When Apple introduced iCloud in 2011, it announced that each customer with an Apple ID would receive 5GB of iCloud storage for free. You can add more storage: 50GB ($ 1 per month, 200GB ($ 3 per month), 1TB ($ 10 per month), or 2TB ($ 20 per month). But if you're not interested in raising extra) money for iCloud storage, 5GB can quickly be tight.
It is especially true that you are using iCloud storage allocation to back up your iOS devices, you may not be able to back up both iPad and iPhone to iCloud because you are not & Nbsp; Does not have enough space. Does that mean you have to pay for more storage or return to old-fashioned iTunes backups?
Not necessarily, instead, it means you need to exercise some extra manual control over how to send items- you send to iCloud to store on one of your iOS devices, then click iCloud . Now press Storage . you the total amount of storage you have on iCloud (5 GB, if you haven't upgraded), along with the amount of space available. Below it is a Manage Storage button. Press it.
At the top of the subsequent Manage Storage screen, you'll see a list of all the iOS devices you back up to iCloud, including the current device. Examine the list carefully. If it claims that you are still backing up, say that the old iPhone 3GS that you have not used since before House was canceled, you will delete the backup so that it stops gobble up precious storage space. Touch the unnecessary device name, and then click Delete the backup button that appears.
Instead, if you drop the name of the device you are using, you will be taken to a screen that provides fine control over the precise items you are backing up for that device. You can turn off backups for the apps you don't use much at all, but like having your device.
The role of the photo library
On this screen you see the current size of the device backup, along with an estimate of how big your next backup will be. Below you see a list of programs that can back up their data to iCloud. With one exception, the list appears in descending order according to how much space each app requires to back up the data in iCloud. The only exception: Photo Library is always first. It's not always the biggest item on the list, but it's often.
Pressing to turn off the photo library creates a frightening question: Do you want to turn off photo library backup and delete iCloud backup data? & # 39; You can select Turn off or Cancel . The first option is scary. If you think it means losing your precious pictures and videos, don't worry: You don't want or you won't.
By default, the iCloud saves your iOS devices & # 39; Photo Library & # 39; . That way, if iPhone breaks, fools or otherwise gives up the ghost, you can recover from iCloud and get all your photos and videos back. If you press Turn Off then do not delete the visual memories from your device. Instead, you just release the iCloud backup space they use and remove the ability to recover these images from iCloud if the disaster were to hit your iOS device.
It is not necessarily as risky to move as it sounds. When you connect your iOS device to your Mac, you can back up your saved photos and videos to iPhoto. But even if you rarely – or never sync your iOS devices via USB, you probably don't need iCloud to back up your photos, thanks to Photo Stream, which holds up to 1,000 of the latest photos you shattered in the last 30 days.
Since the iCloud Photo Library backup is only there in case of emergency, and you are likely to notice a major emergency involving the iOS device in less than 30 days, you can generally rely on your photos to be safe even if they are not backed up to iCloud directly. (Photo Stream Photographs do not count towards the 5 GB iCloud quota.)
Turning off the photo library's backup only removes a significant portion of the iOS device backups. It may be enough to allow you to back up all your iOS devices without breaking the 5GB cap. But you can do even more.
Trim app fat
Depending on how you use your iOS device, you will probably continue to allow some apps to back up their data to iCloud. If you often create documents in an iOS text editor, create songs in GarageBand or generate something at all, and you don't regularly back it up (or otherwise export it), you should use iCloud backup for those apps .
But you probably don't need to use iCloud to back up data from many other applications you use. And although most of these apps only make a few megabytes per backup per app, they can add up to a significant portion of the storage space. For example, you can disable iBook's iCloud backup because you can always recover your iBooks purchases directly from the iBookstore. You probably don't need to back up data stored by games to your kids or games for yourself where you don't care about game progress or customizations you may have made. And for apps that sync and back up their data online, such as Instapaper backup, it can also be unnecessary.
Caution, though: Don't beat that will. For example, you might think, "Hi, I don't need to back up my data from the Map app!" And you may well have it right. But if you were to learn it, after an iCloud recovery, your old photo cards were now, but a memory you would be crushed.
Documents, data and post
Finally, let's back up one level from the device-specific screen in iCloud's settings (remember, however, to configure photo library and other settings programs on each iOS device you are backing up.) On the main management screen, above the list of your devices, see two other sections: Documents and data, and mail.
Documents and data section do not refer to the content iCloud should back up, accurately. Instead, it refers to all the pieces of data that iCloud syncs between your iOS devices (and in some cases your computer) .These data count the iCloud storage allocation.
Interestingly, this part of iCloud's settings may even refer to then Take as you just saved on your Mac. In my case, it revealed several megabytes worth of content I had stored in Preview while exploring; deleting the old, unnecessary documents released some extra iCloud space.
In addition, this section displays synchronized data from iCloud publishing apps and games. On my iPhone, it contains the Pages, Passbook, Keynote and Incident list. I want my progress in the Incident to be synchronized between devices, and the sync data uses only a single kilobytes to survive the cut. However, if you see, for example, that Pages takes up many megs (or more), you can tap it to get an overview of each document stored there, along with the amount of space it takes. If you notice files that you no longer need, clear them out.
If you use iCloud as your primary email account, your work may be cut off for you. All that record counts against your iCloud quota. If you don't regularly archive emails offline, crop attachments and delete what can be deleted, Mail may have an ever-increasing percentage of your iCloud quota.
I'm not using iCloud Mail, but I found that it was first claiming about 20 MB of storage. I logged on iCloud.com and removed my first welcome message and some other test messages to chop that number down, but it never beats zero.
Don't Forget Your Mac
If you're using macOS Sierra, you'll find a few features that rely on iCloud storage. Go to System Settings> iCloud and in the main window you will see a list of check boxes. The first is iCloud Drive, and if it is labeled, it means the Mac uses iCloud storage.
If you do not want to use iCloud Drive, uncheck this box. You will see a warning stating that the files in iCloud Drive will be removed. To save these files, click Hold a Copy . Your files will be stored in a folder called iCloud Drive, which will be located in the Home folder.
If you want to use iCloud Drive on Mac, you can fine-tune it. Check the iCloud Drive box, and then click the Options button. Applications that save iCloud Drive are displayed and you can choose the ones you want (see below).
Another way to control Mac's use of iCloud Drive is MacOS Sierra's Optimize Storage feature. Here are the details of optimized storage and its settings.
Freedom can be free
Combining these tricks – disable photo library backup, check which apps will back up their data to iCloud, limit the types of data you sync with iCloud, crop unnecessary iCloud mail, and control Macs using iCloud Drive – and you can dramatically shrink the space required to back up your devices with iCloud.
But if you just can't trim enough iCloud-stored data to fit everything you need, Apple is always happy to let you pay for more space and you can buy more space directly on your iOS device in Settings- the app ( iCloud> Storage> Buy more storage ).
Editor's Note: This article was originally published October 3, 2012. It has been updated to reflect the settings of iOS 10.2.1 and macOS Sierra.