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Archive or make copies of your iCloud data

Learn how to make copies of the various types of data that you use with iCloud.

You might want to make a copy of the data that you use with iCloud and keep it in a safe place. If you accidentally delete an important contact, email, or document, you can retrieve it from this copy. Follow the steps below to copy the data for each of your apps. 

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Bookmarks

Export a copy of your Safari bookmarks

  1. Choose File > Export Bookmarks.
  2. Choose where you want to export the file, then click Save. The file’s name will be Safari Bookmarks.html unless you change it.

Export a copy of your Firefox bookmarks 

Export a copy of your Google Chrome bookmarks

Export a copy of your Internet Explorer favorites (bookmarks)

Calendars

Export a calendar in OS X Mountain Lion and later

Export a calendar in OS X Lion

  1. Open iCal.
  2. Click the Calendars button to show the Calendar list, if it's not already displayed.
  3. Select one of the calendars in the Calendar list.
  4. Choose File > Export > Export.
  5. Choose where you want to save the calendar.
  6. Click Export.
  7. Repeat with each calendar that you want to copy.

Download a calendar from iCloud.com

  1. Go to iCloud Calendar at iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Publicly share a calendar.
  3. Copy the URL (web address) of the shared calendar and paste it into the address field in your browser. Don't press Enter or Return.
  4. Change "webcal" to "http" and press Enter or Return. An ICS file will download to your default download location.
  5. Add the calendar to a calendar client, such as Calendar or iCal on a Mac, or Outlook on a Windows computer.
  6. Stop sharing the calendar.

Export a calendar in Outlook 2007 or later

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Select the calendar you want to copy in the Calendar list.
  3. Deselect all other calendars.
  4. Choose File > Save As.
  5. Click More Options to adjust the date range and amount of detail to include in the calendar (this will vary depending on your version of Outlook).
  6. Click OK.
  7. Choose where you want to save the calendar, then click Save.
  8. Repeat with each calendar you want to copy.

Contacts

Export contacts in OS X Lion or later

  1. Open Contacts. In OS X Lion, open Address Book.
  2. Choose View > Show Groups. In OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion, choose View > Groups.
  3. Select All Contacts in the Groups list.
  4. Click a contact in the Contacts list.
  5. Choose Edit > Select All to select all cards for export.
  6. Choose File > Export > Export vCard.
  7. Choose where you want to save the file, then click Save.

If you use Groups, you should consider archiving your entire Contacts or Address Book database as well as exporting vCards. The vCard method above copies your contacts, but not your Groups. Archives are more complex, but, in some cases, you might not be able to properly restore data using Archives while connected to the Internet and signed in to iCloud.

Export an archive:

  • In OS X Mountain Lion and later, open Contacts and choose File > Export > Contacts Archive.
  • In OS X Lion, open Address Book and choose File > Export > Address Book Archive.

Export contacts from iCloud.com

Export contacts in Outlook 2007 or later

Documents

Copy documents in OS X Mountain Lion and later

  1. Open the app that you used to create the document, then choose File > Open.
  2. Click iCloud in the top-left corner of the Open dialog.
  3. Open the document you want to copy, then hold down the Option key and choose File > Save As.
  4. Choose where you want to save the document, then click Save.

In OS X Mountain Lion and later, you can open Preview and TextEdit files stored in iCloud from the iCloud list in the Open dialog. They aren't available on iCloud.com.

Download copies of iWork documents

  1. Sign in to iCloud.com on a Mac or Windows computer.
  2. Open the app that you used to create the document you want to download (Pages, Numbers, or Keynote).
  3. Select the document and choose Download Document from the Action Gear menu. The document will download to your default downloads location.

Copy documents created with third-party apps

For documents stored in iCloud that were created with third-party apps, contact the app developer to learn how to copy that app's data.

iTunes in the Cloud

With iTunes in the Cloud, you can access past music, movie, and TV show purchases from any of your devices. To make a complete backup, you might want to copy your iTunes data as well. Learn how to back up your iTunes library by copying to an external hard drive.

Mail and notes

Copy mail in OS X Lion and later

Copy notes

Open the Notes app at iCloud.com. Copy the text of each note and paste it into a document on your computer, such as a Pages or TextEdit document. Save the document to your computer.

My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing

You might already have a copy of the photos in My Photo Stream:

  • In OS X, My Photo Stream photos are automatically imported to your iPhoto or Aperture library, unless My Photo Stream and Automatic Import are turned off in iPhoto or Aperture preferences.
  • In Windows, My Photo Stream photos are automatically imported when My Photo Stream is turned on in the iCloud Control Panel.

