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How to set up iCloud for all your Apple devices
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Tech tips

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Regarding storage, two important factors must be considered: Capacity and security. You want enough space to store your files, and you want them stored safely.

Cloud storage is an excellent choice for storing photos. You don’t have to worry about cluttering and slowing down your phone, and you can access them from your computer, phone or other connected devices. We’ve broken down a few options for you. Tap or click here to check out our report on Google Photos vs. iCloud vs. IDrive.

If you’re an Apple user, you’ll probably gravitate towards iCloud. Apple’s cloud service is integrated into its tablets, computers, smartphones, smartwatches and more. It’s tied to your Apple ID, so you can easily access your files from any Apple device. Keep reading to find out how to set it up.

What you get with iCloud

Apple’s iCloud includes 5GB of free storage and a free email account. You can back up your iPhone or iPad using iCloud and use it to store your passwords. iCloud makes it easy to store and share your videos, photos, files and notes with others.

If 5GB isn’t enough, you can upgrade to iCloud+. This gets you up to 2TB of storage, in addition to features such as Private Relay (beta), Hide My Email and HomeKit Secure Video support.

iCloud+ costs 99 cents, $2.99 or $9.99 per month, depending on your chosen storage plan.

Tap or click here for more details on iCloud Private Relay.

You can set up iCloud on your Apple devices and Windows computers. We have instructions on how to set up a new iCloud account for each below and a section on how to set up an iCloud email. Note: Have your Apple ID ready.

Setting up iCloud on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

Apple
  • Go to Settings and tap on [your name]. If you don’t see [your name], tap Sign in to your [device] and enter your Apple ID and password.
  • Tap iCloud, then turn apps and features on or off.
  • To upgrade to iCloud+, tap Manage Storage.
  • Next, select Change Storage Plan. Choose 50GB, 200GB or 2TB, depending on your needs.

Setting up iCloud on your Mac

Apple
  • Select the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud. If you don’t see Apple ID, click Sign In, enter your Apple ID and password, then click iCloud.
  • Select or deselect each app or feature according to your preference.

There are more ways to store your files and photos, including some we don’t recommend. Tap or click here to check out our report on storage options.

Setting up iCloud on your Apple Watch

  • For an Apple Watch, you pair with your iPhone: If your Apple watch is paired with your iPhone, you’ll see information from your iPhone’s iCloud selections on your Apple Watch.
  • You can change the information that appears on your Apple Watch by changing settings in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • If a family member sets up your Apple Watch, you can use the Settings app on your Apple Watch to turn iCloud on or off for apps and features.

Setting up iCloud on your Apple TV

  • On your Apple TV, open the Settings app.
  • Choose Users and Accounts, then select your account.
  • If you have not signed in with your Apple ID for iCloud, choose iCloud > Sign In, then enter your Apple ID and password.
  • In the iCloud section, choose an app or feature, then turn it on or off.

Setting up iCloud on your Windows computer

Apple

After you’ve set up iCloud on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can set it up on a Windows computer.

  • You’ll need to download the iCloud app from the Microsoft app store. Click here to get iCloud for Windows. You can also open the Microsoft Store on your PC and search for iCloud.
  • Open iCloud for Windows. If you are asked to sign in, enter the Apple ID and password you used to set up iCloud on your Apple device.
  • Select or deselect each app or feature, then click Apply.

Setting up iCloud Mail

You need to create a primary iCloud email address on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac before you can use iCloud Mail.

To create an iCloud Mail address on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch:

  • Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud.
  • Turn on iCloud Mail (or Mail), then follow the onscreen instructions to create an iCloud Mail address.

Note: If you don’t see onscreen instructions after turning on iCloud Mail on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you already have a primary iCloud email address.

To create an iCloud Mail address on your Mac:

  • Select the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud.
  • Select Mail, then follow the onscreen instructions to create an iCloud Mail address.

After you create a primary iCloud Mail address, you can use iCloud Mail on your Apple devices, Windows computer and from iCloud.com.

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