How to use iCloud Drive on iPhone and iPad

How to use iCloud Drive on iPhone and iPad

Keep all your documents up-to-date and accessible across all your devices with iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive is Apple’s solution to document and file management across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. If you have an iCloud account, you can use iCloud Drive.

You automatically get 5GBs of storage for free, but you can choose to increase your storage with a monthly subscription. Subscriptions range from free all the way to $9.99 a month, depending on your storage needs.

If you aren’t sure where to start, we can walk you through the setup process and how to start using iCloud Drive!

How to enable iCloud Drive manually on iPhone and iPad on iOS 11

When you set up your iPhone or iPad for the first time you should be prompted on whether or not you’d like to set up to iCloud Drive. If you said yes, you don’t need to do anything further and can continue to the next section. However, if you said no, you can enable iCloud Drive with just a few taps.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on the Apple ID banner.
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. Tap the On/Off button for iCloud Drive.

How to enable iCloud Drive manually on iPhone and iPad on iOS 10

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Swipe up to scroll down the menu.
  3. Tap on the iCloud button.

    Launch Settings from your Home screen, swipe up to scroll down the menu, tap on the iCloud button.

  4. Tap on the iCloud Drive button.
  5. Tap the On/Off button for iCloud Drive.

    Tap on the iCloud Drive button, and then tap on the on/off button.

Remember, if you turn off iCloud Drive, nothing will save to it until you have re-enabled it.

How to turn on the iCloud Drive app on iPhone and iPad on iOS 10

Note: The iCloud Drive app has been replaced by the Files app on iOS 11. It is enabled by default.

Ever since iOS 9 Apple has included the iCloud Drive app. It lets you see everything and anything stored in your iCloud Drive on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and even Mac (It basically turns the DocumentPicker interface into its own app.).

For some inexplicable reason, though, the iCloud Drive app starts off hidden by default. You’re given a chance to show it when you first update, but if you miss it, you can still turn it back on at any time in Settings. And most people should!

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on iCloud Drive.
  4. Switch Show on Home Screen to On.

  5. Click the Home button to exit Settings.
  6. Launch the iCloud Drive app from your Home screen. (If you have trouble finding it, swipe down to bring up Spotlight Search and start typing “iCloud” until it appears)

If you ever decide you want to hide it again, you can repeat the same process and switch it off.

Otherwise you can browse your iCloud Drive files, find what you’re looking for, and get your work done!

How to get iCloud Drive on your iPhone and iPad in iOS 10

Note: The iCloud Drive app has been replaced by the Files app on iOS 11. It is enabled by default.

Apple made some changes to the iCloud Drive app on iOS 10. If you had it enabled in iOS 9, it will automatically be there when you update to iOS 10. If you did not enable the iCloud Drive app previously, it won’t automatically appear when you update your operating system. You can still get the iCloud Drive app, though.

  1. Launch the App Store from your Home screen.
  2. Download the iCloud Drive app.
  3. Go back to your Home screen.
  4. Launch the iCloud Drive app from your Home screen.

    iCloud Drive on iOS 10

If you ever decide you don’t want the iCloud Drive app on your iPhone or iPad, you can remove it the same way you would delete an app.

How to increase iCloud Drive storage space on iPhone or iPad on iOS 11

By default, iCloud Drive comes with 5GB of space for free. If you don’t feel this is enough, you can subscribe to more storage. Or if you already are paying for an iCloud subscription, you can change it to best fit your current needs.

Not sure how much iCloud storage space you need? Check out our complete guide to choosing the perfect plan.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on the Apple ID banner.
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. Tap Manage Storage.

  5. In the section marked iCloud Storage, tap Change.
  6. Tap to choose the storage plan that works best for you.
  7. Tap Buy.
  8. Sign in with your Apple ID to confirm the purchase.

How to increase iCloud Drive storage space on iPhone or iPad on iOS 10

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen
  2. Swipe up to scroll down the menu.
  3. Tap on the iCloud button.
  4. Tap on the Storage button.

