iCloud FAQ

What is iCloud Keychain?

iCloud Keychain keeps your Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information up to date across all of your approved devices that are using iOS 7.0.3 or later or OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later.

iCloud Keychain can also keep the accounts you use in Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages up to date across all of your Macs. If you’re signed in to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or any other accounts in Internet Accounts on OS X Mavericks, iCloud can push those accounts to your Macs as well.

Learn about iCloud Keychain availability by country.


How does iCloud Keychain protect my information?

iCloud Keychain keeps the passwords and credit card information that you save up to date only on the devices that you approve. When you enable iCloud Keychain on an additional device, your other devices that use iCloud Keychain receive a notification requesting approval for the additional device. After you approve the additional device, your iCloud Keychain automatically begins updating on that device.

iCloud Keychain is protected with industry-standard encryption techniques on all of your devices, both in transit and in the cloud.


How do I set up iCloud Keychain?

After upgrading to iOS 7.0.3 or later, you’ll be asked by the iOS setup assistant to set up iCloud Keychain. If you skipped this step and want to set up iCloud Keychain now, follow these steps:

Devices using iOS 7.0.3 or later:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud and turn Keychain on.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete setup.

Macs using OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later:

  1. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud.
  2. Select Keychain.
  3. Optionally set a password to unlock your screen after sleep or after the screen saver begins.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete setup.


What is the iCloud Security Code?

When you set up iCloud Keychain, you’re asked to create an iCloud Security Code. It can be a 4-digit code similar to the passcode lock for your device, or you can have a more complex code automatically generated for you. The iCloud Security Code is used to authorize additional devices to use your iCloud Keychain. It’s also used to verify your identify so that you can perform other iCloud Keychain actions, such as recovering your iCloud Keychain if you lose all your devices.


How can I set up additional devices to use iCloud Keychain?

Follow the iCloud Keychain setup steps above for each device that you want to add. When you enable iCloud Keychain on an additional device, your other devices that use iCloud Keychain receive a notification requesting approval for the additional device. After you approve the additional device, your iCloud Keychain automatically begins updating on that device.


How do I set up iCloud Keychain on a new device if I don’t have one of my other devices to approve from?

If you don’t have access to any of your other devices that are using iCloud Keychain, you can still set up iCloud Keychain on another device if you have these items:

  • Your iCloud Security Code
  • The device that is using the SMS-capable phone number you provided when you first set up iCloud Keychain. A verification code is sent via SMS to this phone number. If you don’t have access to this number, contact Apple Support, who can verify your identity so that you can complete setup on your new device.

If you have these items, follow the iCloud Keychain setup steps documented above. Your iCloud Keychain will then be pushed from the cloud to the new device.


Can Apple recover my iCloud Security Code?

No. If you enter your iCloud Security Code incorrectly too many times, you won’t be able to use that iCloud Keychain. You can contact Apple Support, who can help verify your identity so that you can try again to enter your iCloud Security Code. After a number of incorrect attempts, your iCloud Keychain is removed from Apple’s servers and you will need to set up iCloud Keychain again.


Can I set up iCloud Keychain so that my data isn’t backed up in the cloud?

Yes. When setting up iCloud Keychain, you can skip the step for creating an iCloud Security Code. Your keychain data is then stored only locally on the device, and updates only across your approved devices.

Important: If you choose to not create an iCloud Security Code, Apple will not be able to recover your iCloud Keychain.


What happens when I turn off iCloud Keychain on a device?

When you turn off iCloud Keychain for a device, you’re asked to keep or delete the passwords and credit card information that you saved. If you choose to keep the data, it isn’t deleted or updated when you make changes on other devices.


What credit card information is stored in iCloud Keychain?

iCloud Keychain stores credit card numbers and expiration dates. It does not store or autofill your credit card security code.


Are my existing saved passwords, Wi-Fi networks, and Internet accounts included in iCloud Keychain?

