What is iCloud?

iCloud connects you and your Apple devices in amazing ways. It makes sure you always have the latest versions of your important information—like documents, photos, notes, and contacts—on whatever device you’re using. It lets you easily share photos, calendars, locations, and more with friends and family. It even helps you find your device if you lose it.

iCloud wirelessly updating content on Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Get started

To get started, just set up iCloud on your Mac and other devices. Then use iCloud features with Mac and iOS apps that support them: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Safari, TextEdit, Preview, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie, and more. You can also use iCloud features on your Apple TV, Windows computer, and iCloud.com.

iCloud features

After setting up iCloud on your Mac or iOS device, you have access to the following features.

Note: iCloud requires an Internet connection, and some iCloud features have minimum system requirements. iCloud may not be available in all areas, and iCloud features may vary by area.

  • Family Sharing: Up to six family members can share their iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store purchases without sharing accounts. Pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. Plus, share photos, a family calendar, reminders, and locations. See Set up Family Sharing.

  • iCloud Drive: Safely store and organize all kinds of documents in iCloud. Work with them on your Mac, your other devices set up for iCloud Drive, and iCloud.com. On your Mac, use the Finder and apps that support iCloud Drive. See Store documents with iCloud Drive.

  • Photos: Use iCloud Photo Library to store your entire library of photos and videos in iCloud, and let iCloud keep them up to date on your Mac, your iOS devices, and iCloud.com. Use iCloud Photo Sharing to share albums of photos and videos with just the people you choose, and let them add photos, videos, and comments to your shared albums. iCloud also stores all your photos recently added to your devices in My Photo Stream. See Photos Help and iCloud Help.

  • Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Reminders: Keep your mail, contacts, calendars, notes, and reminders up to date using the apps on your Mac, iOS devices, and iCloud.com. See Apps included with your Mac and iCloud Help.

  • Safari: See the webpages you have open on your Mac and iOS devices (your iCloud Tabs). Read articles from your Reading List, even when you’re offline. Plus, use the same bookmarks on your Mac, iOS devices, and Windows computer. See Safari Help.

  • iCloud Keychain: Keep your passwords, credit card information, and more up to date, and have it entered automatically on your Mac and iOS devices. See Set up iCloud Keychain.

  • Back to My Mac: Securely connect your Mac to your remote Mac over the Internet, then share the screen or files of your remote Mac. See Use Back to My Mac.

  • Find My Mac: Locate your Mac on a map, play a sound on it, lock its screen, or erase its data. See Use Find My Mac.

  • Content everywhere: Automatically get purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store on all your devices, and download past purchases anytime. See What is “content everywhere”?.

With iCloud, you get an email account and 5 GB of storage for your mail, documents, photos, and iOS device backups. Your purchased music, apps, TV shows, and books don’t count against your available space. See Manage iCloud storage.