With the release of Yosemite, Apple’s latest operating system for Mac computers, a new feature/service has become available. iCloud Drive allows you to store various files, whether presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images or any other document. Once the materials are stored there, you can access them from your iOS devices running iOS 8. These include iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC. Some apps you have may need or rely upon the ability to store files in iCloud Drive.
The process of upgrading or updating to iCloud Drive is straightforward. You will need to turn the service on both your iOS 8 devices and your Macs running Yosemite.
Starting the Service on Your Mac
On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive. Check that option to turn it on.
You will be asked if you want to use this service. If you have other Macs that are not running Yosemite or devices that have not upgraded to iOS 8, you will not be able to access the documents stored in iCloud Drive until you have updated those devices.
You can then click on Options that will appear next to iCloud Drive and see which apps are using iCloud Drive to store information. Once set up, you will then be able to see the various folders and documents in iCloud Drive. The initial process may take a while…be patient.
It was not clear why many PDFs, Pages documents and other materials were copied into iCloud Drive from my Mac. For example, a 33 MB PDF on my computer appeared in the iCloud Preview Folder. Some of the materials may have been attachments in Mail or previously shared via iCloud – but that is a guess. However, be prepared for large and small documents to be moved into the drive even if you did not plan on that.
At first, it was not understood why Spotlight seemed to “see” the documents on the iCloud drive. After disconnecting the internet from the Mac, it was noticed that the documents were still available. So, it appears that the documents in iCloud drive are moved to a iCloud Drive folder on your Mac for use, editing, etc.
You may need to do some initial pruning from iCloud Drive to delete or move files back to your Mac after the first set up. Make sure you have a backup or duplicate of the documents iCloud has moved in case you need that document before you delete it. You may simply want to drag the various documents moved into your documents folder on your Mac to empty your iCloud drive initially. For example, set up a folder on your Mac in the Documents folder called iCloud Moved Items. Then, move the items from your iCloud Drive into that folder for sorting. Be careful not to move other items that iOS apps may be using via iCloud folder or you will not have the materials available on your iOS devices.
Later you can set up your own folder in iCloud Drive and manually move the materials to iCloud Drive that you want to be there.
To delete files from iCloud Drive, simply select the materials to delete and move them to the trash. You may be warned that doing this will result in deleting the materials from your iOS devices too.
Turning on the Service on Your iOS 8 Device
You will need to turn on the service on your iOS 8 device as well. Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > and slide to On. You may be told that non iOS8 devices you own will not be able to use iCloud Drive until they are updated to iOS 8.
After you select the option to set up the drive, it may take a few minutes to complete the update.
Following Set Up
Apple explains that “To upload your files to iCloud, simply drag them into the iCloud Drive on your Mac running OS X Yosemite or PC running Windows 7 or later. Or start a new document using an iCloud-enabled app on your iOS device. Then you’ll be able to access those documents from all your devices.”
Remember, this is a new service. Use Time Machine to keep back ups.
You can learn more about iCloud Drive from Apple or iCloud Drive FAQ.