Yes. When you turn on iCloud Keychain, any previously-saved website usernames and passwords, Wi-Fi networks, and Internet accounts are automatically included in iCloud Keychain.


How does iCloud Keychain handle websites that do not allow Safari AutoFill?

You can allow Safari to remember and autofill account names and passwords for all websites:

  • Devices using iOS 7.0.3 or later :
    1. Go to Settings > Safari> Passwords & Autofill.
    2. Turn on Always Allow. To use this feature, you must have a passcode lock on your device.
  • Macs using OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later:
    1. Go to Safari > Preferences.
    2. Click Passwords.
    3. Select “Allow AutoFill even for websites that request passwords not be saved.” To use this feature, you must set a screen lock for your Mac.


Does iCloud Keychain work with third-party apps?

Yes. Developers can update their apps to work with iCloud Keychain. Passwords saved by those apps are then kept up to date on all devices that use the app and running iOS 7.0.3 or later or OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later.


Can I remove my iCloud Keychain from Apple’s servers?

Yes. Follow these steps, starting on any one of your iOS devices or Macs that is using iCloud Keychain:

Devices using iOS 7.0.3 or later:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > Account > Keychain and turn off “Approve with Security Code”.
  2. Go to each of your other devices that is using iCloud Keychain and turn iCloud Keychain off.

Macs using OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later:

  1. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences. Click iCloud, then click Account details.
  2. Deselect “Allow approving using security code”.
  3. Go to each of your other devices that is using iCloud Keychain and turn iCloud Keychain off.

After you complete these steps, your keychain data will remain locally on your devices, but changes to your keychain information will not push to your other devices or the cloud unless you turn iCloud Keychain back on. If you want keychain data to push to all of your devices, but not to the cloud, turn on iCloud Keychain on each device as described earlier in this document, but skip the step to create an iCloud Security Code.

iCloud Tips

Love it or hate it, iCloud is a big part of Apple’s ecosystem and it has a number features of which OS X can take advantage. In this guide, I’ll show you how to set up and begin using iCloud on your Mac, as well as the features and benefits it provides.

What is iCloud?


iCloud is Apple’s ‘cloud’ service that is available, free, to anyone using an iOS device or OS X Lion or Mountain Lion. It originally started life as MobileMe (which started out as .Mac, which started out as iTools) as a paid-for email service and method to keep more than one Mac in sync with regards to certain data such as calendars and contacts. This meant you could add a contact to one Mac and it would appear on another Mac or iOS device if you were signed in.

iCloud builds upon this and still provides an email service as well contacts and calendar syncing. The main difference is that iCloud is predominantly a free service that provides a 5GB account, with the option to pay an annual subscription to increase this, depending on the space required.

iCloud builds not only an array of features designed to make using multiple devices much easier but also online storage of documents and pictures to make accessing them as easy as possible.

Signing Up

To sign up for an iCloud account, you must be using a device capable of using iCloud. The reason is that not everyone can sign up, you have to be using at least one Apple device that’s iCloud compatible. If you’re running OS X Lion or Mountain Lion then you can sign up very easily through System Preferences.

Step 1

Launch System Preferences and then select iCloud.

Signing up to iCloud requires something called an Apple ID. If you’ve ever purchased anything from the App Store or iTunes, you already have an Apple ID. Simply sign in with your existing Apple ID information (this will be the email address and password you use for making iTunes or app purchases) and you’ll be prompted to create a new iCloud account. You can skip the next step and jump right to Step 3.

Step 2

If you’re new to the Mac platform and have never purchased anything from the iTunes Store before, then you’ll need to set up an Apple ID. There will be a small link that says Create an Apple ID – go ahead and click it.

You’ll be prompted to enter some basic information such as name, address and data of birth, as well as set up a password and some security questions. You can specify if you’d like to create a new email address with iCloud or if you already have an email address you’re happy to continue using.

You’ve now created an Apple ID ready to use with iCloud. You will also be able to use this for any iTunes or app purchases you might like to make in the future.