Copy content from My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing in iOS 6 and iOS 7

Follow these steps to manually copy photos from My Photo Stream:

In iOS 7:

  1. Open Photos, tap Albums, then tap My Photo Stream.
  2. Save images using one of these methods:
    • Tap an image to open it, then tap Share . To select more images, scroll the images left or right and tap the ones you want to save. Tap Save to Camera Roll. (If you're using an iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, tap Next, then tap Save to Camera Roll.)
    • Tap Select, then tap the images you want to save. Tap Share , then tap Save to Camera Roll.
  3. Save your Camera Roll to your computer.

In iOS 6:

  1. Open Photos, tap Photo Stream, then tap My Photo Stream.
  2. Save images using one of these methods:
    • Tap an image to open it. Tap Share , then tap Save to Camera Roll.
    • Tap Edit, then tap the images you want to save. Tap Share , then tap Save to Camera Roll.
  3. Save your Camera Roll to your computer.

Follow these steps to manually copy photos from a shared stream to which you subscribed:

In iOS 7:

  1. Open Photos, then tap Shared.
  2. Tap the name of the shared photo stream.
  3. Save images using one of the following methods:
    • Tap an image to open it, then tap Share . To select more images, scroll the images left or right and tap the ones you want to save. Tap Save to Camera Roll. (If you're using an iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, tap Next, then tap Save to Camera Roll.)
    • Tap Select, then tap the images you want to save. Tap Share , then tap Save to Camera Roll.
  4. Save your Camera Roll to your computer.

In iOS 6:

  1. Open Photos, then tap Photo Stream.
  2. Tap the name of the shared photo stream.
  3. Save images using one of the following methods:
    • Tap an image to open it. Tap Share , then tap Save to Camera Roll.
    • Tap Edit, then tap the images you want to save. Tap Share , then tap Save to Camera Roll.
  4. Save your Camera Roll to your computer.

Any comments or Likes attached to a shared stream photo aren't saved.

Copy content from My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing in OS X Lion and later

Follow these steps to manually import photos to your iPhoto library:

  1. Connect your iOS device to your computer.
  2. You can import all new content or choose which items you want to import: 
    • To import all new photos shown in the iPhoto window, click the Import button that displays the number of photos.
    • To import a selection of photos, hold down the Command key while clicking photo thumbnails, or drag to select a group of photos. Then click Import Selected.

After you import your photos, you might want to back up your iPhoto library.

Follow these steps to manually import photos and videos in shared streams to your iPhoto library: 

  1. Open iPhoto and choose Shared > iCloud in the Source list.
  2. Select a shared stream under Family and Friends' Streams.
  3. You can import all new content or choose which items you want to import: 
    • To import all new content, click Add To, then click Import.
    • To import specific items, open the shared stream, hold down Command, and select what you want to import. Click Add To, then Click Import.

Follow these steps to manually import photos and videos to your Aperture library:

  1. In the Library inspector, select Photo Stream.
  2. Double-click My Photo Stream or a shared stream.
  3. Select the photos or videos you want to import.
  4. To import the photos or videos, drag them to a project or an album in the Library inspector.

After you import your photos, you might want to back up your Aperture library.

Copy content from My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing in Windows

All photos in My Photo Stream are automatically saved to your Windows PC and are available even if you turn off Photos in the iCloud Control Panel. To save photos and videos from a shared stream, you must first save them to another folder on your hard drive:

  1. Open the iCloud Control Panel:
    • In Windows 8.1, go to the Start screen, click the down arrow Down arrow in the lower-left corner, then click the iCloud app.
    • In Windows 8, go to the Start screen, then click the iCloud tile.
    • In Windows 7, choose Start menu > All Programs > iCloud > iCloud. 
  2. In the iCloud Control Panel, click the Options button next to Photos (or Photo Stream). Note the path listed under "iCloud Photos location."
  3. Open a File Explorer window (Windows 8) or Windows Explorer window (Windows 7).
  4. Go to the iCloud Photos folder location using the path you noted earlier in the iCloud Control Panel. Open the Shared folder.
  5. Select the photos you want to save, then copy them to another folder on your hard drive. Include this folder if you back up your computer's hard drive to another device or service.

For information on backing up your Windows computer, see Microsoft Support.

Reminders

Export reminders in OS X Mountain Lion and later

Learn how to export Reminders in OS X Mountain Lion. You also can use these steps to export reminders in OS X Mavericks.

Export a reminder list in OS X Lion

  1. Open iCal and click Reminders. If you don't see the Reminders pop-up list, choose View > Show Reminders.
  2. Hold down the Control key and click the name of the reminder list that contains the reminders you want to export.
  3. Choose Export from the pop-up menu.
  4. Choose where you want to save the file and click Export. The reminders are exported as an .ics file.

Remember to back up

If you save copies of your app data to your computer, you should regularly back up your computer to a storage device or service. You should also regularly back up your iOS devices. If you have a backup, you can restore your data if your computer or iOS device is damaged or lost.

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Last Modified: Jun 2, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jun 2, 2014
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