iCloud Overview Updated May 4, 2021


The best place for all your photos, files, and more.

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487 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - May 2021

iCloud was launched in 2011 as the successor to MobileMe and is Apple’s current cloud service that allows iOS and Mac users to save and synchronize information. Apple includes 5GB of iCloud storage for free with all accounts and has paid options starting at $0.99/month for 50GB.

iCloud is built into every Apple device. That means all your stuff — photos, files, notes, and more — is safe, up to date, and available wherever you are. And it works automatically, so all you have to do is keep doing what you love. Everyone gets 5GB of free iCloud storage to start, and it’s easy to add more at any time.

What is iCloud?

iCloud solved a problem that we were facing in 2011. Originally, Apple pitched the Mac as the digital hub to our life. Our iPods (and then iPhones) would sync over a cable to transfer information. As we added iPads, it became a mess. Steve demoted the Mac back to just a device and made the “cloud” the center of our digital life. Using the service, users could sync all of their data over the air. As an example, a Keynote document edited on your Mac would automatically be up to date with the latest changes on your iPad or iPhone. iCloud also allowed you to back up your iOS device for an easy path to change devices without having to set everything up manually.

The problem with this original iCloud pitch is it didn’t cover all of our photos. We didn’t get that until iCloud Photos came in iOS 8. It didn’t cover iMessage, as that didn’t come until a few years ago with messages in the cloud. It didn’t cover all of our files, but only those in the iCloud folder stored inside of app folders. We didn’t get seamless syncing of files until Apple added Desktop and Document folder syncing a few years ago.

Over time, Apple has continued to add features to iCloud, and it’s turned out to be a really robust and reliable service. Users can sync files, photos, notes, reminders, and Safari bookmarks to their Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV (photos).

iCloud Troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble using iCloud, you may want to make sure it isn’t affected by downtime. Check Apple’s iCloud Status page here.

How much does iCloud cost?

Pricing can change at anytime (view Apple’s latest pricing page), but here are the current rates for a few countries.

United States 50GB: $0.99 200GB: $2.99 2TB: $9.99

Canada  50GB: $1.29 200GB: $3.99 2TB: $12.99

United Kingdom 50GB: £0.79 200GB: £2.49 2TB: £6.99

European Union 50GB: 0.99 € 200GB: 2.99 € 2TB: 9.99 €

Read below for all of our coverage

iCloud Stories May 4

Apple confirms outage affecting Find My, Mail, and other iCloud apps [U: Fixed]

Another week, another problem. Following an Apple Music and iTunes outage last week, Apple confirmed on Tuesday that some of its services are now partially offline. This includes Find My, iCloud Mail, iCloud Contacts, and iCloud settings.

Update (9:19 PM ET): Apple says the outage is now fixed across all its services.

iCloud Stories April 26

Apple confirms iCloud Mail outage currently affecting some users [Update: Fixed]

Apple says its iCloud Mail is seeing some downtime this morning. It doesn’t look like the service is fully unavailable but some users are seeing “intermittent issues.”

iCloud Stories March 7

iCloud user locked out for six months over coding bug related to her last name

An apparent flaw in iCloud’s designs appears to have locked out an a user from being able to access her account on the iCloud website, due to its interpretation of her last name “True.” 

iCloud Stories February 22

Apple reportedly fixes security vulnerability in iCloud Pages/Keynote editing

A security vulnerability in iCloud that could have been used to send malware to Mac users has now been patched by Apple, according to a new blog post.

It allowed an attacker to embed malicious code in either Pages or Keynote documents, which could then be shared with others…

iCloud Stories December 26, 2020

Apple’s system status webpage indicates that the company has resolved an outage affecting “iCloud Account and Sign In” services. Apple doesn’t indicate how widespread this outage was, but it does say that the issue was affecting users for 36 hours.

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iCloud Stories November 1, 2020

A variety of Apple’s iCloud services are experiencing outages this morning, including Calendar, Contacts, iCloud Drive, and more. Apple has confirmed the outages on its System status webpage.

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