Step 3

To begin using iCloud, sign in with your Apple ID (it will already be signed in if you just created your Apple ID) and you’ll be prompted if you’d like to use iCloud’s services as well as Find My Mac.


Here’s a quick rundown of what iCloud can do and the services it offers that would benefit Mac users:

  • Email (Your very own @icloud.com email address)
  • Synchronising Contacts
  • Synchronising and sharing Calendars and Reminders
  • Synchronising Notes
  • Synchronising Safari Bookmarks, Tabs and Reading List
  • Photo Stream
  • Documents in the Cloud
  • Back to My Mac
  • Find My Mac

All of these features can be enabled and disabled through System Preferences by toggling the checkbox for each one. The great thing about this preference pane is that when you enable one of the services it automatically sets it up so you don’t need to.


All iCloud accounts have the option of using an @icloud.com email address. If you already had an Apple ID or just created one but opted to still use an existing email address, you can still use an iCloud email address if you wish. It operates as a completely separate email account but if you’re happy with the email provider you have or would prefer not to have another email account set up, you can log in to iCloud.com and have iCloud forward all your incoming mail to your existing email address.

iCloud mail shares the 5GB of storage that your account comes with which is more than enough for most users.

The great thing about the iCloud preference pane is that when you enable one of the services it automatically sets it up so you don’t need to.


Since the days of .Mac, Apple has been providing contacts syncing. What this means is that any person you add to Contacts in OS X, their details will remain in sync across any devices you also use iCloud. So if you have an iOS device as well as your Mac then as soon as you add a contact to either, it will appear on the other device.


Calendars is also a feature that’s been around since .Mac but just like contacts, it was heavily updated to new server-based technologies rather than the more unreliable syncing service it previously used.

iCloud features a great calendar system that not only works across all your iCloud devices, but you can alsoshare calendars with other iCloud users. This sharing isn’t limited to just reading the calendar either, you can share calendars with other users who can also make changes. This is great if you’re needing a family calendar to keep track of errands!

Step 1

Launch Calendar and select the (iCloud) calendar you wish to share. If you’d like to create a new calendar instead, you can do so by selecting File > New Calendar > iCloud from the menu.

Step 2

As you hover the cursor over the calendar you wish to share, you’ll see a “share” icon appear. Select this and then enter the email address of the person you wish to share the calendar with (just remember they need to also be an iCloud member).

You can enter multiple email addresses and you can modify whether that person can read and write to the calendar, or just read it, by clicking the down arrow next to their address.

That person will then receive an email notification asking them to confirm. Once confirmed, they’ll be able to see the calendar and, if allowed, make changes to it.


With the Reminders app, you can ensure your to-do list is always up to date, and the Reminders app in OS X is very capable. It works in the same way as Calendar and you can even share reminder lists in the same way too.

This means other iCloud users can share your list and add or check items as they’re done.


Notes is now a completely separate app in OS X and looks almost identical to Notes for iOS. iCloud can keep these in sync.


iCloud can keep three features of Safari in sync: Bookmarks, open tabs and Reading List.


Any bookmarks you add to Safari are automatically pushed to all of your other devices and Macs that are signed in to iCloud. Add a bookmark on your iOS device and it will appear on your Mac almost immediately.


A great feature of iCloud is iCloud Tabs. If you often find yourself switching between Macs or Mac and iOS device and would like an easier way of continuing reading a web page without having to enter the address again, this is how to do it.

Whenever you have an open tab or window in Safari, iCloud syncs what the address is and makes it available to any of your iCloud devices. For example, if you were reading this on your Mac and decided to switch to an iPad, you could simply open Safari, tap on iCloud Tabs and then see what pages were currently open on your Mac. It’s a feature that has no configuration, no customisation but it’s an example of a feature that genuinely makes life that little bit easier!

Reading List

If you’re a Reading List user, a feature of Safari that can temporarily save web pages for offline access to read later, then iCloud will also sync your reading list to all your iCloud devices automatically. Again, just like with Safari Tabs, it requires no interaction and means your content is always available.

