Enter your email below to get exclusive access to our best articles and tips before everybody else. You’ll run out of free iCloud space especially quickly if you have multiple iOS devices. Open the Settings app, tap iCloud, and tap Storage & Backup to view how much space you have left in your iCloud account. To use less space for backups, look at the apps in the list under Next Backup Size and disable apps you don’t think need to be backed up.
If you have an old device you no longer use and it appears in this list, you can tap it and tap Delete Backup to delete the entire backup.
Install another app like Google+, Dropbox, or Flickr that can automatically back up your photos and have the app start backing up your photos.
You may also want to disable Camera Roll backups if you do this, as your photos are being backed up to a different service anyway. Tap an app under Documents & Data on the Manage Storage screen to view the files taking up space.
I ignored the omission in that related "No iCloud isn't backing them up" article, but this article is brand new. Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site. New to the OS is the ability to automatically sync your Mac’s Desktop and Documents folder through iCloud and to your other devices. However, this Sierra feature needs to be separately turned on apart from the rest of iCloud Drive.
To get your Mac’s Desktop and Documents folders to sync with iCloud Drive, head up to the menu bar and click the Apple logo. A System Information window should open with the default tab being Recommendations for ways that you can improve the amount of free space you have on your computer. Tip: The catch is though, if you switch this on some of your Desktop and Documents may not be stored locally on your Mac anymore. Note: If you have a lot of large files on your Desktop or in your Documents folder, give them some time to upload to iCloud before you see them appear on other devices. With this feature enabled, iCloud files will only delete locally from your Mac if your storage is becoming too full, but they remain if you have plenty of space left. If you've got a brand new device, or you had to restore yours for some reason, perhaps a technical issue, you'll most likely want to bring down your iCloud backup. If you aren't sure where to look in order to enable iCloud backups for the first time, we can walk you through.
If you're switching devices or have to wipe your existing device for some reason, it's a very good idea to create an iCloud backup beforehand.
Just like you can pick and choose what kinds of things get backed up to iCloud, you can also pick and choose what data gets synced to iCloud too.
If you don’t care to add an extra app to your home screen to handle photo backups, you can use the built-in solution on your iOS device. You can then access these images using the iCloud Control Panel app on your Windows or using iPhoto on your Mac. Perhaps the most popular of third-party storage apps on the planet, Dropbox’s mobile app includes a Camera Upload feature that stores all your photos and videos in your account automagically.
To let Flickr take care of your photos, launch the app, tap the right-most icon to visit your profile, then tap Settings and turn Auto Sync on, and voila! To let Google+ do its thing with your pictures, launch the app, tap the hamburger icon to reveal the menu and open Settings > Camera and Photos, and turn Auto-Backup on.
Last on our list but certainly not the least, Microsoft’s recently rebranded cloud storage offering packs quite a punch. DisclaimerThis website is not owned by, is not licensed by nor is a subsidiary of Apple Inc. Recently we have had several students and families inquire about the use of iCloud to back up the images on their iPad Camera Roll.

