How To Manage iCloud Storage On a Mac

Here's how to see how much iCloud storage space you are using for files, photos, online backups and more. You'll find out how to clear out some space if you need it. You'll also learn how to purchase more storage, and even how to not have to pay every month.

Comments: 18 Responses to “How To Manage iCloud Storage On a Mac”

    James Lowry
    3 months ago

    Would especially benefit from an ARCHIVE tutorial …

    (!!! Love Your Videos !!!)

    3 months ago

    James: Can you elaborate? What do you mean by “archive tutorial?”

    nick
    3 months ago

    hi Gary, does the iCloud storage for Mail shown in Preferences tell me the amount of mail in my iCloud email account only or in all my email accounts? thx

    3 months ago

    Nick: I can’t see how how it would include anything outside of your iCloud email. Other accounts would be stored on other servers, not iCloud (like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc).

    Craig
    3 months ago

    Hi Gary,
    Can (or does) iCloud store iMovie projects in progress but not saved elsewhere?

    3 months ago

    Craig: Not usually. iMove libraries are usually put in the Movies folder, which is a local folder on your drive and not part of iCloud. The problem with moving them to an iCloud folder is iMovie projects are huge, as is anything where you are editing video files. So the network activity needed would be too much in most cases.

    Justine
    3 months ago

    Hi Gary, you mentioned that if you didn’t want a certain file you could “archive” it. What happens in that scenario? Is it saved at a greatly reduced size but is retrievable? Thanks! Always look forward to learning from you.

    3 months ago

    Justine: All I mean by that is you move it to someplace to save it for the long term. An example would be an external hard drive that you have purchased for that purpose. It is the same file, same size, just at a different location so it isn’t using up space on your internal drive anymore since you don’t really need the file.

    Lali Raj
    3 months ago

    When I check the iCloud storage on my Mac it does it show all the devices I have with my Apple ID? If it is true, how to check for messages only on one device?

    3 months ago

    Lali: iCloud is one thing. One place. What you have in iCloud is shared by all of your devices.

    Gene
    3 months ago

    Please correct me if I misunderstand: iCloud is a service that allows devices and apps to share data. The iCloud Drive is a cloud service where I can store whatever I want. We subscribe and have 200Gb. I thought that I was getting 200Gb on my iCloud Drive account? I guess I don’t understand the relationship between iCloud and iCloud Drive. Please help. Thanks

    3 months ago

    Gene: Yes, you have 200GB on your iCloud Drive account if that is what you are paying for. Not sure what you are asking. Maybe check out https://macmost.com/understanding-icloud-drive-and-the-optimize-mac-storage-option.html

    PTR
    3 months ago

    If you delete the “conversation” between you and another person, do all the photos in that conversation get deleted too? Would this be a better option than trying to delete a lot of individual photos?

    3 months ago

    PTR: They should, yes. That is an option only if you want to delete the conversation text too.

    Jim Haynes
    3 months ago

    You say,”I have Optimize Mac Storage turned OFF. That means that every file on my iCloud Drive is also on my Mac Pro.” I have Optimize Mac Storage turned ON on both my iMac and my MacBook Air. So every file on my iCloud Drive is also on my iMac. Both are synced together. I can pickup my MacBook Air and travel and have all my files with me that are on my iMac. I had a conversation with an Apple senior advisor and he confirmed that I should have Optimize ON.

    3 months ago

    Jim: Nope. If you have Optimize ON, then things are optimized. Only files that you have room for on your Mac will be on your Mac. They will all appear there, but larger files will be downloaded on demand when you open them, IF you have an Internet connection. See https://macmost.com/understanding-icloud-drive-and-the-optimize-mac-storage-option.html

    John Ullis
    2 months ago

    I want to delete photos on my iPhone but still want then on iCloud. Does it work that way?

    2 months ago

    John: No, you can’t do that. The whole point of the cloud is to have all of your stuff everywhere. If your goal is to simply save space on your iPhone, turn on the “Optimize” feature. That is exactly what it is for.

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