Photo Stream

A popular feature of iCloud is Photo Stream. iCloud keeps the last 1,000 photos you’ve taken for 30 days. Whilst this feature is seen as a benefit just to iPhone users who take photos, this also applies to iPhoto and Aperture.

If you do have an iPhone then Photo Stream is the perfect way of syncing photos from your iPhone to your Mac since you don’t even need to connect them together. Just launch iPhoto or Aperture and all your photos will be there and downloaded from your Photo Stream automatically.

Perhaps you use a digital camera instead of an iPhone? iCloud will sync the last 1,000 added to any of your devices and it does this on your Mac using either iPhoto or Aperture. Any photos you add to either of these apps will automatically upload to Photo Stream. This will then push down to your iOS devices and even be viewable on your Apple TV.

Documents in the Cloud

iCloud attempts to tackle one of the hurdles when dealing with multiple devices – keeping work in sync. Now, whether or not iCloud has the best implementation of file syncing, for those users who are fairly new to technology then it seems quite a simple solution.

Using any number of iCloud-enabled apps, or within Mountain Lion, you have the ability to save a file directly to iCloud. It’s still kept on your Mac but it’s also pushed to iCloud for access via another device. Let’s create a new iCloud document using TextEdit.

Step 1

Launch TextEdit from the Applications folder.

Step 2

From here, there’ll be a small tab on the top left that’s labelled iCloud and On My Mac. Select iCloud.

Now you can store new documents here. They will only be accessible via the app so if you create a document in TextEdit and save it to iCloud, you’ll only be able to access it with TextEdit. But you’ll be able to access it using TextEdit on any other Mac you are signed into iCloud with.

However, if you were to do the same with Pages, you can access it using either OS X or iOS, since the app is available for both platforms.

Back to My Mac

This service is one that’s often overlooked simply because it requires a lot of configuration to work. Add to this that services such as Dropbox and to a certain extend, iCloud’s Documents in the Cloud feature, then it is almost redundant (it’s not even listed as part of iCloud’s features).

Back to My Mac on a basic level is simply a way of always being able to access your Mac that’s at home or in the office over the internet. It works just like a network connection to a server, except when you’re signed in to iCloud then the Mac will always appear under the Shared tab in the Finder. Apart from this additional service, there’s nothing about it that’s any different from setting up file sharing on the Mac. In fact, Back to My Mac needs the File Sharing service to be switched on.

For a service that’s of little benefit to most users, the time and knowledge needed to ensure things like ports are forwarding, NAT is traversing, and all these other bits of technical jargon make it a service that is probably best left alone. If you would like to look further into Back to My Mac then Apple has an excellent setup guide that you can follow.

Find My Mac

Just like Find My iPhone, iCloud is also able to let you track your Mac should it go missing.

Since it’s a service that requires knowing your location, it has to be explicitly turned on – that’s why there’s two options when setting up iCloud for the first time.

Find My Mac works exactly the same as Find My iPhone, you can locate your Mac using either icloud.com or the Find My iPhone app for iOS. What’s more, you can even remotely lock and wipe your Mac if you think it’s fallen into the wrong hands.

Tip: If you enable Find My Mac, ensure you have a very strong password and security credentials only you will know. The only thing worse than misplacing a Mac is if someone is able to gain access to your iCloud account and remotely wipe the Mac!

iCloud Apps

Cloud Apps

iA Writer

iA Writer is one of the coolest text editors available for the Mac, and as many of you may know, it supports iCloud. Paired with the iPhone and iPad versions, you can focus on your writing wherever you go. Check out this review here.Cloud Apps


Todo is a relatively simple task manager for OS X and iOS. It has plenty of cool features and settings to play around with. With the reception of the OS X Reminders app, apps like this one are not needed as much. In any case, Todo support iCloud syncing as well as Dropbox, so give it a try.

Cloud Apps


Memo is an extremely simple sticky-note-like app that is available for OS X, and iOS. It syncs all your stickies with iCloud, so you will always have your little notes across all your devices.

