iCloud is one of the products launched by Apple. But what is iCloud, what can it do? How do you set up a complete iCloud account, and how do you take advantage of the existing features of this software?
This article will explain everything you need to know to be proficient in using iCloud on your Windows computer and other iPhone/iPad devices.
What is iCloud?
iCloud is the collective name for all the services that Apple supports through the Internet, whether it’s a Mac, iPhone, or PC using the Windows operating system (iCloud software is available for Windows machines).
Cloud service in general, and iCloud in particular, is that all data is stored in another server, also known as Cloud Server, instead of on our computer. That means you won’t take up any storage space on your computer’s devices, and you can access them anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection.
The services that iCloud offers include iCloud Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive; iCloud Photo Library, a fork of Photo Stream; iTunes Match; and Apple Music. iCloud also gives you a way to back up iPad data if you need to restore it in the future, and you can download the iWork suite to your iPad from the App Store and use Pages, Numbers, KeyNote with Laptop or Desktop via iCloud.com and still sync with iPad.
How much does iCloud cost?
iCloud is free…to get you started. You can set up a complete iCloud account without paying a dime, but this comes with the limitation that your cloud storage is limited to 5GB of space on all devices your device.
If you want more storage and plan to back up multiple devices to the cloud or store important photo, video, and document collections on iCoud, you’ll need to upgrade iCloud storage up.
And here’s the price to upgrade your iCloud account storage:
- 50GB: $0.99
For more information on the price to upgrade iCloud storage, please refer here.
What features does iCloud have and how to use it?
Here are a few features you can use with iCloud, along with some tips for using them:
iCloud Backup and Restore
Let’s start with the most basic feature that people use most of the time. Apple will give away 5GB of iCloud storage with each AppleID account. This is the account that you will use to sign in to the App Store and purchase Apps. With 5GB memory, we can use it for many purposes, including storing photos, but perhaps to be more optimal, we should use it for data backup.
By default, every time you plug in your iPad or connect it to your computer, the iPad automatically backs up your data to iCloud. Or you can create your backup by opening Settings and navigating to iCloud => Backup => Backup Now. If you want to restore your iPad from a backup, follow the process to reset the device, then select the backup you want during the iPad setup.
Find My Device
Another extremely useful feature of iCloud is Find My iPhone/iPad/Macbook. Not only can you use it to track the location of your iPhone/iPad, but you can also use Find My Device to lock your device if it’s lost or to factory reset it remotely. Finding your iPad can be difficult when you’re new, as it also incorporates the Passcode Lock feature to ensure your iPad is more secure.
Apple’s cloud storage is not as stable and smooth as Dropbox or Google Drive, but it should not be ignored if you use iPad, iPhone, Mac. You can sign in to iCloud Drive from Windows, so you’re not confined to Apple’s ecosystem. So, what is iCloud Drive? It’s a free service that stores everything on the Internet so that you can access those data files from multiple devices. For example, you can create Numbers spreadsheets on your iPad, access them through your iPhone, download them on your Mac and edit them, even using Windows to modify them through iCloud.com.
iCloud Photo Library
Apple has been working hard to launch an online photo storage platform in the past few years and give users an extremely powerful storage service.
My Photo Stream is a service that supports uploading any images taken to the cloud and uploading them to any device signed in to My Photo Stream. While it sounds convenient, it isn’t nice, especially if you don’t want every picture you take to be uploaded to the Internet. It also means that if you take a photo of a product in the store to remember the model, that photo will also be saved on other devices. However, the feature will be extremely useful for those who often take photos on iPhone and automatically appear on iPad, Mac without taking any action. Unfortunately, the photos in My Photo Stream will disappear after a while and only store up to 1000 photos.
iCloud Photo Library is a completely upgraded version of My Photo Stream. The biggest difference is that now all photos after taking will be immediately uploaded to iCloud, so there will be no longer a limit on the number of photos. You can also upload all photos or compressed images at once without worrying about them taking up too much storage space. Unfortunately, the iCloud Photo Library is not part of iCloud Drive.
Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Notes
Most of the basic apps available on the iPad can use iCloud to sync between devices. So if you want to open Notes from iPad or iPhone, then for each device, we need to enable the Notes to feature in iCloud settings from iPad/iPhone. Similarly, if you turn on Reminders, you can use Siri to set a reminder on your iPhone that will also appear on the iPad with the same iCloud account.
How to installing and using iCloud on Windows
With iCloud Windows version, photos, documents, bookmarks will be automatically synced with Apple devices. Before that, you need to sign in to iCloud on your iPhone/iPad/Mac to log in to iCloud on your computer.
Install and sign in iCloud for Windows computers
Step 1: Download iCloud for Windows version. If it doesn’t install automatically, find the download location and install it manually.
Step 2: Restart the computer.
Step 3: If iCloud doesn’t open automatically after reboot. Press the Windows key, type iCloud in the search bar, and turn it on.
Step 4: Enter Username and Password to log in to iCloud. If you get the following error, you need to sign in to this iCloud account on Apple devices to update data. Then log back in on your computer.
Step 5: Select the features and content that you want to sync between devices.
Step 6: Click Apply.
Download images and share them with friends
When the Photos feature is turned on, iCloud on Windows will automatically create a folder to store photos called iCloud Photos, in the folder there will be three small folders Downloads, Shared, Uploads. When you have a new photo or video and copy it to the Uploads folder, you’ll see all the same content when you open the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, iCloud.com
As I said above, the Downloads folder will automatically download all photos and videos to sync with all other Apple devices, and you can choose to download your entire image library by year. And finally, the Shared folder will let us see the comments on the photos and videos you have shared with others.
iCloud Drive Cloud Storage
When iCloud Drive is turned on, your computer will automatically create a folder called iCloud Drive on File Explorer. Documents you have stored on iCloud will also automatically download to the iCloud Drive folder on your PC. Similarly, every time you create a new document on your PC and put it in your iCloud Drive folder, other devices will also see the document.
Keep apps up to date on iCloud
To keep Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks (Reminder) up to date, make sure iCloud apps are set up on all your devices:To keep Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks (Reminder) up to date, make sure iCloud apps are set up on all your devices:
- PC: Open iCloud Windows version, tick “Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks” then click Apply.
- iPhone, iPad, iPod: tap Settings > [iCloud Account Name] > iCloud and open “Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders”.
- MacOS: Click the Apple Icon in the menu bar > System Preferences > Apple ID > Select iCloud, then select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders.”
How to remove iCloud in Windows 10/8/7
If you turn off an iCloud service in Windows, your information won’t automatically update in iCloud, and you won’t see the service’s updates made by your other devices.
- To turn off a service on your PC, open the iCloud app on Windows, uncheck the service you want. Click Apply to save the settings.
- To turn off all services on your PC, open the iCloud app, then select Sign Out.
If you want to remove iCloud from Windows completely, remember to back up your iCloud data and keep it on your computer if you need it. Then sign out of the iCloud account from the computer, and do the following:
- Press the Windows + R key combination.
- Enter Control Panel in the Run dialog box and then press Enter.
- Select Programs and Features in the Control Panel application window.
- Find the iCloud app and select Uninstall.
- Open the Start Menu then select Control Panel.
- Select Programs => Programs and Features.
- Find the iCloud app then tap Uninstall.