Everything You Need To Know About iCloud On Mac

Can't seem to find iCloud on Mac or backup Mac to iCloud? Read on as we have come up with every essential stepwise solution about iCloud drive on Mac right here.

Sep 01,2019 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

“How do I backup my Mac to iCloud? I have used iCloud on my iPhone, but I can’t seem to turn on iCloud drive on Mac!”

Recently, a friend of mine asked me this question about iCloud on Mac as he was not able to backup his data to the cloud. You might already know that iCloud is the native feature on Mac and iPhone, developed by Apple. Nevertheless, there are times when users are not able to backup Mac to iCloud or sync their iCloud data across different devices. If you are also going through a similar situation, then don’t worry. In this guide, we will teach you how to access iCloud from Mac, backup Mac on iCloud, and do so much more.

If you are also going through a similar situation, then don’t worry. In this guide, we will teach you how to access iCloud from Mac, backup Mac on iCloud, and do so much more.

Part 1. An Overview of iCloud Mac

Ideally, iCloud is the native cloud service that is offered by Apple for its leading platforms like iOS, macOS, etc. The service was first released in 2011 and keeps updating with time. As of now, iCloud is actively used by around 900 million people the world over across different platforms. You can use iCloud to sync your contacts, photos, videos, call logs, messages, notes, and all other kinds of data.

A lot of times, iCloud is used to sync user data among different platforms and devices as well. Also, it lets us take a backup of our important content and improves its availability. Even if your data is lost, you can go to iCloud’s website or use its application to retrieve it. As of now, Apple provides a 5 GB of free storage on every iCloud account, which can later be upgraded. You can access iCloud on Mac via its desktop application or its website.


Part 2. How to Access iCloud on Mac?

There are different ways to access iCloud from Mac that you can try. You can learn how to access iCloud on Mac via its native Mac app or can go to its website as well. Here’s a quick guide to know where is iCloud drive on Mac.

Access the iCloud App

  1. In most of the macOS versions, the iCloud app is already installed. To access it, go to the Apple icon on the main menu and visit System Preferences.


  2. From the list of the available applications, you can view “iCloud”. Simply double-click it to open the iCloud drive on Mac. You can also add it to your Mac’s dock for an easy access in the future as well.


Via iCloud’s Website

  1. Simply launch a web browser on your Mac and visit the official website of iCloud – www.icloud.com.
  2. Now, log-in to your iCloud account by providing the right credentials instead. If you don’t have an iCloud account, then you can create a new one here as well.


  3. If you have enabled two-way verification, then enter the one-time generated code to authenticate yourself.
  4. That’s it! This will launch iCloud’s interface on your Mac. Just visit the iCloud Drive option and click on any other feature on the iCloud home.


Part 3. How to Backup Mac to iCloud?

One of the best things about iCloud on Mac is that the application can help us backup and manage our data. If you have enough free space on your iCloud, then why not turn the backup option on it. You can select the kind of data that you wish to backup on Mac iCloud. In this way, if you lose it from Mac’s storage, then you can access it from iCloud instead. Just follow these easy steps to backup Mac to iCloud.

  1. Firstly, you need to launch the iCloud application on your Mac. You can launch it via Finder or Spotlight, as per your convenience.
  2. Once the application is launched, you can log-in to your iCloud account (if you haven’t already).


  3. Here, you can view options for different kinds of data like Notes, Safari, Photos, Contacts, Calendars, etc. Simply enable or disable any option from here.
  4. You can also turn on/off the iCloud Drive option from here. Subsequently, you can set up a family account or get details about your own iCloud account.
  5. Also, you can customize the way your photos are synced by clicking on its “Options”. Now, you can turn on the iCloud Photo Stream or the iCloud Photo Library feature for an easy access.


Part 4. How to Turn Off iCloud on Mac?

There are times when users also wish to learn how to disable iCloud on Mac. For instance, your iCloud could be running short on free storage or you might wish to reset your iCloud account. No matter what the situation is, you can easily learn how to turn off iCloud on Mac by following these steps:

  1. To start with, launch the iCloud application on your Mac. Log-in to it if you aren’t already signed-in to see the saved iCloud Mac preferences.
  2. You can see a checkbox adjacent to every data type that is synced to iCloud. Simply turn off these options to disable iCloud on Mac. Make sure that the iCloud Drive option is also disabled from here.


  3. Furthermore, you can also click on the “Manage” button to customize the iCloud settings on your Mac. You can visit the Photo Library tab and disable its feature altogether from iCloud as well.


Part 5. How to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac?

A lot of people take the assistance of iCloud to sync and even move their photos from one source to another. For instance, if you have enabled the iCloud Photo Library feature on your iPhone, then they would automatically be uploaded to the cloud. Later, you can download these photos from iCloud to your Mac. You can access iCloud photos from Mac via its app or by visiting its website.

Via iCloud’s App

The Mac finder search tab is one of its most resourceful features that can help us look for any file or folder on the system. If the search option is not responding or is being slow, then follow these smart solutions.