Cloud Apps

Day One

Need to keep a journal of your life? Want it all to be tightly organized and synced with all your devices? Check out Day One. We gave it a nine out of 10, so you should give it a try. It supports both iCloud and Dropbox, so you can’t go wrong with this one.

Cloud Apps


You probably already know what iWork is, but if you don’t, it is Apple’s version of Microsoft Office. iWork supports iCloud sync, and you can access your files on your iOS devices via the Keynote and Pages apps.Cloud Apps


PDFpen is an awesome PDF editor developed by the guys who brought you Textexpander. With PDFpen, you can edit text, add images, signatures, and more text to your PDFs. It also supports iCloud so you can access your files through the iPad version of PDFpen.

Cloud Apps

Coda 2

Coda has been good to many of us, and when Coda 2 was announced, everyone was excited. When it was released though, it was received with mixed feelings. Whether you are team Coda or team SublimeText, you will probably enjoy Coda 2′s iCloud support. It syncs up your clips across all your Macs (this feature is only available to Mac-App-Store-bought copies). You can also give Diet Coda a try.

Cloud Apps

Plain Cloud

Plain Cloud was brought up recently to our app-craving eyes. If you want to know what you have in your iCloud folder and don’t want to deal with digging through weird folder or file names, give it a try.

Cloud Apps


Napkin is a rather cool app that let’s you create visual notes. With plenty of features and settings, you have a nice app here. Check out our review if you need to. It supports iCloud, to sync up, so you are covered in the cloud front.

Cloud Apps

Clipboard iCloud Apps

Clipboard apps. Yeah, they are very helpful when you want to move links around and across all your devices with ease. We could have featured all three here, but here is a nice little app showdown we had a while back that you should check out.

Cloud Apps


WatchCam is a surveillance application that detects motion and records video automatically. The videos recorded by the app are uploaded to iCloud, so if someone is trying to steal your computer, you will be able to see the videos on your iOS device via WatchCam’s app.

Cloud Apps

OS X Mountain Lion iCloud-supported Apps

You probably already know this, but in case you don’t, we will highlight the applications that you already have installed on your Mac that support iCloud. iTunes, Safari, Calendar, Reminders, Contacts, Mail, Notes, TextEdit, all support iCloud in some way and you can find their iOS counter parts already installed on your iOS devices as well.

Cloud Apps


Justnotes is a simple note taking app for OS X. You can use Justnote with Simplenote, Evernote to import or sync notes. Justnotes allows you to sync your notes to a local folder, so you can set it to back things up to your Dropbox Folder, Google Drive or Box Folder.

Cloud Apps


DropLink – interestingly hosted on Dropbox – is a simple app that allows you to sync up any file or folder on your Mac with Dropbox. Pretty simple. Just give it a try and if you don’t want popups, consider giving the creator a donation.

Cloud Apps


MacDropAny is like DropLink, but it syncs up any folder or file on your Mac with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, iCloudrive, and SkyDrive. So you are pretty covered when it comes to cloud services.

Cloud Apps


You saw this one coming. TextExpander is one of the coolest productivity tools around, and since version four, TextExpander supports Dropbox sync. So, go on, take your snippets to the cloud.

Cloud Apps


Another favorite app of ours is 1Password. 1Password supports over-the-air sync as well as Dropbox sync and backup. So if you want to access all your passwords from all your devices you can’t go wrong with 1Password – and even then, you can’t go wrong with 1Password.

Cloud Apps


Available for Mac, iPhone and iPad, Notesdeck is a nice app that gives you access to your Simplenote, Evernote, and Dropbox files easily. Of course, Dropbox isn’t a note-taking service, but you know it can be used as one, so have at it, if you aren’t already.

Cloud Apps


This is another clean and useful note-taking app that allows you to take notes easily and sync them up with Dropbox. It will always hangout on the side of your screen, so getting to it is extremely easy.

