Archive or make copies of the information you store in iCloud

Learn how to make copies of the information that you use with iCloud.

You might want to make a copy of the information you keep in iCloud. If you accidentally delete an important contact, email, or document, you can restore it from iCloud or from another copy that you have.

iCloud Drive files

Use these steps to copy documents from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iCloud.com, or PC. If you need help with any third-party data that is stored on iCloud, contact the app developer directly. Third-party data might use your iCloud storage, even if you can't see the details.

Copy files on your Mac

  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.

If you use OS X Yosemite or later, you can copy your files from the iCloud Drive folder in Finder.

If you use OS X Mountain Lion or later, open Preview and TextEdit files stored in iCloud from the iCloud list in the Open dialog.

Copy files from the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Use these steps to send copies of files stored in iCloud Drive:

  1. Open the Files app and tap iCloud Drive.
  2. Tap the folder that you want to open, then tap the file to open it.
  3. Tap Share in the lower-left corner.
  4. Choose how you want to send a copy of the file.

If you have iOS 9 or iOS 10, follow the same steps in the iCloud Drive app instead.

Copy files from iCloud.com

Use these steps to download files stored in iCloud Drive, or files that are accessible from iWork apps on iCloud.com:

  1. Sign in to iCloud.com on a Mac or PC.
  2. Open the iCloud Drive app.
  3. Find and select the file.
  4. Click down arrow or choose Download Document from the Action  gear icon menu. The document downloads to your default downloads location.

Copy files from Windows

If you enabled iCloud Drive using iCloud for Windows on a PC, you can copy your files from the iCloud Drive folder in File Explorer. You can also copy your files from iCloud.com.

Photos and videos

You might already have a copy of your photos in iCloud Photos.

If you enabled iCloud Photos, your photos and videos are automatically uploaded to iCloud at full resolution. You can make copies of your photos and videos when you follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 10.3 or later, tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos. Then select Download and Keep Originals and import the photos to your computer
  • On your Mac with OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 or later, open the Photos app. Choose Photos > File > Export.
  • On your PC, set up iCloud for Windows and turn on iCloud Photos.

If you want to download a few photos or videos, use iCloud.com to download the most recent version of photos and videos to your computer. Just go to iCloud.com and open the Photos app. Then select the photos and videos you want to download and click .

You can also use the steps below to manually copy photos and videos. Comments or likes connected to a shared photo aren't saved, and photos and videos saved from shared albums aren't full resolution.

Copy photos from Shared Albums on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8 or later:

  1. Open Photos and tap Albums.
  2. Find Shared Albums, then tap the name of the album that you want. You might need to swipe left to find the shared album.
  3. Save photos from the album 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 Image.
    • Tap Select, then tap the images you want to save. Tap Share icon, then tap Save Image.
  4. Import the photos to your computer.

Copy photos and videos from Shared Albums on your Mac

Follow these steps to manually import photos and videos in shared albums to your Photos library: 

  1. Open Photos and select Shared Albums.
  2. Double-click a shared album.
  3. Right-click (or Control-click) a photo and choose Import.

After you import your photos, you might want to back up your library. You can store them as a separate library on your computer or on a different drive.

Copy content from Shared Albums in Windows

Saved photos are available even if you turn off Photos in iCloud for Windows. To save photos and videos from a shared album, you must save them to another folder on your hard drive:

  1. Open iCloud for Windows.
  2. Click Options next to Photos. 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 using the above path. Open the Shared folder.
  5. Select the photos you want to save, then copy them to another folder on your computer. Include this folder if you back up your computer.

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

Mail

Use these steps to move, delete, or copy iCloud email on your Mac.

Contacts

Use the steps below to export contacts from your Mac, iCloud.com, or PC.

Export contacts on your Mac

  1. Open Contacts and choose View > Show Groups.
  2. Select All Contacts in the Groups list.
  3. Click a contact in the Contacts list.
  4. Choose Edit > Select All to select all cards for export.
  5. Choose File > Export > Export vCard.
  6. Choose where you want to save the file, then click Save.

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

To export an archive in OS X Mountain Lion or later, open Contacts and choose File > Export > Contacts Archive.

Export contacts from iCloud.com

Export contacts in Outlook on your PC

Calendar

Use the steps below to export a calendar from your Mac, iCloud.com, or PC.

Export a calendar on your Mac

  1. In Calendar, click the calendar’s name. If you don’t see your calendars, click Calendars.
  2. Choose File > Export > Export.
  3. Choose a location for the file, and then click Export.

Download a calendar from iCloud.com

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

iCloud Calendar keeps information from the last six months, and up to three years in the future.

Export a calendar in Outlook on your PC

  1. Open Outlook and go to your Calendar.
  2. Select the calendar you want to copy in the Calendar list.
  3. Deselect all other calendars.
  4. Choose File > Save Calendar.
  5. Click More Options to adjust the date range and amount of detail to include in the calendar. This varies 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.

Reminders

Export a copy of your Reminders on your Mac:

  1. Open Reminders.
  2. Go to the reminder list that you want to export.
  3. Choose File > Export.
  4. Enter a name, choose a location, and then click Export.

Safari

Export a copy of your Safari bookmarks on your Mac:

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

To export a copy of your Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer bookmarks, see the Mozilla, Google, or Microsoft steps for exporting bookmarks.

Notes and Voice Memos

Make a copy of a note on your Mac or at iCloud.com:

  1. Open the Notes app and select the note that you want.
  2. Copy and paste the text into a document on your computer, such as a Pages or TextEdit document.
  3. Save the document to your computer.

You can also export a note. Just select the note, click File > Export as PDF, and choose a location.

Make a copy of a Voice Memo on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Voice Memos app and tap the recording that you want to duplicate. 
  2. Tap  > Duplicate. You can also tap Share to send the recording via Message or Mail, or to save it to Files.

iTunes Store purchases

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

Remember to back up

iCloud backs up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch automatically each night when it's connected to a power source and Wi-Fi, and your device's screen is locked. If you choose to keep another copy, you can back up to your computer. 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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