  1. Launch the iCloud Mac application via Finder, Dock, or even System Preferences. Turn on the iCloud Drive option if it isn’t enabled already.
  2. Now, enable the “Photos” option and click on the “Options” button adjacent to it.


  3. From here, you need to turn on the “iCloud Photo Library” feature to automatically save iCloud photos to your Mac album.
  4. Click on the “Done” button in the end and save your choices. Exit the iCloud application and wait for a while as your iCloud photos would be synced to Mac’s album.


Via iCloud’s Website

  1. If you want, you can also backup Mac iCloud photos by visiting its website and opening your own iCloud account.
  2. On the home page of iCloud, you can see a wide range of icons and options. Just click on the “Photos” option to proceed.


  3. This will load all the saved photos on iCloud, automatically arranged in different categories. You can also go to the “Albums” tab from here or just view the chronologically displayed moments on its home.


  4. To view a photo, you can just click on it. If you want to save multiple photos, then simply select them. In the end, just click on the download icon on the top to save your photos on Mac’s storage.


Part 6. How to Move Documents from iCloud to Mac?

Not just photos, users also take the assistance of iCloud to backup and transfer their important documents as well. To make it easier for us, the application has added a feature to sync Mac’s Desktop and Documents folder to the cloud. Therefore, once the feature is enabled on iCloud, the saved documents and files will automatically be synced with your Mac. In this way, you can save a document from your iPhone and later access it on your Mac as well.

To learn how to move documents from iCloud to Mac, simply follow these basic steps:

  1. Go to the System Preferences on your Mac and open the iCloud application on it.
  2. Turn on the “iCloud Drive” feature from here and visits its “Options”.


  3. As the iCloud Drive Options would be launched, go to the “Documents” tab to access the available features.
  4. Enable the “Desktop & Documents Folders” option from here and click on the “Done” button to save your changes.


  5. Wait for a while as the existing documents would be moved from iCloud to your Mac’s storage. Since syncing works in both ways, data from your Documents and Desktop folders will also be saved to iCloud as well.
  6. Once the syncing is completed, you can just go to Finder > Documents and view the synced files here.


  7. If you want to quickly access documents on iCloud Mac, then visit its website instead and go to the iCloud Drive option from its home.
  8. Here, you can see all kinds of documents saved on iCloud Drive. Just select the files you wish to get back and click on the download icon to save them.


Part 7. How to Fix "iCloud Not Working on Mac"?

By now you must be able to make the most of iCloud drive on Mac. Though, there are times when users are not able to utilize the iCloud feature and face unwanted issues related to it. For instance, the “iCloud not Working on Mac” is a common issue that can be caused by a network or firmware problem. Here are some of the easiest ways to fix this iCloud Mac problem in no time.

• Maintain a stable network connection

Needless to say, iCloud on your Mac won’t sync if it is not connected to a stable internet connection. Therefore, before you take any drastic measure, simply make sure that you have a working network connection on Mac. Launch any web browser and access iCloud’s website. This will check the internet connection as well as the availability of iCloud (whether it is down or not).

• Buy more space on iCloud

As you know, by default, Apple only provides a space of 5 GB on iCloud for free. If you have already synced a lot of data on it, then you might run out of space. To overcome this, you can consider buying more storage on iCloud via Mac. Just launch the iCloud app and click on the “Manage” button on its home. From here, you can buy more storage on iCloud and pick a preferred subscription plan.


• Reset your iCloud account on Mac

Chances are that there could be some problem with your iCloud account on Mac. To overcome this, you can just choose to reset your iCloud Mac account. Simply launch the iCloud application and click on the “Sign Out” button. Once it is done, close the application and restart your Mac. Afterward, launch the iCloud application again and sign back in to your account.


• Update Mac

If you are running an outdated version of iCloud or macOS, then you might encounter several issues with it. The easiest way to fix this iCloud Mac issue is by performing a software update. Click on the Apple logo to look for the latest stable version of the update. While updating macOS, the iCloud app on it will also be upgraded.


• Get rid of iCloud Configuration Files

If nothing else would seem to work, then consider this option to fix iCloud Mac problems. Sometimes, there could be an issue with iTunes configuration files that can make the application malfunction. To resolve this, visit Finder > Go > Go to Folder and enter “~/Library/Application Support/iCloud/Accounts/” to look for iCloud configuration files. After finding the files, you can either delete them or move them to any other location. Once it is done, restart your Mac and try opening iTunes on it again.


That’s a wrap! After reading this informative guide on iCloud Mac solutions, you must be able to meet your requirements. From discussing how to access iCloud on Mac to taking a backup of Mac on iCloud, we have covered it all in this guide. Since it is quite easy to use iCloud on Mac, you would be able to backup, restore, sync, and do all kinds of things without any hassle. Feel free to follow the listed solutions to fix iCloud drive Mac issues as well, in case if you are facing any problem. Also, you can share this guide with your friends too so that they can also make the most of iCloud on Mac like a pro.

Sue Wen

staff Editor

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