Numbers for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch): Keep spreadsheets up to date across your devices using iCloud

Keep spreadsheets up to date across your devices using iCloud

iCloud stores your spreadsheets and keeps them up to date across your iOS devices, the web, and your computer so that you always have the most current versions at hand, no matter which device you were using when you made your latest edits.

After you set up iCloud on this device, every time you edit a spreadsheet, your changes are automatically saved to iCloud and then pushed to your other devices that are set up to use iCloud.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about using iCloud to manage your spreadsheets across devices:

  • If you edit and close a spreadsheet when you're not connected to the Internet, an upward-pointing arrow appears on the spreadsheet icon.

    Image of spreadsheet being uploaded to iCloud

    The next time you connect to the Internet, the edited spreadsheet is saved to iCloud along with a history of the edits you made, so when you open the spreadsheet on another iOS device, you can undo individual edits, just as if you had made the edits on that device.

    If you edit a spreadsheet on more than one device, before saving any of them to iCloud, the edited spreadsheets will conflict. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to make sure your edits are always saved to iCloud before editing the same spreadsheet on another device. If you do get a conflict, you can choose to preserve any or all of the spreadsheets that you edited.

  • If you delete a spreadsheet, it’s deleted from iCloud and from Numbers on all your online devices set up to iCloud.

  • If you organize your spreadsheets into folders on one device, you see the same folder organization on all your online devices set up to iCloud.

  • If you change the title of a spreadsheet on one device, the title is changed on all your online devices set up to iCloud.

  • If you save a spreadsheet to from another device, it appears on this device only after you open Numbers while connected to the Internet.

Set up Numbers to use iCloud:

To use iCloud, you must sign in with your Apple ID in the Settings app, and make sure iCloud is turned on in Numbers.

  1. Tap Settings on your Home screen, and then tap iCloud.

  2. Sign in using your Apple ID, or request a new Apple ID and then sign in.

  3. In the list of iCloud services, make sure that Documents & Data is turned on.

    If it’s not, tap Documents & Data, and then slide the switch to ON.

  4. In Settings, scroll down to Apps and tap Numbers.

  5. Slide “Use iCloud” to ON.

When iCloud is turned off in Numbers on this device, edits you make or new spreadsheets that you create aren’t saved to iCloud, and new or changed spreadsheets from other devices aren’t available in Numbers on this device.

If you edit a spreadsheet on more than one device before saving them to iCloud:

If you’ve edited the same spreadsheet on multiple devices before any of those updates were saved to iCloud, a message tells you there's a conflict. You can decide which of the spreadsheet you want to keep.

  1. In the Resolve Conflict window, tap the circle next to each of the spreadsheets you want to keep.

  2. Tap “Keep 1” or Keep Both in the top-right corner of the window.

    You can select as many of the spreadsheets as you want. The Keep button reflects the number of spreadsheets selected.

If you select more than one of the spreadsheets, all of them are saved to this device. A number is appended to the spreadsheet’s filename, so that no two files have the same name. For example, if you keep two spreadsheets called “Household Budget,” they appear as “Household Budget” and “Household Budget 2.”

All the saved spreadsheets are automatically pushed to your other online devices that are set up to use iCloud.

If you can’t open a spreadsheet you haven’t looked at in a while:

If you haven't opened a spreadsheet in a while, its contents might be temporarily removed from your device to make space for other spreadsheets you've viewed more recently. A spreadsheet whose content has been removed has downward-pointing arrow on its icon. If you're not connected to the Internet, you might not be able to open the spreadsheet.

Connect to the Internet, and then try opening the spreadsheet again.

The spreadsheet becomes a recently viewed spreadsheet, and another older spreadsheet is removed from this device to make space for it.

To free up space and allow more room to store your spreadsheets, you can delete music, photos, videos, apps, or other items stored on this device.

If a newly created or edited spreadsheet isn’t saved to iCloud:

You may encounter this problem if your iCloud storage space is full. The new spreadsheet remains on your device, and is saved to iCloud when space becomes available.

To free up space in iCloud, do either of the following:

  • Delete one or more spreadsheets from this device, which then deletes them from iCloud.

  • Purchase more storage space for iCloud. You can do this in the iCloud window of the Settings app.

Access spreadsheets stored in iCloud using your computer:

Depending on the operating system your computer uses, you can also use a computer to access any spreadsheets created or edited on this device and saved to iCloud.

  • If you’re using Numbers with OS X Mountain Lion (v10.8), your spreadsheets are available directly within Numbers on your Mac. Be sure to run Software Update on your Mac to get the latest version of Numbers.

  • If your using a computer with OS X Lion (v10.7), or a Windows computer, you can access your spreadsheets by visiting the iCloud website at using a supported browser on your computer. Sign in to the iCloud website with your Apple ID, and click iWork.

    From the iCloud website, you can download spreadsheets in Numbers ’09, PDF, or Microsoft Excel file format. You can also upload spreadsheets in Numbers ’09 or Excel file format to the iCloud website, and have them automatically appear in Numbers on this device.

For detailed instruction on setting up iCloud on your computer, visit the iCloud website and refer to the iCloud Help topic on setting up iCloud.

To learn about sending spreadsheets through email, see Send and receive spreadsheets in email messages.

To learn about transferring spreadsheets between your iOS device and your computer through iTunes, see Share spreadsheets by connecting to your computer.

To learn about transferring files with a WebDAV server, see Share spreadsheets using a WebDAV server.

Last Modified: Sep 26, 2012
  • Last Modified: Sep 26, 2012
  • Article: PH3456
  • Views:


Additional Product Support Information