macOS High Sierra

Manage iCloud storage

When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5 GB of free storage. Your iCloud storage is used for documents stored in iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, iOS device backups, messages and attachments in iCloud Mail (your email account), and more. If you run out of space, you can upgrade your storage. You can also remove stored items to make more space available.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud.

    Open iCloud preferences for me

  2. Click Manage, then do any of the following:

    • Upgrade your storage: Click Buy More Storage or Change Storage Plan, choose the amount of storage you want, then follow the instructions.

      When you buy an iCloud storage upgrade, it’s billed to your Apple ID account. If you’re in a Family Sharing group and you use the same Apple ID to share family purchases, the upgrade is billed to the family organizer’s account.

    • Remove an iOS device backup: Click Backups on the left, select an iOS device on the right whose backup you don’t need, then click Delete (below the list of backups). If you don’t see Backups on the left, your iOS devices don’t have iCloud backups.

      WARNING: If you delete the iCloud backup for your current iOS device, iCloud stops automatically backing up the device.

      For more information, see the user guide for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

    • See how an app or feature is using storage: Select an app or feature on the left, then read the usage information on the right.

    • Save copies of documents before removing them: Click the Finder icon in the Dock, click iCloud Drive in a Finder sidebar, then drag items from iCloud Drive to a folder that’s not inside iCloud Drive, such as Downloads, Movies, Music, and Pictures.

      For more information about iCloud Drive, see Store your desktop and documents in iCloud Drive.

    • Remove documents individually: Click the Finder icon in the Dock, click iCloud Drive in a Finder sidebar, then drag items from iCloud Drive to the Trash.

      Note: You can use Settings on to recover files you deleted from iCloud Drive in the last 30 days. For more information, see Use iCloud Drive on in iCloud Help.

    • Delete all items from iCloud Photo Library: Select iCloud Photo Library on the left, then click “Disable and Delete” on the right. You can also use the Photos app to delete individual photos and videos from iCloud Photo Library.

      Note: Deleted photos and videos are placed in the Recently Deleted album on your Mac, where they remain for 30 days. After that, items are permanently removed from all your devices set up for iCloud Photo Library. You can use Photos to recover or remove recently deleted items from your Mac before the 30-day time period is up.

      For more information, see Keep your photos and videos up to date everywhere with iCloud Photo Library.

    • Permanently remove all documents and data for an app: Select an app on the left, then click the Delete Documents and Data button on the right. Instead of that button, some apps have instructions on the right for removing documents and data from iCloud.

      WARNING: If you delete an app’s documents and data, they’re removed immediately from iCloud, from all your devices set up for iCloud Drive, and from iCloud Drive on

    • Reduce email storage space: Delete email messages, then permanently erase deleted messages from the Trash mailbox. You can also move email messages from iCloud to your Mac.

For information about ways to free up iCloud storage space using your iOS device, see iCloud storage management overview in iCloud Help.