When Apple first introduced iCloud to the world in 2011, it announced that anyone with an Apple ID would receive 5GB of cloud storage. Even as files (apps in particular) have become larger and larger over time, the original 5GB of allotted storage from Apple still remains. Running out of space is something you never want to happen. To avoid that, it’s critical to know what is taking up your iCloud storage space so you can free it up.
Overview of iCloud Storage Space
On the iPhone or iPad, it’s really simple to find out how much storage is being used overall.
1. Open the Settings menu and tap on [Your Name] at the top of the screen.
2. Tap on “iCloud -> Manage Storage.” You will see a list of what is taking up storage. This will likely include photos, apps, documents, other, etc.
It’s similarly easy to find out how much storage is being used on a Mac.
1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left of the screen and select “System Preferences.”
2. Go to Apple ID at the top right of the System Preferences menu and click on iCloud in the sidebar.
You will see a storage chart appear at the bottom of the screen. To see everything, click on “Manage.” Within a moment or two, the Mac will show you everything taking up space on your iCloud.
On a Windows PC, the steps are also very easy.
1. Open iCloud for Windows and click on “Storage.” The bar graph will show you overall storage usage and what is taking up the most general space.
2. To see even more detail, click on “Storage” and see a deeper breakdown of everything that is eating into your available storage space.
Last but not least is iCloud.com, another fast and easy method to look at how your iCloud storage is in use.
Simply head over to iCloud.com, then “Account Settings,” and look at the storage section. The Web won’t give you as much of a detailed breakdown as you will find via more direct methods, but in a pinch, it comes in handy.
Organizing by File Size
For another fast way of being able to see what is taking up space in your iCloud Drive, grab your iOS device. Unfortunately, the Files app really won’t tell you much about what is stored in each individual folder on the main screen.
In that case, you will have to go into each folder, then tap the icon with three dots surrounded by a circle in the top right of each screen. When you do, your iOS device will offer an option to sort files by size. There’s no question it will be tedious to go into every individual folder and organize by file size, but it works if you need to find out what is taking up space.
Using Finder on Mac
Whereas iOS provides some ability to view folder sizes in iCloud Drive, it’s much easier on the Mac. Any Mac and iCloud user already has iCloud Drive installed and ready. While you do not need to sync every file and folder to your computer, you can look through and discover what is taking up space.
1. Start by opening any Finder window and locating “iCloud Drive” on the left sidebar.
2. For the best organization, switch to list view by going to “View,” pulling up the drop-down box and selecting “as List.”
3. This is tricky, as the Mac does not default to showing file sizes for folders. Fortunately, this is quickly rectified by going to “View” again and clicking on “Show View Options.”
4. When that window appears, look toward the bottom of the new window and make sure “Calculate all sizes” is selected. As soon as you select it, the file sizes will appear for all iCloud Drive folders.
You can now go through and see all of the file sizes, including folders and individual documents or files not placed in folders.
While all of this helps you see what is taking up your iCloud storage space, you still may want to consider extra space. If you are an active user of Apple Music, you may want to consider the Apple One Bundle.
Image credit: Businessman works over a cloud by DepositPhotos
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