Cloud Apps


Servus is a menubar icon that’ll create a branded download page to whatever you drop into it. It will zip the folder or file up for you, too, and copy the link to your clipboard. Talk about a nice way to present your downloads, right?


Cloud Apps


Notational is a cool app that stores and retrieves notes from all your other note-taking apps like Simplenote, Dropbox, PlainText, Elements, iA Writer, and other iOS applications. It has many nice features, so give it a try.


Cloud Apps

Scrivener 2

Scrivener 2 (for OS X and Windows) is an application that gives writers of complex documents the ability to structure and compose their pieces with maximum control. Scrivener 2 can sync up to Simplenote, Index Card and apps that use Dropbox like Notebooks, and PlainText.

Cloud Apps


Fast sharing, smart filtering, and file previewing is what Dropln is all about. If you are looking to streamline the way you use Dropbox, you might want to try this one out.

Cloud Apps


Want to share screenshots easily? Check out GrabBox. It reacts to the screenshots you take and atomically copies them to your Dropbox Public folder as it gives your clipboard the URL. You are now set.


Box Sync for Mac

If you are not very familiar with Box, we added this one app because honestly, it is sort of hard to spot. This app is actually Box’s first party app that acts pretty much like Dropbox’s or Google Drive’s official app. It puts a folder on your Mac that you can drag stuff to and upload to your Box account.


Box SimpleShare

SimpleShare is another of Box’s official apps that will allow you to take screenshots and place them in your Box account for easy sharing. You can also use this app to add files to Box and share them with ease.

Cloud Apps


Coined as the “must-have Mac app for Google Drive,” Archyis by all means the better way to use Google Drive natively on your Mac. With a sweet and “familiar” design, Archy should come in handy to everyone who uses Google Drive and doesn’t want to use Google web apps as often.

Cloud Apps


Insync is another great way to use Google Drive on your Mac. This small, yet powerful app is great for sharing, editing, and using multiple Google accounts. It is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and mobile devices, so you are more than set to go. At least until Google gets their stuff together and brings forward a better version of Google Drive – just saying.

Cloud Apps


I couldn’t find an Amazon Cloud Drive app for the life of me, so if this one doesn’t support it, it is probably not a horrible thing; however, if you are looking for something that supports Dropbox, Evernote, SkyDrive, and Google Drive, here you go. Found scored an eight out of 10 from us, so give it a try.


Cloud Apps


One more app that supports SkyDrive, but no mention of Amazon Cloud Drive. Maybe they just think Amazon Cloud Drive is too big of a name. In any case, BoxCryptor is an encrypting app that will secure your files as their go up to the cloud. Magic. Yes, please. You can also use this app with Dropbox, Google Drive, and possibly other cloud services.

Links by mac.appstorm.net

Tools and Downloads

Get the latest software to use iCloud Storage APIs in your app.

Xcode Developer Tools

Xcode is the complete toolset for creating apps for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Download Xcode and enable your apps for iCloud.

Get Xcode for free.

iCloud Web Tools

Debug your iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion apps that use iCloud document storage. Sign in to developer.icloud.com and view the content your app has stored in iCloud.

(iOS Developer Program or Mac Developer Program membership required)


For iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

  • iOS 6Just connect your iOS device to your Mac and follow the onscreen instructions in iTunes.


For Mac

  • OS X Mountain LionGet OS X Mountain Lion on the Mac App Store. Mac Developer Program members can sign in to the Mac Dev Center to get a download code.


For Windows

Set up iCloud

Learn how to set up iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.

Get Started

iCloud requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd generation or later), or iPad; a Mac with OS X Lion; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 or an up-to-date browser is required for accessing email, contacts, and calendars). Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.


System requirements

Recommended system requirements

Meeting the following system requirements will allow you to take advantage of all the latest iCloud features and get the best overall user experience.

