iCloud Drive: How to sync data between your Mac and iOS devices

“One of the useful new features of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite is iCloud Drive, a storage facility that lets you save files and data to the cloud,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Intego.

“iCloud Drive lets you store a number of files so that you can access them from all of your Apple devices: your Mac, iPad, and iPhone, and even a web browser on any computer, including Windows PCs,” McElhearn writes. “However, working with iCloud Drive can be a bit tricky at times.”

“iCloud Drive is different from other types of cloud storage. With Dropbox, for example, you have a folder on your computer, and an app on iOS devices, and you can access any files you put there, and you can organize them as you want. iCloud Drive does not work like this; it stores files in application-specific folders, and, while you can open some files with other apps, there are limits as to how you can move them around and access them,” McElhearn writes. “Here’s a guide to using iCloud Drive: how to save files to the cloud, access them from other devices, and use them even with apps that can’t access iCloud.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone using iCloud Drive extensively? So far, everything we’d tried has been seamless.


  1. I had it on but it froze up one of my Mac Pro trashcans pretty severely. Took me a few hours to figure out that it was iDrive that was the problem. This was fairly early on, I was just thinking yesterday I’d give it another go since there have been a few updates since then. I have it running pretty smoothly on a few other devices, so I assume there was something wacky with the syncing on the pro.

    1. Anyone have any idea how to get royalty free music and videos onto the iPhone or iPad to use in iMovie? Or even getting short royalty free video clips?

      Apple seems to cut me off at the knees with its software which ALMOST “just works” until you want it to be useful.

  2. I use have used iCloud extensively for a long time. My gripe is that I still can’t access the thousands of PDF’s stored in the Mac Preview app, or my TextEdit files from iOS at all. When they announced iCloud Drive for iOS I was hoping I would gain this access but no.

    Other than that it’s great for most other things, and I love having my stuff in the cloud. Huge improvement over having duplicate files across devices and managing which ones are out of date manually. It also makes having multiple Macs make more sense.

  3. Somehow, I seem to have duplicated my photo feed to iCloud and I have choked up my 20GB storage plan. need time to clear/clean duplicates, I guess — and I currently can’t back up my two iOS devices.

  4. I wish I could use iCloud Drive, but its current architecture is useless. It forces you into a filing and folder structure that doesn’t work for me. As an attorney, I have tons of folders (by client) and matters handles for each client, with numerous subfolders and sub-subfolders. It’s how I organize my work, and iCloud Drive doesn’t provide that flexibility. I continue to rely on SugarSync to sync documents across all my devices.

  5. mike241243 and Brian gave the reasons I have stopped using iCloud, also there is not a trash folder (a deleted file is lost). Because of those reasons I and others I know stopped using iCloud.

  6. Staggeringly slow here in NL/EU. I used to be able to sync large Keynote presentations via the old cloud, but no more. It may take hours for a file to get updated or not at all.
    Photos works, but very slow too. “Add to Photos” may take five minutes or more. iPhoto was struggling with large libraries, but never with adding photos as Photos is now. And Photos takes almost half of total energy use on my iPhone!

    Some work still has to be done here…..

  7. Lack of free folder structure and speed makes it absolutely unworkable for me (outside U.S.). Also no going back in time / recover mode.

    Using Dropbox. Lightning fast syncing on all my devices. Very reliable.

    Unbelievable that Apple after all the incarnations of a cloud drive still does seem to be able to deliver such an essential service…. Mind boggling…

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