3/15/17
7:04 am

Forum Question: How Do I Log Into an Office iCloud Drive Account?

We have an office computer, with a large iCloud account that stores our business files. How do I log into that account from my personal laptop in order to access/change those files? All computers are up-to-date and using Sierra. We are currently using this with one external laptop but I do not remember how to set it up for a new employee with a third laptop.
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Trina Stroope

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Log Into an Office iCloud Drive Account?”

    3/15/17 @ 7:04 am

    iCloud accounts are meant to be personal accounts — one person per account. You can only log into one iCloud account at a time, and switching accounts isn’t something that is easy to do. I would mean losing all of your contacts, calendar events, documents, preferences, etc, while switched to the other account, and then syncing them all back again when you switch back. If you have even a modest amount of data, it would be a real pain as all of that data would have to transfer each time.

    You would basically be telling your Mac “I am no longer me, remove all my data.” Then telling it that you are someone else (this shared account) and it would load all of the data from that account. Then doing it a third time to get back to your stuff. You wouldn’t have access to your data while switched. A big mess.

    It sounds like someone in your office didn’t understand iCloud and made a bad choice. If the idea is to share some files, then iCloud isn’t what you want. You need a simple file sharing solution. DropBox is often used for this, and there are many corporate solutions as well. Just a simple file server may do.

    One way to access the files on another iCloud account without logging out of your iCloud account is to use your web browser. Go to http://icloud.com, log into the shared account, and access the files in the iCloud Drive app. This is less than ideal because you’ll need to either use them in the web-based versions of apps, or download those files, open them in desktop apps, then upload the new versions each time.

    You could set up a second user on your Mac too. And have that user account be tied to the shared iCloud account. Then switch to that user account to access those files. But then while switched you wouldn’t have access to your data or files. But at least the entire account isn’t re-loaded each time you switch.

    But really the best solution is not to use a personal cloud account like iCloud for sharing files like this. Get DropBox (or another file sharing solution) and create a shared folder that everyone has access to. That would be so much simpler and many people do it that way.

    Trina Stroope
    3/15/17 @ 8:39 am

    You are right, what I did was add a second user to my Mac and use that user when I want to access the account. My concern is adding a 3rd Mac to that iCloud account (and I don’t remember how to do that).

    We will consider the DropBox suggestion, my concern is the privacy issue with DropBox.

    3/15/17 @ 8:41 am

    Trina: How is DropBox less private than iCloud? If security is an issue, just search for that — there are tons of file sharing cloud solutions out there and I’m sure that you can find one to meet any security need.

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