which allows you to configure the members of your family to be linked and to share content. This allows you to share apps and services that you have paid for with just one account, and between them, you can also share your iCloud storage without the other family members having to pay for it.

The system is this, if you have contracted 200 GB of storage in iCloud, the members of your family will also use that same space. No, this does not mean that each one will have 200 GB , but that you will all share those 200 GB. You can also share location, find devices that other members may have lost, or use parental control for the smallest members of the house.

Create shared photo albums


One of the most important iCloud services is Photos, Apple's photo storage service, an alternative to Google Photos . In addition to being able to catalog the locations and faces that appear in the photos, you also have the possibility of creating a shared album so that other people can contribute their own photos or contribute to those that you have uploaded.

To do this, you just have to go to the albums section, click on the option to create a new one and choose to make it a new shared album . You will be able to choose whether subscribers can post their own photos to the album or only see the existing ones, or show notifications when subscribers add a Like, comment or upload content to the album.

Make some photos or videos not count in the space

This is a little trick that can help you in extreme cases. If you put photos and videos of up to 5 minutes in shared albums , they will not tell anyone on your internal storage. They will stay in a kind of limbo, although accessible to everyone on the shared album.

Here, you have to remember that there are some negative aspects in this technique, such as that, for example, you cannot edit the photos or manage them as if they were native. They will not be included in your memories either, and the videos can be a maximum of 5 minutes long so they do not count.

Share your albums with users without iCloud

Share Link

When you are setting up your shared album, you can enable the Public Website option . When you do this, a link will be generated so that any user can access the content of the album , even if they do not have an iCloud account or Apple devices. They can be accessed from the browser, even on Android devices.

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Recover accidentally deleted files or contacts

We all get out of hand at times by deleting what we should not, and when we do this in a cloud that has all the files synchronized it can be a problem, because you lose them on all your devices. Fortunately, iCloud has a system to recover files, contacts, calendars, or bookmarks that you have accidentally deleted.

When you delete any of these items accidentally, you will have a period of 30 days to recover them before they disappear forever. To do this, you have to enter icloud.com , and access the settings. There, at the very bottom, you will see an Advanced section with the recovery options.

iCloud Drive on your iPhone or iPad

Icloud Drive

The iCloud virtual hard drive, which is iCloud Drive, is fully integrated into your iPhone and iPad . This means that from the Files application itself you will have a location that is iCloud Drive , where you can access all the content that you have stored there. With this method, it is extremely easy for what you have put in the cloud from macOS or the Windows app for iCloud to be fully accessible from your mobile device.

And as a reminder, remember that if you install another cloud storage application, such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, in the Files application you can also add their folders. This makes file sharing between those clouds and iCloud even easier.

Use the clipboard between Apple devices without fear

A small detail that you may not know. If you have multiple Apple devices, the clipboard content will be synced between the other devices that are logged into iCloud. It's that simple, if you have an iPhone and a Mac, you copy a file to your phone and if you press paste on your Mac, it will appear there.

This is as long as both devices are logged in with the same iCloud account. In addition to this, it will also apply to devices linked via Bluetooth and WiFi. This is something very simple and useful for when you are within the Apple ecosystem with several devices.

Don't forget to create an email @ iCloud.com

When you create an Apple account, you can do it with any third-party email. And although it is not mandatory, you can create a native email account @ iCloud.com to use it wherever you want. This method is something that more than one person is unaware of, and that can serve as an alternative email.

Restore a device from a backup


All Apple devices are making regular backups that are saved in iCloud . This allows that if you buy a new device of the same type, such as a new iPhone, or if something happens in which you had and it starts to malfunction, you can always erase your current data and restore the last backup that was made.

You will be able to do the restoration of your iPhone or iPad in several ways. You can connect it to macOS and, in its general settings, give the option to restore. This can also be done from a Windows PC using iTunes, and even from the mobile itself, within the General section of the settings you have the option to Reset . Simply erase all your data and when you start to configure the device from scratch, you can recover a backup.

These backups also allow you to restore data from an old iPhone to a new one , so you don't have to reconfigure everything from scratch and you can lose files along the way.

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Download all your information stored in Apple

Apple, like any company, stores a copy of all the content you upload to its cloud on its servers. And as a European user, you have the right to claim a backup of all your data in order to download and store it wherever you want.

To download all the data that Apple has about you , you have to enter Appleid.apple.com , and in the Data and privacy section, click on the option Manage your data and privacy . This is where you will see the option to Get a copy of your data , where you can decide what data you want to download.

The news iCloud: 21 functions and tricks to get the most out of it was originally published in xiaomist.com by Yúbal Fernández .

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