iCloud explained and how to set it up


What Does iCloud Do?

iCloud will store your music, photos, documents, contacts, calendar events and more and automatically push them to all your devices over Wi-Fi or 3G.

iTunes Purchases

iTunes iCloudWhenever you purchase music, apps and books in iTunes it will automatically transfer the items to your other iOS devices and your computer. Which means you can buy a song from iTunes on your iPad, and it will show up on your iPhone without having to sync it. You can buy a book on your iPhone and leave a bookmark, then pick up reading the book where you left off on your iPad.

All of your previous purchases are available for download on your devices with iCloud.

If you have music that was not purchased through iTunes, Apple has iTunes Match for $24.99 a year. iTunes Match will let you store your entire music collection in iCloud without having to upload most of your music. The only songs that would require uploading are ones that are not in the iTunes store.


Photo Stream applies the same principal to your photos, if you take a picture on your iPhone it shows up on your iPad, iPod touch, computer or Apple TV. iCloud stores 1000 of your latest photos for 30 days. Photo stream works on both a Mac and PC. Mac users will need to upgrade to the latest version of iPhoto. Windows users need to install the iCloud Control Panel.

Mail, Contacts and Calendar

With iCloud you get a free me.com email account. iCloud will automatically push new email messages to all your devices from this email account. The me.com email account will also allow you to create folders that will show up on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and computer.

To set up an iCloud email account on your iOS device; go to Setting->Mail, Contacts, Calendars-> iCloud and follow the instructions.

Your calendar and contacts work with iCloud as well. Add a contact or calendar event and it shows up on your other devices without having to sync.

Bookmarks, Notes, Reminders

iCloud stores the web pages you’ve bookmarked, notes you’ve written, and reminders you’ve created. A note, reminder or bookmarked web page saved from one device will be there on your other devices with iCloud.


All three of Apple’s iWork apps support iCloud. Pages, Keynote and Numbers documents are saved to iCloud and will appear automatically on other iOS devices. They can also be accessed on a computer by visiting iCloud.com. You can drag and drop any iWork 09 or Microsoft Office document from your computer into one of the iWork apps on icloud.com, and it automatically appears on all your iOS devices.

Find My Friends and Find My iPhone

With the Find My Friends app you can share your location with friends and family members. You will need to send a request and have that person accept the request before locations are shared. Locations can be shared temporally and you can disable your friends from seeing your location with the flip of a switch. Parents can setup a password to restrict kids from disabling their location.

Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac are also a part of iCloud. You can view the location of your devices by visiting iCloud.com or from another iDevice. Which could be extremely valuable locating a lost device.

iCloud Backup

iCloud automatically backs up your iOS device when it’s connected to a power source. iCloud backs up your camera roll, devices settings, app data, home screen, and app organization, messages (iMessages, SMS and MMS) and ringtones. You can restore from a previous iCloud backup during the setup process after restoring your device in iTunes or after Erasing All Content an Settings from the iDevice.

Setting Up iCloud

To get started you need to have an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 5 and have iCloud turned on. If you did not turn on iCloud after installing iOS 5, you can go to Settings-> iCloud and turn on iCloud for the things you want iCloud to push to your other devices.

After you turn on iCloud on your iOS device, you are ready to set up iCloud on your computer. Mac users will need to upgrade to OS X Lion 10.7.2. After the software is updated on your Mac there will be a iCloud icon in System Preferences under Internet & Wireless. There you can select the items you wish to use with iCloud.

iCloud Setup

Windows users will need to download software and install the iCloud Control Panel. We have instruction for Windows users here.

  • http://www.wasswasswass.com Andrew

    So far not so impressed with iCloud. All I wanted to do was upload my calendar and it took over an hour. And now all my music is gone from my iPad. Maybe coincidental, but still annoying. Where did all my music go?

  • Linda

    Me too. I had no idea I would lose all of my music. I had over 2000 songs and they are all gone. If I choose Restore, I will lose all of my other apps and calendar events. I feel like “sophie’s choice”. This would have been a nice warning from icloud before I started the sync process.

  • Mitch

    If you sync your iPad/iPhone to you computer (using iTunes) before you upgrade, you won’t loose anything. When you sync to your computer everything is backed up. This is standard proceedure as iCloud, it was the only way to sync your calendar, contacts, email and music. I think Apple assumed everyone understood the importance of doing this.

  • Suse

    I am managing 25 ipads that we check out for teachers to use. I have backed up an image to the cloud and now on approximately ipad # 15 I am receiving a message saying “You’ve reached your device limit.” I can no longer restore from the cloud. I am SOOOOOOOOO frustrated!

  • heather

    What if I don’t want everything synced the same? For example, I just bought an iPad, but I don’t want iPad apps on my iPod, and vice versa. Some apps are smart enough to have versions that work on both, but in my experience, the majority don’t.

  • dwg

    Solution: on ipad, go to settings, then music, then turn off iTunes match. Wait minute, then you can sync from iTunes on computer.

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  • Sue

    I am not sure how to send items that I have from the intenet to icloud??? Can anyone help me with this??

  • http://msn.com Geoffrey

    Seems like you actually know quite a lot regarding this subject and it all demonstrates thru this blog, called “iCloud explained and how to set it up | iPad
    Help” accieee.org .
    Thx ,Ursula

  • Karen

    I have a shared iCloud account with my ex and I need to change it so it is just my iphone and ipad that is connected but I don\’t know how to do it. If I delete account will I lose all my pictures and music? Can I keep iTunes the same as he does not know password for this

  • greg

    have set up a cloud account–however am unable to synch outlook contacts/claendar with the \’cloud\’ account–seems to me is hould enter it in one place and all should be synched

  • Peter

    Have back up photos on old iPhone want to bring it over to new iPhone don’t know how to do it can anyone help please