10 iCloud hints for busy people

Hey, you, get a grip on iCloud...

Apple, iOS, OS X, iCloud, cloud services, How to
Ahmed Mahin Fayez/Flickr

Backup now

I guess you know you can enable iCloud Backup of your device in Settings>iCloud>Backup and backup will take place automatically next time your iOS gadget’s connected to a power supply. What if you want to make a backup immediately for some reason? Simple: go to Settings>iCloud>Backup, and tap Back Up Now to force an immediate backup.

Use the Web version

You can manage your iCloud account through the Web interface, where you can also access and use online versions of Pages and Keynote. This is a particularly effective way to manage iCloud security, Apple Pay and Find My iPhone, as this article explains.

iWork for iCloud

You can share documents as large as 1GB with as many as 100 users at a time using iWork for iCloud – beware, however, as each image in a document should be under 5MB if you intend sharing it with Internet Explorer users on Windows (or up to 10MB otherwise).


If an iCloud feature isn’t acting correctly you may want to try this approach if you have a Mac:

  • System Preferences>iCloud, click Sign Out.
  • Restart your Mac
  • System Preferences>iCloud, click Sign In
  • Reenable all your iCloud features.

Send Last Location

Find My iPhone is a brilliant iCloud service. What makes it even better is its capacity to Send Last Location of your device before it runs out of power. What makes that suck is that it isn’t enabled by default. Enable it before you need it in Settings>iCloud>Find My iPhone.

Save space

Why backup data from apps you don’t care about? Review what data you’ve been saving in Settings>iCloud, where you can disable those you don’t want to squander your precious data allowance on.

Safari power

With iCloud Safari sync active (toggled green in Settings>iCloud) you have a brilliantly easy way to find what you were looking at on your Macs or other iOS devices from whatever device you happen to be using, so long as they are logged into the same Apple ID. Now when you tap the windows button at bottom right in Safari on iOS, or the same button at top right of Safari on OS X, you’ll see a list of all the currently open windows on all your devices and Macs.

Selfie protection

Remember when those ‘celebrity’ nudes got stolen from an iCloud account? It didn’t need to be that way. Just use two-step verification. When you activate this you’ll be asked to enter both your passcode and a randomly generated code Apple will provide when you make changes to Apple ID or buy something using a new device. Instructions right here.

Throw out the trash

If you’ve been using iPads and iPhones for a while you may have accumulated multiple iCloud device backups you no longer need. Delete these in Settings>iCloud>Storage and then select ‘Manage Storage’. Now delete the ones you’ll never use again. (On a Mac go to System Preferences>iCloud and tap the Manage… button.)

Power delete photos

A quick and easy way to manage your iCloud Photo image collection is to login using iCloud and a browser. You’ll be able to find and delete those images you don’t need, just tap ‘Select Photo’ and work your way through your library. To save precious storage space don’t forget to delete any video you no longer need.

Email aliases

You can create up to three alias email addresses for use with iCloud. You can enable and disable them at will, which makes this a useful way to create temporary emails for some tasks. To create an alias login to iCloud Mail online, click the Action (gear) icon at the bottom left of the screen, tap Accounts and select ‘Add an alias’. After entering the relevant information you click OK, then Done and your alias is activated.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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