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Quick tip: Manage iCloud storage

Apple’s iCloud offers users a full suite of services, but the company only gives its customers 5 GB of storage space for free. Beyond the 5 Gb account, Apple offers three paid tiers:

  • 10 additional GB for $20/year
  • 20 additional GB for $40/year
  • 50 additional GB for $100/year

I keep all of my personal email in iCloud, so I pay Apple $20 a year for a total of 15 GB of space. However, most people stay on the free plan, so seeing what is taking up those precious few GBs is critical.

Thankfully, it’s easy to see what’s up.

On OS X, the iCloud System Preference pane looks like this:

Below the list of active services, there’s a storage meter, which is helpful, but clicking the “Manage…” button is where the real magic happens:

Clicking on an app’s name on the left-hand side will reveal what’s eating up that space. Most apps simply report “Documents & Data,” but some — like Backups — show a lot more:

Data sets can be deleted from right within System Preferences, freeing up space in iCloud instantly.

If you aren’t on a Mac, this can all be done in iOS on the “Storage and Backup” screen in the iCloud section of the Settings app:

While I hope one day Apple will include more space for non-paying iCloud users, these steps are enough to make sure everything is ok with your account.


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