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How To Access Files on iCloud and Transfer Them To Your MacBook

Feb 16, 2018 8:07:00 PM / by BaseQi

How to access icloud on mac

iCloud is a service that makes storing files and sending them back to your MacBook such a breeze. However, it may be daunting to first-time MacBook users who don’t have an idea what iCloud is all about. If you’re new to the world of MacBooks and iCloud storage, don’t worry. In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the entire process of accessing the service, storing files, and transferring them to your MacBook. So, read on.

If you are looking for an alternative way to get more storage space on your MacBook Air or older versions of MacBook Pro, you can read this MacBook Air storage upgrade guide


What iCloud is

iCloud is a cloud storage and computing service provided by Apple Inc. It was launched on October 12, 2011, and currently has more than 700 million users around the world.

The service allows you to securely store various types of data such as photos, videos, audio, and software. You can access these files on your MacBook or iOS device, and iCloud updates them across all your Apple devices.

How iCloud works

When you set up your iCloud, you’ll automatically get 5GB worth of storage for your photos, videos, music, apps, and so much more. Before you can use iCloud, make sure your MacBook is updated to the latest version. After that, here’s what you need to do.

Enabling iCloud

  1. Open System Preferences.

  2. Select iCloud and check if it’s enabled (blue check mark).

  3. Select Options.

  4. Tick on Desktop and Document Folders.

  5. Click on Done.

Accessing iCloud

You can access iCloud on your MacBook via the Finder window, which is located at the top-left corner of your screen. Open a Finder window and click on the  the iCloud icon. You can find it under Favorites on the drop-down menu at the left-hand side of the window.

Storing files

To save files on your MacBook to your icloud Drive, you can do either of these:

  1. Drag any file from your desktop or any folder window on your MacBook to your icloud Drive window or a folder in it.
  2. On your icloud Drive toolbar, click on the Upload button. It’s the cloud icon with an arrow pointing upward. Select all the files you want to upload, then click on Choose.

Transferring files to your MacBook

If you want to do the opposite and move files from your icloud Drive to your MacBook, just select all the files you want to transfer and click on the Download button (cloud icon with an arrow pointing down) in the icloud Drive toolbar. The files are saved in your Downloads folder on your MacBook or any other folder you specify.

Checking your iCloud storage

Curious to know how much space is left on your iCloud Drive? Check it by doing the following:

  1. Bring up the Apple Menu on your MacBook.

  2. Go to System Preferences.

  3. Select iCloud.

  4. Click on Manage.

Pros and cons of iCloud storage

The biggest advantage of iCloud is that it supremely easy to use. Even if you’re a new MacBook user, it will only talk you a short while to access the service. It also works well, and very rarely will you encounter errors while using it.

In addition, the storage service syncs all your files and edits across all your Apple devices. If you make a change to a file and save it on iCloud using your MacBook, you don’t have to worry about repeating the process on your iPhone or other iOS device, making file management on multiple devices highly convenient.

However, the caveat there is that you don’t have the option not to sync certain photos. With the iCloud Photo Library, all your photos are synced. You’ll need to move photos out of Photos for Mac if you prefer those to not be synced.

Another major disadvantage is cost of upgrading your storage space. In the US, a 2TB upgrade costs $10 month, or $120 dollars a month. With that amount of money, you can already buy a 4TB external storage device.


If you enjoyed our article and would like to learn more MacBook tips, feel to read this article: The ultimate MacBook shortcut cheat sheet


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Written by BaseQi

Our company officially started in 2013. Since then, we have fans purchasing our products from all over the world. Our mission is to invent stylish accessories and gadgets for fans around the world.

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