how to access iCloud lead image

iCloud is Apple’s cloud platform to save and synchronize data like photos, videos, contacts, notes, documents, and also store backups. If you’re not quite sure where to go to see and manage your saved data, follow along for how to access iCloud on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and the web.

Apple gives users 5GB worth of free iCloud storage space, after that you’ll need to pay for more starting at $0.99 a month.

Something to keep in mind to help you understand how iCloud works is that it’s woven in throughout Apple’s software on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Another way to think of this is your data in various apps like Photos, Notes, Contacts, and more are viewable on each of your devices, but are saved and synchronized with Apple’s servers via iCloud (depending on your settings).

As separate portion of iCloud is iCloud Backups. They aren’t designed so that you can open them like a folder and see everything that’s inside. Rather, they are like a sealed package that is used when you restore an iPhone or iPad from the iCloud backup.

Another way to think about it is iCloud Backups are just a clone of your iPhone or iPad, and you won’t use that clone unless you get a new device, or need to erase or restore your entire device for some reason.

How to access iCloud on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and the web

iPhone & iPad

  1. Open Settings and tap your name
  2. Choose iCloud
  3. You’ll now see all the apps and data you can sync and use with iCloud
  4. Tap a toggle on the right hand side to turn on iCloud for a specific app
  5. Toward the bottom, tap iCloud Backup to automatically make cloud backups of your iPhone or iPad
  6. Further down, you can also see and manage all of the third-part apps that are using iCloud

how to access iCloud iPhone iPad


  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click iCloud
  3. You’ll see the various apps and services you can use with iCloud
  4. Click the check boxes on the left to turn them on/off
  5. There isn’t an option to back up your entire Mac to iCloud, but you can do it with an external drives or third-party cloud services, read more about Mac backups here

how to access iCloud on Mac

The web

  1. If you’re away from your Apple devices, you can access your iCloud account a lot of your saved data at
  2. Login with your Apple ID
  3. Use the iCloud web apps to access your data, documents, photos, videos, and more

how to access iCloud on the web

You might also find these iCloud tutorials helpful:

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.