What is iCloud Drive and why is it using all of your storage space?

Here's a rundown on what it is and how to turn it off

If you're an Apple user, you may have noticed the arrival of iCloud Drive and wondered what exactly it entails. If you own more than one Apple product, you may have also noticed it is using up an awful lot of storage space. 

The idea with the iCloud Drive is that all of your files are stored in one place and are accessible no matter where you or your device are. It's even compatible with a Windows device. 

 

What is iCloud Drive?

iCloud is Apple's cloud solution. iCloud Drive seeks to take on Google Drive and become the one-stop-shop for every file and photo on your devices. 

It enables users to pick up where they left off in terms of creating or editing files on different devices. 

It's important to note that if you use iCloud Drive across a number of Mac devices, files edited within the Desktop or Documents folders will sync across the board. 

Setup

iCloud Drive automatically appears on any Apple device running the latest software. 

Apple will automatically save files within your desktop and documents to the iCloud, meaning these files are accessible no matter where you are. While it is very useful, it completely eats up your iCloud storage space. 

Users looking to utilise the feature fully will have to buy iCloud storage space as Apple doesn't give much space for free. Prices start at €0.99 per month for 50GB

It's important to note that iCloud Drive will sync all files using your mobile data unless you change the settings. It can end up being quite expensive, so it's worth changing this in your settings. 

Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive and at the bottom of the next page toggle ‘Use Cellular Data’ to Off.

It's possible to view items stored in iCloud from any device, regardless of the operating system by visiting iCloud.com

Opt-out

If you don't want your devices to be connected in this way or don't fancy paying for cloud space, you can disable it. 

System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive Options

From here, deselect 'Desktop & Documents' folders at the top of the list.