How to share files stored on iCloud with anyone, even non-Mac users

How to share iCloud files with anyone, even non-Mac users.Your shared files can be public or private.

If you have an Apple Mac and use macOS High Sierra, there is a great feature in it that enables you to share iCloud files privately with people you choose or publicly with the whole world.

iCloud started out as a very restricted and limited online storage service for users of Apple Macs, iPhones and iPads. It was OK at best, but rivals like Dropbox, Google Drive and others had so many extra features and functions that some Apple users preferred them. iCloud was just too limited.

Apple has tweaked its online storage service and has steadily opened it up. It used to be so locked down that you could barely use it, but now it is getting more like its rivals.

You can even share files! With non-Mac users too!

Let’s take a look at file sharing in macOS High Sierra.

Add people

Open a Finder window and select iCloud Drive in the sidebar.

Ctrl+click it to show the menu and go to Share > Add People.

Share files on iCloud with people using the Apple Mac

Choose the share type

This window is displayed and it contains all the different ways you can share the file, such as Mail, Messages and so on. Select the one you want to use.

Share a file on iCloud using the Apple Mac

Set the permissions

I am going to create a link that can be emailed, posted on the web, pasted into messages and so on. Expand the Share Options section and you can choose who can access the file. It can be limited to the people you choose or made available to anyone you give the link to. Private or public sharing, it is up to you.

You can also choose to let people change the file or just view it.

Set the permissions when sharing iCloud files on the Apple Mac

Click the Share button and a link to the file is copied to the clipboard. It is up to you to then paste it in somewhere and share it with whoever you want to share it with.

Access a shared file

What happens when someone clicks the link to the shared file? A browser opens if it is not already open and it displays a web page like this. I made the link accessible by anyone and so there is a Download a Copy link. It does not matter whether you are a Mac, Windows or Linux user. It does not require an Apple ID or an iCloud account.

Access a shared file on iCloud using a web browser

If the person has an iCloud/Apple ID account, they have the option to add the file to it. This is a convenient option for Mac users.

Show the people

When you want to share a file, you use the Add People menu option. Once it is shared, the menu changes to Show People. Ctrl+click a shared file.

Show the people an iCloud file is shared with

Stop sharing a file

At the top is a list of people the file is shared with. I chose to share it with everyone, but if I had shared it with one or more people, they would be listed here. Down at the bottom is a button to copy the share link again, in case you need to paste is into an email, web page, message and so on.

Stop sharing a file shared on iCloud on the Apple Mac

There is also a button to stop sharing. You may want to share a file and then when the person has go to, stop sharing.

Share with selected people

If you choose to share the file with selected people by setting the Share Options, a box appears into which you can enter email addresses or select people from Contacts. One or more people can be added.

Share a file on iCloud with selected people on the Apple Mac

Access a private share

When sharing a file with specific people, you get a link as before. This can be pasted wherever you want, such as emails and messages. What happens when someone clicks the link?

This time there is no download option and the person must sign into iCloud with their Apple ID. Only people with Apple IDs can access shared files if they are shared specifically with them. They do not have to be Mac users though, and Windows users can have an Apple ID.

Sign into iCloud

These file sharing features are sure to be popular with iCloud users. However, other services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and others have had this feature for years.



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