Why you might not want to enable Apple’s new Messages in iCloud

“iOS 11.4 is out, and it brings with it a feature that was first promised to us in iOS 11.3 designed to help streamline messaging between devices,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet. “Called Messages in iCloud, it syncs messages you receive through the Messages app across your devices, whether that be your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or even a Mac (sorry Apple Watch owners, you don’t get this feature, and will most likely have to wait for watchOS 5).”

“First off, to make Messages in iCloud work you need to download and install iOS 11.4 onto your iOS devices, and macOS 10.13.5 onto your Macs (as of time of publication macOS 10.13.5 has not been released, but is expected shortly),” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “After that, you need to activate Messages in iCloud on your iOS devices.”

“OK, so why might you not want to activate this feature? Well, remember that it’s called Messages in iCloud, which means that it makes use of, and uses up, your iCloud storage. And it might just mean that you have to start paying Apple for more iCloud storage space,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “Extra iCloud storage space isn’t all that expensive — plans start at $0.99 for 50 gigabytes — but if you don’t want to have to start giving Apple more money on a regular basis, you should be mindful of the fact that Messages in iCloud could be what pushes your iCloud usage over the edge.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Also, if you’re in the habit of deleting messages on your iPhone and having a record of them preserved on your iPad and/or Mac, you’ll have to stop that practice as deleting in one place deletes everywhere (hence, the concept of syncing).

To enable Messages in iCloud:

(iOS 11.4 required)
1. Go to Settings.
2. Tap [your name].
3. Tap iCloud.
4. Turn on Messages.

(macOS 10.13.5 required)
1. Open Messages.
2. In the menu bar, choose Messages > Preferences.
3. Click Accounts.
4. Select the checkbox next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

Apple’s new ‘Messages in iCloud’ works only on iOS devices, not Macs, yet – May 30, 2018


  1. I still don’t understand why messages on my iPhone can be deleted after 30 days but on my Mac there is not an option for the same thing and I end up having to manually delete the messages.

    Typical Tim Cooks Apple…The it “just works” slogan is about as lame as Googles “Don’t be evil” slogan.

      1. Hey! Thanks for pointing this out to me. I just saw this feature in the latest version.

        I guess the more important question is why in the world did it take Apple this long to implement such a simple feature. But I guess I’m too stupid to check this simple feature every single time Apple releases an update huh?

        It’s still a shame that Apple didn’t get this issue fixed earlier.

  2. I’m glad this will be an option as I have no need for it.

    Ten years ago my iPhone and iMac synced just fine and I could delete what I needed and store the rest (why would I want years of text on my iPhone and why would I want to delete them all from my iMac??)

    Of course 10 years ago Mail pushed effortlessly across the two also but now no matter the setting I have to open Mail on the iPhone for it to update the pushed email. Read one on the phone it updates on the iMac instantly but never the other way around

    Thanks Apple!!

    1. Or at least 5GB x the number of active devices on your account. Sad that a single device owner gets as much free space as a multiple device (repeat customer) owner.

    2. It’s only $.99 per month for 50gb! Buy a discount iTunes card for 15% off and it’s only $.85 per month. If you’re a cheapskate, get an Android phone.

  3. Seems like something we don’t need. All my messages already come to each device. My bulb ain’t bright as it used to be, but I think Apple messes up a lot.

  4. Orenokoto. Your dimming bulb needs to understand that by having messages in the Cloud, they sync perfectly across all devices. Delete on one and they’re also deleted off the other. Just like Photos, Contacts etc

      1. Yes. In 10.3.5 (beta) you can turn the preference ON or OFF. If you want to keep all your messages on your Mac, make certain the ‘Enable Messages in iCloud’ preference is off. When turned ‘ON’ it will ask if you want to ‘Sync’ AND it will warn you about what will happen, just like the ‘Keep Messages’ option.

  5. Curious question that I have not seen addressed…

    Once upon a time Apple very loudly proclaimed that messages sent through Apple’s system iPhone to iPhone were end-to-end encrypted with not even Apple able to get access to the text in those messages. Yes, the message were relatively transient in Apple’s (and carriers’) systems, but it is the overall point.

    With messages being archived in Apple’s cloud (and in non U.S. servers when you use messages in certain countries that require Apple to have servers in their country) are those messages still encrypted in a manner not accessible to anyone (even Apple) when they reside on those servers no matter where those servers reside? Messages that are stored on those servers for weeks or months or more that are not encrypted at a robust level are vulnerable to some countries’ governments.

    It may not be an issue for most Mac/iPhone/iPad users, but for some of us it could be an issue that would make us not go to “Messages in iCloud”.

  6. Staying away from Messages in iCloud. I only want them in one place on one device. Keeping it simple. On all my other devices I don’t sign into Messages or FsceTime anyway.

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