What is iCloud?
iCloud helps you keep your most important information—like your photos, files, and backups—secure, up to date, and available across all your devices. iCloud also makes it easy to share photos, files, notes, and more with friends and family.
iCloud includes a free email account and 5 GB of free storage for your data. For more storage and additional features, you can upgrade to iCloud+.
To get started, sign in with your Apple ID to set up iCloud on your Mac. When you sign in, key features of iCloud like iCloud Photos, iCloud Drive, and more are set up automatically. You can turn these features on or off at any time and customize the settings for each of your devices. See Set up iCloud.
To set up iCloud on your iOS or iPadOS device, Apple TV, or Windows computer, see Set up iCloud on all your devices in the iCloud User Guide.
Here are some ways you can use iCloud on your Mac.
All your photos and videos. Always available.
iCloud Photos securely stores your photos and videos and lets you access them on all your devices and on the web at iCloud.com. With Shared Albums, it’s easy to share photos and videos with the people you choose and invite them to add photos, videos, and comments to your shared albums. Learn more about Photos.
With iCloud Shared Photo Library, you can collaborate with up to five family members or friends on a shared collection of photos and videos and enjoy more complete memories all in one place.
Keep all your files securely stored in iCloud Drive
Securely store and organize your files in iCloud Drive. Access and keep them up to date across all your devices and on iCloud.com. You can also add your Mac Desktop and Documents folders to iCloud Drive so they’re available everywhere. Learn more about iCloud Drive.
You can share items stored in iCloud and collaborate on them with others. You decide who can view your content and who can make changes. If participants make edits to the content, everyone sees them in real time. See Use iCloud to share and collaborate on files and folders.
Share music, books, apps, subscriptions, and more with your family
With Family Sharing, you and up to five other family members can share access to amazing Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, iCloud+, Apple Fitness+, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade. Your group can also share iTunes, Apple Books, and App Store purchases, an iCloud storage plan, and a family photo album. You can even help locate each other’s missing devices. When you subscribe to iCloud+, you can also share all the iCloud+ features and included storage with your family. Learn more about Family Sharing.
iCloud Private Relay
Hide your IP address and browsing activity in Safari and protect your unencrypted internet traffic so that no one—including Apple—can see who you are or what sites you visit. Available with iCloud+. Learn more about Private Relay.
Hide My Email
Keep your personal email address private by creating unique, random addresses that forward to your personal inbox and can be deleted at any time. Available with iCloud+. Learn more about Hide My Email.
Your favorite apps are even better with iCloud
Keep your mail, calendars, notes, contacts, reminders, messages, and more in sync across all your devices. Learn more about the apps included on your Mac.
Safari bookmarks, open tabs, Reading List, and Tab Groups
Sync your open browser tabs across all your devices, access the same bookmarks, and read articles from your Reading List, even when you’re offline. Plus, keep your Tab Groups up to date on all your devices, and collaborate on Tab Groups with others. Learn more about Safari.
Securely store your passwords, credit cards, and more in iCloud. Autofill your information in Safari and other supported web browsers. Learn more about iCloud Keychain.
Everyone gets 5 GB of free iCloud storage to get started and it’s easy to upgrade at any time. Your apps and iTunes Store purchases don’t count toward your iCloud storage space, so you only need it for things like photos, videos, files, and device backups. Data stored in iCloud is encrypted, and with two-factor authentication, your account can only be accessed on devices you trust. Learn more about iCloud storage.
Note: iCloud requires an internet connection; some iCloud features have minimum system requirements. See the Apple Support article System requirements for iCloud. iCloud may not be available in all areas and iCloud features may vary by area.