  5. Tap on the Buy More Storage or Change Storage Plan button.
  6. Choose the storage plan that best suits your needs by tapping on it.
  7. Tap Buy in the upper right hand corner.
  8. Sign in with your iCloud account in order to finish the purchase.

    Tap on the Buy More Storage button, choose the storage plan you would like, Tap on the Buy button in the top right corner, and then sign in to you iCloud account.

That’s it. Your storage space will immediately change to reflect the subscription you’ve selected.

How to move files in iCloud Drive on iPhone and iPad on iOS 11

iCloud Drive is now stored within the Files app for iOS 11. The Files app opens up many possibilities for storage and file organization on iOS. You needn’t stick to app-based folders for organizing content — you can treat the Files app like you would Dropbox or Box.

  1. Launch the Files app
  2. Tap Browse at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap iCloud Drive in the Locations section.
  4. Tap on a folder to open it.

  5. Tap Select in the top right corner of the screen.
  6. Tap on the files you want to move.
  7. Tap Move at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Tap a folder to choose a destination for the files.
  9. Tap Move in the top right corner of the screen.

How to move files in iCloud Drive on iPhone and iPad on iOS 10

You have some limited ways of organizing your content inside the iCloud Drive app. It will automatically keep all the same files from the same app in one folder. However, inside that folder you can have multiple folders to separate your files anyway you want.

  1. Launch iCloud Drive from you Home screen.
  2. Tap on the folder with the files you want to move.
  3. Tap on the the Select button. It’s in the top right corner of your screen.

    Launch iCloud Drive from your Home screen, tap on the folder you want, and then tap on the select button.

  4. Tap on the file(s) you want to move.
  5. Tap the Move button.
  6. Tap on the folder you want the file to move to.

    Tap on the file you want to move, tap the move button, and then tap on the folder you want the file to move to.

You can do this at anytime and with any file(s) and from now on anytime you update it all the changes will be saved in that new location.

How to delete files in iCloud Drive on iPhone and iPad on iOS 11

If you find yourself running out of space or just want to declutter, you can easily delete files you don’t need anymore.

  1. Launch the Files app
  2. Tap Browse at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap iCloud Drive in the Locations section.
  4. Tap on a folder to open it.

  5. Tap Select in the top right corner of the screen.
  6. Tap to select the files you want to delete.
  7. Tap Delete in the bottom right hand corner (Note: There is no confirmation step. Deleting the files will mark them for deletion, though they can be recovered in the Recently Deleted location in the Files app).

How to delete files in iCloud Drive on iPhone and iPad on iOS 10

  1. Launch iCloud Drive from you Home screen.
  2. Tap on the folder with the files you want to move.
  3. Tap on the the Select button. It’s in the top right corner of your screen.

    Launch iCloud Drive from your Home screen, tap on the folder you want, and then tap on the select button.

  4. Tap on the file(s) you want to delete.
  5. Tap the delete button. It’s the in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  6. Tap the Delete from iCloud Drive button.

    Tap on the files(s) you want to delete, tap on the delete button, and then tap on the Delete from iCloud Drive button.

Those files are history! There is no way to get them back, so be careful with those fingers.

How to turn cellular data on or off for Files syncing on iOS 11

If you store a lot of documents in the Files app and you’re on a limited data plan, you may want to prevent the app from using cellular data. Here’s how!

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. In the Cellular Data section, scroll down until you find the Files app.
  4. Tap the On/Off switch to toggle cellular data use off.

How to turn cellular data on or off for iCloud Drive syncing on iOS 10

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the iCloud button.
  3. Tap on the iCloud Drive button.

    Launch Settings from your Home screen, swipe up to scroll down the menu, tap on the iCloud button, and then tap on the iCloud Drive button.

  4. Swipe up to scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  5. Tap the On/Off button beside the words Use Cellular Data.

This will make sure no cell data is used for iCould Drive. Save your money!

Updated August 2017: This article was updated to include information on iCloud Drive in iOS 11.

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