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
iOS 6 or later
iWork for iOS 1.7 or later: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (for purchase from the App Store)
OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 or later
iTunes 11 or later (for iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match)
iPhoto ’11 version 9.4 or later or Aperture 3.4 or later (for Photo Stream)
Safari 6 or later (for iCloud.com, Bookmarks, and iCloud Tabs), Firefox 16 or later or Chrome 23 or later (for iCloud.com)
iWork ’09: Pages 4.3 or later, Number 2.3 or later, and Keynote 5.3 or later (for purchase from the Mac App Store)

Microsoft Windows 7 or 8
iCloud Control Panel 2.1 or later
iTunes 11 or later (for iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match)
Outlook 2007 or 2010 or iCloud.com
Safari 5.1.7 or later or Internet Explorer 9 or later (for iCloud.com and Bookmarks), Firefox 16 or later or Chrome 23 or later (for iCloud.com)

Apple TV
Apple TV software version 5.1 or later


Minimum operating system requirements

You may also use iCloud with the following operating system versions:

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
iOS 5*

OS X Lion v10.7.5 or later*

Microsoft Windows Vista (Service Pack 2)

Note: Although you can use iOS 5 and OS X Lion as noted above, you will not be able to take advantage of some iCloud features, such as Shared Photo Streams, iCloud Tabs, Find My iPhone Lost Mode, Documents in the Cloud for iWork, and Find My Friends location-based alerts.

Photo Stream Troubleshooting

Find the scenario below that best describes your issue and follow the related steps for troubleshooting. Additional troubleshooting steps for Shared Photo Streams can be found in this article.

I imported photos to iPhoto or Aperture from my camera. I do not see them uploaded to the Photo Stream (or My Photo Stream) album even though the service is enabled.

In iPhoto or Aperture, navigate to Preferences > Photo Stream. Ensure that Automatic Upload is enabled under Photo Stream (or My Photo Stream) and that you have an active Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.

If Automatic Upload is not enabled, you can either enable it and import again, or manually add the newly imported photos to your Photo Stream in iPhoto or Aperture by dragging and dropping them into the Photo Stream (or My Photo Stream) album in your Library.

I don’t see photos in Photo Stream on my iOS device.

Check the following:

  • From your Home screen, tap Settings > iCloud > Photo Stream, and make sure the slider is set to the ON position.
  • From the Home screen, tap Settings > Wi-Fi, make sure the slider is set to ON, and that your device is connected to a wireless network.
  • Ensure that Camera app is closed on the device where you took the photo. Photo Stream will not upload photos from an iOS device until the Camera app is closed.
  • Ensure your iOS device has not fallen below 20% battery power. To preserve battery life, Photo Stream downloading and uploading are disabled when the battery reaches this threshold. Downloading and uploading will resume once you charge your device, and the battery charge is greater than 20%.

I don’t see any photos or shared photo streams in the Photo Stream view of iPhoto or Aperture.

 Check the following:

  • From your Mac, choose System Preferences > iCloud, and make sure the Photo Stream checkbox is enabled.
  • Open iPhoto or Aperture, choose Preferences > Photo Stream.
    • If you are using iPhoto 9.4 or later, or Aperture 3.4 or later, make sure that both the My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams checkboxes are selected. If you’d like all new photos that you’ve uploaded to your iPhoto or Aperture library to be uploaded to My Photo Stream, make sure that the Automatic Upload checkbox is selected as well.
    • If you are using iPhoto 9.2.2 through 9.3.2, or Aperture 3.2.3 through 3.3.2, make sure that Enable Photo Stream and Automatic Import are selected.
  • Make sure your Mac has an an active Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.

I see different photos in Photo Stream on each of my devices.

Your device will keep up to 1000 photos, even if they are older than 30 days. Photos older than 30 days are removed from the iCloud server, so all devices may not have the same photos, depending on when you enabled Photo Stream.

If you’d prefer to have only the most current photos in Photo Stream on each of your devices (and, delete the older photos):

  • Save any photos that are not already in your Camera Roll. Learn more about backing up your Camera Roll.
  • Disable (My) Photo Stream in Settings > iCloud by moving the slider for (My) Photo Stream to OFF. Confirm that you wish to Delete Photos.
  • Next, re-enable Photo Stream by moving the slider to the ON position. iCloud will automatically push your stored photos to your device.
  • Repeat these steps for each device.

