MacMost Now 323: MobileMe iDisk Basics

If you use MobileMe, then you have an iDisk. It is a virtual hard drive on the Internet that you can use to store files and share them with others. Learn the basics of using your iDisk.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode lets take a quick look at iDisk.
So iDisk is part of the MobileMe service. It's a virtual disk drive stored on the internet. You could access it from your Mac and you could also have others retrieve files from it. In the book, the MacMost.com Guide To Switching To The Mac, I give the basics for using an iDisk. Lets take a look.
Apple realizes that sharing files over the internet is difficult because of router and IP address issues. That's why built into the very core of their MobileMe service is a file sharing device called iDisk. If you have MobileMe you have an iDisk. To connect to it go to 'Go' and 'iDisk' in the finder. You have three options: 'My iDisk', 'Other User's iDisk' and 'Other User's Public Folder. The first is to connect to your own iDisk as you might expect. The second is to connect to someone else's iDisk if you have their password. The last is to connect to the public folder of another person's iDisk.
You can also use the other user's iDisk option to connect to your iDisk when using another machine - say when you're traveling - it could come in handy.
So if you want to share files with another Mac user and you have MobileMe, just put the files in your public folder on your iDisk, and then instruct them on how to find it, using of course 'Go', 'iDisk' and 'Other user's iDisk.
Use the system preferences MobileMe settings to set up how your iDisk works. Wit the 'Set password' button you can set a password for you public folder. Then you'll have a password protected public directory on the internet that you can use to share files easily.
iDisk even works with Windows. If you give out your public.me.com/username web address to anyone they can access your public folder from a web browser.
So if you use MobileMe, iDisk is a great way for you to store files remotely or share them with others. Hope you found this useful. Til next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 8 Responses to “MacMost Now 323: MobileMe iDisk Basics”

    Cheryl A. Clements
    2/9/10 @ 12:53 pm

    Hi Gary,

    Thank you for the tutorial. I have, what might be, a very simple question. How do the files get into idisk. Every one speaks to how to see the files once they are in the iDisk but I can’t find anything on how to get them there. Now, I am assuming that the old drag and drop will work but, if you have files that you constantly update and would want the most updated copy to be available do you have to upload new copies to iDisk, can iDisk update from other files, can it reach to files in your “normal” folders, etc.

    Thank you!

      2/9/10 @ 3:14 pm

      Drag and drop, right. But you are talking about having two copies of the file, one of you local hard disk and one on iDisk, and then constantly replacing the iDisk one with a new copy. That’s the old way of thinking. Just have one copy of the file: the one on iDisk. Treat your iDisk as a folder on your local hard drive and forget that it is actually “in the cloud.”

    John r
    8/24/10 @ 5:25 pm

    If you just store files in iDisk , are there any issues with backing up to a external hard drive? I may need access to an historic backup ..not current

      8/24/10 @ 7:04 pm

      Unfortunately, Time Machine does not back up the contents of your iDisk. So you would need to periodically make a copy of the document on your local drive and let that copy be backed up.

    Kristy Fraser-Kirk
    3/21/11 @ 4:32 pm

    How do I search for files in my idisk? This is really frustrating – I drag and drop files into idisk at home, then get to work and can’t find them amidst the other files! I can’t believe apple don’t have this most-basic of functions!

      3/21/11 @ 5:05 pm

      Sure you can do this. But it is slow — after all, the files exist over the network and network speed is a tiny fraction of hard disk speed.
      Just open up a finder window with your iDisk. Best to narrow it down as best you can, so instead of your whole iDisk, perhaps go into your Document folder on your iDisk or something as close as you can get.
      Type a search term in the search field at the top of the Finder window.
      Then, it will probably start with the search area set as “This Mac.” Change it immediately to “Documents” (or whatever the folder name on your iDisk that you were just looking at).
      Searching by File Name is also faster than by Contents. And it seems that iDisk searches by name have to be starting with the first part of the name or a word in the name. So a file called Speech.txt won’t show up in a search for “peech” but will show up for “Spe”.

    Kristy Fraser-kirk
    5/26/11 @ 1:45 am

    At work, I’m either using a PC or my iPad, so i’m accessing iDisk via it’s web interface or via the iPad app respectively… I don’t kmow how to search for files in this context?

      5/26/11 @ 6:47 am

      I don’t thunk there is any way to search for files in iDisk using the web interface or the iPad app.

Comments Closed.