Below are some basic instructions, as well as some extra information, on how to use the 5GB of FREE cloud storage you receive when you use your Apple ID to sign in to iCloud. From here you will then see all items that are checked, or turned on, that are being synced across different devices you own as well as to iCloud.
As the image above shows, when My Photo Stream is turned on, images taken on one particular device are also synced and shared across multiple devices.
Device backups, photos, documents, iCloud email, and other bits of data all share that space.
For example, you might disable backups for apps like Pocket, Twitter, and Evernote because those apps automatically sync their data online anyway.
By default, iOS 7 uses both Photo Stream to sync the most 1000 recent photos between all your devices and also backs up your device’s Camera Roll, which contains any photos stored locally.
It will back up your photos to a separate pool of storage — your Google Drive, Dropbox, or Flickr storage. They count toward your iCloud storage, so you may want to delete any files you don’t care about. If it’s not set up, you can visit the iCloud website, open the Mail app in your browser, and delete emails with the web interface. Apple currently offers three paid plans — an additional 10 GB for $20 per year, 20 GB for $40 per year, or 50 GB for $100 per year.
But a flawed product it is, since it couldn’t truly sync all of your files across all devices seamlessly. That way, you don’t need to constantly drag and drop files you always want accessible over into iCloud Drive.
Instead, since all of the copies are available in the cloud, older files that you haven’t touched in a long time will stay there to free up Mac storage if need be.
Henceforth, anything you add to your Documents folder or Desktop should sync through iCloud. You might also need to consider upgrading your iCloud storage plan if you find that’s getting full. It integrates with iMessage, makes photos more accessible than ever with iCloud Photo Library, and even lets us share purchases with loved ones via Family Sharing. And if you're a seasoned pro, pass this guide along to your friends and family members who could use some help understanding the basics of syncing, restoring, and backing up with iCloud! You'll be asked during the process if you'd like to set up a new iCloud, or Apple ID, and we highly suggest you do. You can use iCloud Photo Library to store all your photos and free up precious device storage if you want. While iCloud backs up on its own every 24 hours or so, you may have received texts, iMessages, or even taken some new photos since that last backup. If you aren't quite sure how to go about making sure your data is completely removed, we can walk you through from beginning to end. You can also check out our iCloud forums where you can ask questions and get answers from us and other super smart iMore readers! It’s also available on Android, as well as Windows and Mac, so you can sync files across your devices and computers. Not only does it offer 10GB of free space (with plans for extra storage starting at a reasonable $25 for 50GB), but it also allows you to resize photos for backup and choose whether to include your videos in the mix. You’ll then be able to access it on your browser, Windows or Mac PC, or even Android and Windows Phone devices.
One reason being that if, for whatever reason, an iPad device is needing to be restored, is lost or even damaged beyond repair, then those images are lost which can be quite a pain! This is only the case if you are using your Apple ID on more than one device, as well as have iCloud turned on on both devices. Yet can also cause headaches if people in a family are using different devices yet sharing Apple ID accounts. Connect your iOS device to a Mac or PC and back up your data, including your images, that way.

You may disable Camera Roll backups if you’re using another method to back up your photos. This is a confusing system, which is why Apple has announced they’re simplifying things with a single iCloud Photo Library that contains all your photos in iOS 8.
You’ll have a backup copy of your photos stored online, but you get to keep all that precious iCloud storage for other functions.
Be careful when doing this, as you could delete important documents and other files you might want to keep. This is in addition to your 5 GB of free space, so the plans actually give you 15, 25, and 55 GB of storage space.
For anybody with a Windows PC (which is a lot of people) it's a no-brainer since the synced photos just show up on your PC without automatically eating your disk space.
Apple is trying to remedy that problem a bit with new iCloud Drive features in macOS Sierra.
However, for the mass majority of people out there, its the convenience of being able to get a new device and instantly have access to all our apps, calendars, contacts, and media in a few taps that makes iCloud stand out from other services. If you aren't exactly sure where that option is and you want to make sure you don't miss it, follow our guide for step by step instructions!
You also may need to upgrade your storage plan if you have multiple iOS devices connected to one account and you find your backups becoming too large. Once enabled, iCloud will back up your device at least once every 24 hours or so as long as you are plugged in and connected to WiFi. You'll definitely want to complete this process before selling or handing a device down to someone else. What’s neat about Dropbox is that it installs as a local folder on your Mac or PC, and syncs uploaded images to your desktop for easy access. The mighty photo sharing network offers users a a nifty app for shooting, editing and sharing photos from your device with a whopping 1TB of free storage!
This means if I take a photo on my iPhone, and all iCloud and Photos settings are turned on multiple devices I own or are part of my Apple ID, then that image will appear on those devices in the Camera Roll. Images taken by one person, say on an iPad, can be seen on other devices using the same Apple ID. When you disable backups for an app, the data will be deleted from your iCloud storage online and won’t be part of future backups. While the process is simple and straight forward, we can walk you through if you need some help!
For most of us, this will happen at night while you're sleeping and your device is charging. There are a bunch of great services you can use to continually back up the photos from your Camera Roll, so you can free up local storage space and rest assured that your photos are safely stashed away in the cloud, and easily accessible from anywhere. All articles, images, logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners. Also, the feature that I love, is that if I create Reminders or Notes on my iPhone, they will be synced and pushed across to my iPad device.
You can also delete old iCloud backups out of your account, which is a great way to free up some extra storage if you're running low.
If you don't like all of what iCloud syncing has to offer, you can choose what services to enable, and what to leave off.
If you aren't sure how to do either of these things, check out our guides for a little extra help. If you have a shared device in your home, these settings are ones you'll definitely want to look over.

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