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How To Access Your iCloud Storage & Other FAQ About The Cloud

If you have an Apple device you automatically receive a certain amount of free iCloud storage space that can be accessed from your Mac, PC, iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone.

iCloud is a free online storage service that automatically stores all of your photos, videos and documents from your Apple devices, but you only get so much free storage space before you have to pay. This automatically linked storage service can access your mail, contacts, calendar and other information stored on your phone through iCloud.

Since the data stored on your iCloud can be accessed from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or PC, if one of your devices breaks all of the data should be backed up to the iCloud and easy to access. The thing is, if you don’t purchase additional space only a portion of data is generally backed up. Your phone should alert you if there is no cloud storage space left, not allowing the phone to automatically back up to the cloud.

How to Access Your iCloud Storage

Setting up and accessing your iCloud storage is easy, we promise. When you first set up a new Apple device you will be prompted to enter your Apple ID (if you don’t have one you can create one within a few seconds). After entering your code your device is automatically synced with the cloud. If at any point in the future you wish to change your Apple ID, or use a different account for the cloud you can manage this under Settings.

Once setup is complete, you can access your cloud storage from any Mac or PC (provided you have Windows 7 or later). To do so, open a browser and visit: https://www.icloud.com/.

You can access iCloud from your phone/iPad/iPod Touch by downloading the iCloud application in the App store.

How Much iCloud Storage Space Do You Get For Free?

Apple offers up to 5gb of storage for free on iCloud. After that you’ll have to delete old data to make room for more, or purchase additional storage space.

Managing your iCloud Storage

You can check how much cloud space you have available by clicking on Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage/Storage & Backup. Depending on what you use your cloud storage for, 5gb might be enough space for you. On the other hand, if you send countless emails every day or take a plethora of photos, chances are you’ll run out of free space pretty quickly. When you do run out there are a couple of options available to you.

First, you can create more free space for yourself by deleting some of your old data. Even if you’re a data hoarder there are a few painless things you can delete like old documents or emails that you no longer require. No one needs to back up spam email! You could also back up your photos on a computer or freestanding hard drive and then remove them from your iCloud storage.

To delete things from iCloud simply go to: Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage/Storage & Backup. From here, select items you want to delete. In order to delete you may need to click on the edit button at the top right corner of your screen first.

However, if deleting items is not a feasible option you’re not completely out of luck… but you’re out some money. In order to get additional iCloud storage you’ll have to pay for it. Interestingly, the prices for this additional storage vary depending on your country of residence. In the US you can purchase additional storage at rates of: $0.99 for 50gb, $2.99 for 200gb and $9.99 for 1TB. You will be billed bi-monthly and can upgrade, downgrade or cancel your plan at any time.

How To Get Free Cloud Storage

If you need more than the 5gb of storage that Apple offers but you don’t want to pay for extra space, you’re in luck! There are several companies that offer free cloud storage space with varying limits.

You can actually use these other platforms in conjunction with iCloud, for instance by saving documents and PDFS to one or more of the free providers mentioned below while continuing to back up contacts, calendar and photos to your iCloud.

It’s important to keep in mind that these companies may change limits at their own discretion, possibly even landing you with unexpected charges. You may also be bombarded by ads to cover costs of free storage. Plus, your device won’t necessarily automatically backup to these storage platforms as it does with iCloud.

All that being said, here are some of the best free cloud storage options:

ADrive - 50gb of free storage. (http://www.adrive.com)

pCloud - 20gb of free storage. (https://www.pcloud.com)

Google Drive - 15gb of free storage. (https://www.google.com/drive/)

Microsoft One Drive - 15gb of free storage (https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/)

Box - 10gb of free storage. (https://www.box.com)

The best free storage platform for you will depend on your exact needs and preferences. For instance, Google Drive is designed to allow users to seamlessly collaborate on projects while using the service, whereas Microsoft One Drive offers an excellent photo presentation slideshow with optional tagging.

Lesser-known companies such as ADrive, Box and pCloud are still easy to navigate and provide all of the basic functions required of a cloud storage provider. Plus, they give you the opportunity to earn more space by completing simple tasks, such as liking their Facebook page. All of these providers work with both iOS and Android devices and can also be accessed from a Mac or PC. Keep in mind that you may need to download an app to ensure automatic backup of data occurs.

Many argue that iCloud is the best cloud storage option for iOS users but it’s certainly not the most affordable option out there. If storing all of your data in the same location is not important to you, you might as well make use of the free storage provided by different services.

Whichever company you choose to store your data with, it’s important to double-check your data is backing up on a regular basis. That way, if your phone breaks or is lost you know that your data is still there.