Stop using Apple’s iCloud

“Apple’s iCloud has a long and troubled past, but the company keeps pushing it for iPhone and Mac users with every new operating system update,” Thorin Klosowski writes for Lifehacker. “Don’t be fooled. The service is an inconsistent mess and more trouble than it’s worth.”

“My main problems have come from three different parts of the iCloud service: iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Drive, and iCloud backups,” Klosowski writes. “iCloud Drive, which is ostensibly Apple’s more traditional approach to a syncing file storage service, is a little less baffling than iCloud Photo Library. It’s still, however, a far cry from useable. iCloud Drive uses a traditional folder structure, which means you can access files that you store on the backup service from the Finder or an app on iOS. Regardless, it has a ruleset that feels unpredictable and Apple’s attempts to make it ‘hidden’ and ‘just work’ make it more complex.”

“At best, iCloud is good for device backups. Without doing anything, you can seamlessly swap between an iPhone or iPad, or replace an old iPhone with a new one,” Klosowski writes. “iCloud’s backups stores your contacts, your list of installed apps and their settings, and your general iOS settings. It’s a solid service for device backups, but like everything else in iCloud, it does weird things for no apparent reason.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: God only knows how many photos we’ve lost through the years being shuffled through Apple’s myriad photo “solutions.” We like to pretend that all of our photos are still there. We’re delusional like that for the sake of sanity.

And, who else likes waiting for a photo you’ve just taken with your iPhone to “download” to said iPhone so that you can edit it? We’ve had that vexing issue numerous times.

Sometimes we wonder if anyone at Apple actually tries to use their Photos app and/or iCloud Photo Library?

Despite all that, there are certainly benefits to using iCloud services (Find My iPhone and backups for iOS device-only users especially) and iCloud actually has improved by leaps and bounds over the years, so we’re not going to go so far as to say, “Stop using Apple’s iCloud.” Hopefully, via “Pie,” Apple is poised to further improve their iCloud services.

Apple looks to improve cloud services by moving infrastructure onto Apple-made system ‘Pie,’ unifying teams – October 6, 2016


  1. His only two complaints against iCloud Photo Library is that it A) locks you into Apple’s ecosystem (duh, who cares? It’s not like there’s a better one) and that there’s an option to “optimize storage” (not store the full library locally). Uh…how mentally challenged is this guy that he can’t handle the “confusion” (his word) created by having literally one checkbox toggle in the settings?

      1. My point is, what Apple user complains about being “locked in” to Apple’s ecosystem? Isn’t that ecosystem the reason you’re buying the Apple products to begin with?

        Oh no, my iCloud Photo Library won’t work on that exploding Samsung phone that I don’t want!

  2. Apple does NOT know how to do cloud. Since losing a whole bunch of photos, I’ve switched to Flickr. No intention of ever moving back. Same with Music. I’ve lost so many songs it’s incredible. So sorry I ever tried it.

    1. You’ve lost songs? Are you implying that you cannot redownload them? What is it you’re doing? At this point it’s damn near impossible to “lose” a song. Even when you delete them from your local drive and the cloud they’re still there. I don’t get it.

      1. I’ve lost Kirsty Macoll’s “Galore” album

        I know I had it but then I looked for it the other day there was no trace of it. I’d ripped it myself and use iTunes Match so it was in the cloud at one time.

          1. There wasn’t an issue with DRM. It had been in my iTunes library for ages and was uploaded to iCloud when I signed up for the matching service when it first started. There’s other tracks than I’m sure have gone over time, but I’m 100% sure about “Galore”

  3. I must have a dozen Apple devices at home (and countless more at work), I’ve been a Mac user since the 80s and an iPhone and iPad user since the beginning…

    …and I’m not sure what iCloud is, or how it works.

    I know it surely must be powering a number of the things I take for granted within the Apple universe (backing up my i-devices, sharing keychain passwords between devices, etc. So while I’m sure I use it every day, I still don’t understand it.

