Manage your iCloud storage on the Mac

iCloudApple provides 5GB of online storage space for you to use for free. How much are you using? You might be surprised at the amount and even when you think you are not using any, you could be using several gigabytes and be near your free space limit. Here’s how to check your iCloud storage and why you are using so much space.

Go to the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and select System Preferences. Click the iCloud icon and there is a list of applications on the Mac that use iCloud. Even if none is ticked though, you could still be using iCloud. Down a the bottom you can see that I’m using nearly all of my iCloud free storage and there is just 1.49GB of 5GB available.

What is using 3.51GB of iCloud storage? None of the items in the list can possibly use that much.

iCloud preferences

Click the manage button in the bottom right corner and a new list of the apps using Cloud is displayed and you can see the amount of space each one requires. The space isn’t being used by my Mac, it is backups of my iPhone and two iPads. By default (I don’t remember ever setting this), the iPhone and iPad will automatically back up to iCloud when they are plugged into the power and idle - when they are being charged.

iCloud preferences

Managing iPhone and iPad backups is something you have to do on the device and you cannot see or change anything here. However, there is something you can do. Scroll down the list of apps on the left and you might find software you once had, but have removed because you don’t need it any more, or got bored with it. The apps might have stored information on iCloud that is still there and occupying valuable storage space.

Here is Notability, an app I once tried, but now no longer have installed. It has 8.4MB of files on iCloud. These can be selected and deleted, freeing up the storage space. It is important to check what is using iCloud and to clear out anything you don’t need. If you just let it build up forever, you will eventually run out of storage space and it could be simply from junk files left behind from apps you have uninstalled a long time ago.

OS X Yosemite will change everything when it is released later this year and we don’t know exactly how it will affect iCloud storage. It will be interesting to see.

 

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