I installed or updated to iCloud Control Panel 2.0 or later for Windows and signed in, but when I go to Photo Stream, I see a message that says I’m not signed in.

If you see the message “Photo Stream is not enabled. Sign into iCloud to view Photo Stream,” and you have already signed in, you need to apply your settings.

To apply your settings in Windows 8:

  1. Close the Windows Explorer window that has the message.
  2. Move the pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar, click the Search charm, and then click the iCloud Control Panel on the left.
  3. Select Photo Stream, if it’s not already selected.
  4. Next to Photo Stream, click Options. Select My Photo Stream as well as Shared Photo Streams, if you wish to share certain photos. Click OK.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Return to Photo Stream.

To apply your settings in Windows 7 or Vista (SP2):

  1. Close the Windows Explorer window that has the message.
  2. Click the Windows Start button. Select Control Panel > iCloud. 
  3. Select Photo Stream, if it’s not already selected.
  4. Next to Photo Stream, click Options. Select My Photo Stream as well as Shared Photo Streams, if you wish to share certain photos. Click OK.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Return to Photo Stream.

Set up Photo Stream

You need to set up Photo Stream on each iOS device and computer that you want to use with Photo Stream.

On a Mac, you can also choose where you want your photo stream to appear (in either iPhoto 9.3.2 or later or Aperture 3.3.2 or later), and your upload and import preferences. To use Shared Photo Streams, you need iPhoto 9.4 or later or Aperture 3.4 or later.

Note:   If you already set up iCloud on your devices, Photo Stream may already be turned on. To make sure everything is set up correctly, or to set up Photo Stream on another device, follow the steps below.

On an iOS device

  1. On your device’s Home screen, tap Settings, then tap iCloud.

    If you’re asked to sign in with your Apple ID, then you haven’t set up iCloud on this iOS device. Sign in with your Apple ID to set up your iCloud account.

  2. Tap Photo Stream, then tap to turn on My Photo Stream; if you want to be able to share photos and view photo streams shared by others, also tap to turn on Shared Photo Streams.
    Photo Stream item

    With My Photo Stream turned on, any new photos you take with your iOS device appear in your photo stream after your device is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

    If you also set up a Mac to work with Photo Stream, by default any photos you take with your iOS device are also imported into your iPhoto or Aperture library. You can change this default setting when you set up iPhoto or Aperture (see below).

On a Mac to work with iPhoto or Aperture

You can set up Photo Stream on your Mac to work with iPhoto or Aperture.

Set up Photo Stream to work with iPhoto.

Set up Photo Stream to work with Aperture.

On a Windows computer

To use all the features of Photo Stream, you need to have iCloud Control Panel 2.0 or later installed on your computer.

  1. Open the iCloud Control Panel, then select the Photo Stream checkbox.
    Photo Stream checkbox

    To open the iCloud Control Panel in Windows 8, move the pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar, click the Search charm, then click iCloud Control Panel on the left.

    To open the iCloud Control Panel in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, choose Start menu > All Programs > Folder icon iCloud > iCloud Control Panel icon iCloud.

  2. To change the default Photo Stream upload and download folders, click Options. Click Change to choose a folder, then click OK.

    By default, photos are automatically downloaded to the My Photo Stream folder inside the Photo Stream album in your Pictures library, and uploaded from the Uploads folder inside the Photo Stream album in your Pictures library.

  3. Click Apply.

    Any new photos you import from a digital camera to the upload folder you chose in the iCloud Control Panel on your computer are uploaded and added automatically to your Photo Stream.

    You can also add photos to Photo Stream manually.

For a list of file types that can be added to Photo Stream, read “What photo formats does Photo Stream support” in the Photo Stream FAQ on the iCloud Support website.