  4. it doesn’t handle families and multiple accounts well. that’s the big problem. i don’t mind backing up each person but i don’t want to see everyone’s photo unless they share it. it just assumes you want them all together or you need separate icloud paid accounts. that’s stupid. plus, if you work with a mac, you better be careful sending company docs to the cloud because you sign in with your icloud credentials to get your music

  5. As far as iCloud drive, I really like the idea of having the desktop sync on my different Macs. Makes working on my documents a breeze when I am on the road. So far, no real problems.

    iCloud backups have saved me several times, both when I needed to restore my iPhone and when I needed to retrieve an older version of a file.

    Photos in iCloud, not so much. I have over 40,000 photos and I’m not willing to put them all in one big file and hope for the best, like being able to find them. Maybe someday, but not now.

    1. That’s funny… I was just thinking the same thing. I connect everything I can to iCloud and it all works beautifully. The initial Photos upload took a while on 1Mb DSL and 5000+ photos and 200+ videos. Now that everything is up there, it works just fine. I also like using third-party apps that sync via ICloud. That’s really convenient. Doesn’t work on other platforms? Not really a problem for me. So I guess I must have missed a step or am doing something seriously wrong.

  6. Even for Apple, the Cloud is somebody else’s computer.

    I use Apple’s version for device backups. For that, a buck a month for 50 GB is cheap insurance.

    Otherwise, will use it as little as practicable.

  7. I produce HTML5 animations for the web. Because I work in more than one location with a Macbook for mobile and a Mini desktop at home, I was using iCloud as a “home base” for files produced with the app. I was getting a huge amount of file corruption. Edits that I made on one computer were not carried through to another even though I was doing everything correctly. It cost me several thousand dollars in labor that had to be redone over a period of a year.

    The developer of the app recommended that I use iCloud only if I Zipped the files before moving them to iCloud and then to the other computer to prevent the operation of the various widgets that Apple uses to “synch” files. This prevents Apple’s system from modifying the files to suit whatever the protocol for “versioning” for lack of a better term. No problems since, but I also don’t use iCloud for any critical files any more either.

    All of my backups are now manual, controlled by me, no problems. I use Time Machine. but only on each individual computer for use on that computer, seems to work ok, and I don’t count on it, only as a last resource backup but havent needed it.

    Remember that any “automated” system that purports to “help” you is also capable of faithfully reproducing errors whether they are yours or the systems, and can multiply them at a very large cost to you.

    I was told on another tech site, more technically oriented than Macdaily (this is a bit of an oversimplification but still generally accurate) that Apple philosophically is uncomfortable with the idea of a “master” file or master computer, that somehow the different versions reach some kind of a “consensus” on the version of the file to be saved as the latest and greatest. A form of “tolerance” I guess.

    Obviously the explanation must be more complex than that, but, in my world where I make a living from the files that I produce, there MUST be a designated master file, “one to rule them all” so to speak.

    You can’t have a “consensus” on something that is a demonstrable truth. A file is either accurate or its not. No opinions allowed there.

    Bring on whatever theories that you like. All I know is what I am doing now works, and I am the decider on my own work, and so it shall remain.

  8. Not cloud related but I can testify that they don’t test or pay attention to the photos app. My gripe is total inconsistency between iOS versions. A specific issue that drives me mad, importing photos from the camera kit. They kept changing the way one multi-selects several images to download. Last few versions, you can’t at all which is freaking maddening when you have to do, especially when it used to me an and easy multi-finger swipe (after it was a single-finder swipe). Now whenever I use it I waste a lot of time and patience clicking 100’s of images one by one…
    Complete lack of professionalism and standard analysis and design practices.

  9. I don’t trust cloud services. I always keep a backup on a hard drive at home. There is no need to have all my pictures on the cloud. I do use iCloud though for my addresses, calendar and photo streams. But that’s it. My iPhone backups are done in iTunes. iPhoto was superior to Photos in many ways. I dearly miss it.

  10. I’ve not had a problem with the new Photos at all. Take a picture on my iPhone and there it is on my iMac. I have dropbox set up to upload my photos as well so I have a double back up. Even if I didn’t once they’re on my Mac I could just drag them out to whatever I want. You’re not locked into anything.

  11. I don’t rely on iCloud for anything but keeping track of emails that I have read, bookmarks (that work sometimes), picture transfer (that works 20% of the time) and one thing that doesn’t work, keeping track of email accounts and passwords. I don’t rely on iCloud to handle any of my important stuff, unless I have copies on all my devices. Music? Forgetaboutit.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.